By July 9, 2020 Read More →

Ventilation is the first step to prepare pubs for reopening in Government COVID-19 guidance

Evaluating ventilation systems before pubs reopen on 4 July is the first step to take before reopening, as laid out in the Government’s new guidance.

The guidance 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.

Publicans need to ensure their properties are COVIDsecure before reopening to help protect both customers and employees. When smoking was allowed in pubs, building guidance was to replace the air in a room every 8 minutes to extract the smoke and create a healthier indoor environment, protecting staff and customers. The same solution can be used to help maintain a COVID-secure establishment. Installed and correctly commissioned in pubs, fans will extract the polluted air, including any viruses, replacing it with fresh air every 8 minutes, thereby diluting the impact of the virus and reducing transmission.

“At Vent-Axia we are here to provide ventilation solutions and advice to pubs, bars and restaurants. A raft of global scientific evidence has confirmed
aerosol transmission of COVID-19, making it a higher risk to be inside a building than outside. With the lockdown set to ease on the 4 July and pubs reopening, publicans need to ensure their premises are as safe as possible for staff and customers. To lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission inside a building it is vital to increase airflow and ventilate effectively. Now is the time to check ventilation to ensure there is enough airflow to dilute the virus in the air and improve indoor air quality. Ventilating for longer and opting for ventilation with higher airflow volumes will help reduce the risk,” said Jenny Smith, Head of Marketing at Vent-Axia.

With the current Government guidance lacking detail on practical ventilation measures to implement, what steps should publicans be taking now to minimise virus transmission risks? When it comes to a pub’s risk assessment publicans should first ensure their premises are adequately ventilated and check whether existing extract fans are installed. If extract fans are installed, they should check they work. If not, they should be repaired or replaced. Publicans can speak to their facilities manager, ventilation specialist or ventilation manufacturer for advice on their ventilation systems.

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