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The return to normal not only means once again being able to hug our nearest and dearest, but the full re-opening of much-missed entertainment venues like nightclubs, theatres, art galleries and more.

Hospitality and entertainment are the beating heart of the UK, and the past 18 months has devastated these beloved sectors. Only a month ago, more than half of workers in these industries were still on furlough and venues such as pubs reported huge financial losses. The ability to properly open doors once again has allowed business owners and their teams to breathe a sigh of relief.

But, of course, with this new-found freedom comes a high risk of the continued spread of COVID-19 with the Delta variant wreaking havoc. According to The Herald this week, this variant is 46 per cent more likely to cause reinfection.

We know that having to close your business again would be heart-breaking, and we understand completely that you have a vested interest in ensuring you have stringent measures in place to avoid that from happening.

To help you and your teams moving forward, here are four crucial procedures you should be undertaking with your cleaning teams to keep clients and customers safe during this next stage of the COVID-19 roadmap.

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Invest in your cleaning

While it might be tempting to begin cutting back on your cleaning expenditure with the removal of COVID-19 restrictions, this decision would be a mistake and may cost you your business.

One thing the pandemic has taught us is that proper cleanliness and hygiene not only keeps us safe from potentially fatal viruses such as COVID-19, but it protects us from common illnesses such as the flu or colds as well. Not forgetting to mention that a clean environment boosts staff morale and has a positive impact on productivity.

Now is not the time to scale back on your cleaning efforts, now is the time to up the ante. By doing so, you’ll decrease the spread of infection, avoiding the need for another lockdown and you’ll be showing both your team and your customers just how much you care for them and their wellbeing. A win-win situation.

One crucial procedure to undertake to keep your business thriving in these next few months is regular disinfection and decontamination. It’s not as simple as a once-a-week deep clean and a wipe down with an antibacterial wipe, advanced technology and modern cleaning chemicals must come into play.

Your decontamination team should be armed with preventative measures to keep your business thriving.

Look into autonomous cleaning solutions

Venues can range in size, from the smallest micropub to the largest theatre. If your business lies on the larger side of the spectrum, having to employ that many cleaners may sound daunting, especially when pockets have been tightly squeezed over the past 18 months.

Nevertheless, there is a solution.

Top-quality cleaning providers should now be able to offer state-of-the-art technology and robotics to all customers which will help make processes leaner, quicker and more efficient for all involved. From vacuum cleaners to scrubber-driers, there is a huge range of automation on offer – all of which take the time to complete the repetitive jobs and free-up cleaners to work on and manage vital high-traffic areas and touch points.

Have a rapid response team on hand

Of course, with all the will in the world, avoiding COVID-19 completely won’t always be possible. However, if your venue has a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus, it’s crucial you act, and fast.

Rapid response teams should be readily available within the hour to help you manage an outbreak, armed with the latest technology such as electrostatic foggers.

Without a service like this, your venue runs the risk of needing to be shut down for a lot longer than necessary while you have no choice but to continue losing valuable profit.

Don’t be afraid to change your cleaning provider

Better the devil you know, right?

Wrong. Just because you’ve had the same cleaning team for years doesn’t mean they’re the best option for you in this post-pandemic era. If you feel like standards aren’t as high as they need to be or there’s not enough range on offer to keep you and your team safe, then the best option may be to find a new provider.

And don’t let this scare you, changing your cleaning provider should be as easy as counting to three.