As some businesses across Greater Manchester continue to reopen their premises while new restrictions for residents affect the region, the Growth Company (GC) has issued a new guide to set out the test and trace procedures that need to be followed.

The NHS Test and Trace system is part of a national effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, by ensuring that anyone who has been in close proximity to an individual receiving a positive test result, is contacted and instructed to self-isolate. To support this, employers in sectors like hospitality, tourism and leisure should be collecting and maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors on their premises for 21 days.

However, there is confusion within businesses about exactly what their obligations are, what data they should collect and how this can be used. To help businesses navigate this, GC’s Business Growth Hub team have created an easy-to-read test and trace guide.

The guide confirms which businesses need to be collecting data, what information needs to be recorded for staff and customers, what needs to be done with it, how long it should be kept and how it should be disposed of.

It adds to wider information available on how businesses can stop the spread of the coronavirus by creating safe workplaces with measures in place to prevent transmissions between staff, customers and visitors. Steps that should be taken include increasing handwashing and surface cleaning, maintaining two metres distance between people wherever possible and doing everything practical to manage risks where it is not.

The production of this guide is part of the Growth Company’s efforts in partnership with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Transport for Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, to Safely Reopen the city-region, and support businesses to continue trading safely throughout these challenging times.

Mark Hughes, CEO of the Growth Company, said: “Test and trace has a hugely significant role to play in the continued safe opening of businesses across Greater Manchester. We need customers to feel safe and confident to return to our towns and cities and to make sure people continue to ensure the welfare of employees who are playing a vital role in rebuilding the economy.

“We have listened to businesses and understand that these are complex circumstances that they are having to adapt to, which is why we have created our new guide to provide a clear and easy-to-understand explanation of what they need to be doing. As the circumstances evolve, we will continue to keep businesses up to date and informed through our #Here for Business microsite.”

Sarah Price, interim chief officer, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said: “Future outbreaks of coronavirus could cause significant further disruption to our residents, our communities and our economy. The best way to manage this is to prevent it from happening.

“Businesses have a key role to play in helping to achieve this, by creating safe and healthy spaces and supporting a successful NHS Test and Trace here in Greater Manchester. We know this is not always easy. We want all of our city region’s businesses to know we are here to help”.

Information supporting employers and employees in reopening the Greater Manchester economy safely is available via https://togethergm.org/reopening and will also be shared on social media using the #SafeGM hashtag.

The #Here for Business microsite hosts the latest news, resources and expertise to help businesses navigate the challenge presented by COVID-19.