New ‘Covid Confidence Scheme’ being rolled out in Borough ahead of Christmas shopping period

Connor from Watt's Butchers in Larne with Mayor, Councillor Peter Johnston

A ‘COVID Confidence Scheme’ aimed at assuring businesses and shoppers that all necessary steps have been taken to control the spread of coronavirus in our towns and villages, is to be rolled out by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council over the next few weeks.

Businesses across all sectors – and particularly those in the hospitality and close contact services – have been hit hard by the pandemic, with customer confidence a key factor in addressing a loss in footfall to our high streets.

As we approach the Christmas shopping period, the Council says it is leading the way with the new initiative by championing our wonderful local businesses as safe, welcoming and ready to trade.

Building on the support already provided by Council through its Town Centre Recovery Group and Environmental Health Team, the Covid Confidence Scheme will offer long-term flexibility and security to business owners as we navigate the ongoing crisis.

By adopting a focused, four-stage process, the Council will continue to support local economic recovery while at the same time respecting the public health controls needed to minimise community transmission of coronavirus and protect the health and wellbeing of our people.

Covid Business Support Packs, made up of easy to understand Covid control guidance compiled in conjunction with the latest public health guidance from statutory and partner agencies, as well as a Covid Assessment Checklist, will be made available to businesses and will be agile to allow for changing legislative requirements or site specific considerations.

Environmental Health and Town Centre officers from the Council will be on hand to answer queries about the scheme and to support our businesses through the process, and follow-up visits will take place to ensure all appropriate measures are in place before the award of the new Covid Confidence Mark.

Encouraging all businesses in the borough to sign up to the Covid Confidence Scheme, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, said: “I am delighted to see that, once again Council is leading the way in supporting the businesses which are the beating heart of our local communities.

“By investing in our towns and villages, our businesses are providing employment for local families and supporting our borough and our people in so many other ways, often unseen.

“The new Covid Confidence Scheme will send a strong and clear message to all those who live, work and visit Mid and East Antrim: that our businesses are safe and secure, that all necessary steps to protect public health have been taken and that you will be guaranteed a warm welcome.

“In the absence of a ‘zero Covid’ transmission rate or a vaccine to offer protection, we are all having to learn to co-exist with the virus while helping the businesses which make up our local economy to survive and thrive.”

More information on the Covid Confidence Scheme is available at https://www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/covid-confidence while Council’s Environmental Health Team can be contacted by emailing mea.envhealth@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

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