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Ventilation is the First Step to Prepare Pubs for Reopening in Government COVID19-Guidance

Published: 24/06/2020

Evaluating ventilation systems, before pubs reopen on 4 July as the COVID-19 lockdown eases, is the first step to take before reopening as laid out in the Government’s new guidance. In ‘Keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services’ guidance, published on 24 June 2020, the document states that steps that will usually be needed before reopening include: “Checking whether you need to service or adjust ventilation systems, for example so that they do not automatically reduce ventilation levels due to lower than normal occupancy levels.” This guidance is designed to ensure time spent in pubs, bars and restaurants is as safe as possible for staff and customers, and is a clear demonstration of how vital effective ventilation is. Ensuring ventilation works effectively and does not under-ventilate is critical to reduce airbourne transmission of COVID-19.

This guidance follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement yesterday that lockdown was set to ease on 4 July with pubs reopening and a relaxing of social distancing from 2m to 1m plus while taking “mitigations to reduce the risk of transmission” including ‘improving ventilation. This also echoes an earlier statement by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Government’s COVID-19 press briefing on 29 April 2020 where he said, “There is a definite truism across all of the science literature, that ventilation is a most critical part of reducing transmission from respiratory viruses.” This all confirms the vital role ventilation plays in the fight against COVID-19.

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