Visiting our building - Customer visitor procedure during Covid-19

Introduction

This procedure has been drawn up by reference to the Government’s guidance, in particular “Working safely during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres”. The aim of the procedure is to ensure that risks are controlled so that both visitors and staff remain safe when visitors attend Council buildings.

Who does this procedure apply to?

It applies to all residents and members of the public who visit Council buildings to see one or more Council staff. Staff involved in co-ordinating visits should ensure that the steps set out in this policy are adhered to.

Separate procedures are in place for visitors to tenants of Council buildings, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, the Police, or tenants of the Retford Enterprise Centre.

Control of Risks

The Council’s approach to controlling risks arising from the Covid-19 pandemic is in accordance with the following hierarchy, starting from the top:

Elimination Eg: closing council buildings
Substitution Eg: providing services on-line or by phone rather than face-to-face 
Engineering Controls Eg: ensuring social distancing
Administrative Controls Eg: reducing the number of people in the building
PPE Personal protective equipment is the least effective measure


In accordance with this hierarchy, access to services will be managed as follows:

Elimination

Up until the lifting of national restrictions, the Council’s offices have been closed to visitors, except by prior appointment.  With effect from Monday 19 July, the main Council buildings will be open to visitors.  This includes Queen’s Buildings at Worksop and the One Stop Shop at Retford.  Carlton Forest House at Carlton-in-Lindrick and Harworth Area Office will remain closed.

It also includes the two town halls at Worksop and Retford.

Taxi inspections can be booked through the Council’s website, or by calling 01909 534333 in advance.

Substitution

Wherever possible services will continue to be provided remotely, that than face-to-face.

If you do not have access to the internet or you need assistance to access the service you need, you can contact the Council by phone on 01909 533533.

Engineering and Administrative Controls for Visits

If you cannot access appointment services remotely, and you wish to book an appointment to see a named officer, these can be booked in advance by telephoning or emailing the named officer, or by contacting the service directly.  Email addresses and phone numbers for our different services can generally be found on the Council’s website.  Otherwise you can email customer.services@bassetlaw.gov.uk.

This procedure sets out how the visit will be managed so you know what to expect.

  • Please do not visit the Council if you have any symptoms of Covid-19. This includes:
    • a high temperature (you feel hot to touch on your chest or back), or
    • a new, continuous cough (coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours), or
    • a loss or change in your sense of smell and/or taste (either you cannot smell or taste anything, or things taste or smell different to normal).
  • Most people with Covid-19 have one or more of these symptoms.

Queen’s Buildings and Retford sites

On arrival at the Council, you will be met by a member of staff. You will be asked to confirm that you do not have any symptoms before you enter, and a record will be kept of your details including name and contact number, and the date and time of the visit to comply with test and trace requirements.

Upon entering the building you will notice that there are markings and signs asking you to observe social distancing and to use the hand sanitiser provided.

You will be escorted to the meeting area, which will be screened. Meeting areas will be cleaned between each use.

The Council has a limited number of areas available for meetings, and due to the need to clean them between use, the number of meetings and visits that can take place each day will be limited to two per hour within the time periods that the Council has reserved for visits.

To safeguard customers and staff, the number of customers in the building at any one time will be limited in the Reception and meeting areas on the ground floor. Please consider this when attending and if possible, come alone when you visit.

Carlton Forest Depot (MOTs and taxi inspections only)

If you have booked a taxi inspection, this will be conducted at Carlton Forest Depot, Hundred Acre Lane. Upon arrival at the site, pass through the automatic barrier straight in front, and drive to the MOT reception within the transport building at the bottom of the site. Park outside and give your keys to Reception, ensuring that you do not enter unless there are no other visitors present. Please see below regarding face coverings.

Customers attending for an MOT/taxi inspection are asked to make arrangements so that they do not have to wait on site while their test is being undertaken.

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Personal protective equipment will be provided to staff if necessary, according to the job requirements.

Face Coverings / Face Masks

All customers are required to wear a face covering / face mask whilst on Council premises.

Customer Services/Security staff working in the Reception area will wear a face covering or be behind a screen when greeting visitors. Council staff in the building are not required to wear face masks, although they may do so if they wish.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find out the best way to access services?

Please visit our website at www.bassetlaw.gov.uk.

Alternatively you can call 01909 533 533 for the information you need.

How do I book an appointment to see someone?

Email or phone the service you need. The officer you speak to will advise you whether they can deal with your query over the phone or by email. If that is not possible they will arrange an appointment for you to visit the Council offices.

I am worried about visiting the offices, how will you ensure my safety?

  • The council has limited numbers of staff in the building as most employees are working from home.
  • Two metre marks are in place in our buildings to help everyone maintain social distancing.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available on entry to or exit from the building, and during the visit if required.
  • Our meeting rooms are set up to ensure people can stay at least 2 metres apart.
  • We have enhanced cleaning arrangements in place, particularly for communal and public areas such as meeting rooms.
  • Visitor numbers will be limited each day.
  • Visitors will be reminded not to enter the building if they have any symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Staff understand the need to self-isolate and not attend Council buildings if they or any members of their household have symptoms of Covid-19.
  • The person you are visiting will wear a face covering during the visit, or will be behind a screen.

My visit is urgent but I have suddenly developed symptoms. What should I do?

Stay at home and self-isolate in line with the Government’s guidance. If you are well enough please email or call the officer you were due to visit to let them know. They will try and help you with your query over the phone or by responding to your email.

I need to have someone with me when I visit, to help me. Is this allowed?

If you need someone to help you then they can accompany you. Because the number of visitors that can be in the building at any one time is limited, this may mean that other visitors have to attend at a different time or on a different day. Therefore you will need to advise us of any additional visitors at the time of making your appointment. If you arrive accompanied by an unexpected visitor then your appointment may not go ahead due to the maximum number of visitors allowed at any one time.

I don’t have childcare so my children will have to come with me. Is this allowed?

If you don’t have anyone that can look after your children during your visit they can come with you. They will each count as a visitor which means that other visitors may have to attend at a different time or on a different day. Please note there will be no play facilities or toys available for them and they will need to maintain social distancing and hand hygiene rules. You will need to advise us of any children accompanying you at the time of making your appointment. If you arrive with children that you have not informed the Council about, then your appointment may not go ahead due to the maximum number of visitors allowed at any one time.

What happens if I am late for my appointment?

You will need to make a new appointment because of the controls in place on the number of visitors in the building at any one time.

 

 


Last Updated on Friday, July 23, 2021