Specific risks in hospitality, restaurants and pubs
The hospitality industry has been severely affected by COVID-19 and the lock-down restrictions which have sought to prevent its transmission. Risks include:
Indoor restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues necessarily involve people being in interior environments for prolonged periods of time and often without being required to wear a mask.
Aerosol (what we breathe out) builds up from people breathing in a short period of time. It builds up the same way smoking used to in such indoor settings, but Covid infected breath (aerosol) is invisible. Viral load is higher because of there being more people, more proximity, more talking, singing and shouting, making the interior air of a higher risk than spaces. Kitchen teams also often need to work in close proximity.
This is made worse by the need for people to be in motion, such as for staff to be walking between tables.
Small, busy, poorly ventilated environments are common and generally existing ventilation does not provide sufficient air changes to prevent viral transmission.
RECIRCULATED AIR VENTILATION SYSTEMS ARE A NO! NO!
Indeed, some types of interior spaces may actually accelerate infection because of their ventilation arrangements irrespective of following Covid-Secure Guidelines to the letter, e.g. common HVAC systems for heating and cooling: recirculated air/ceiling cassette systems or low level heating or floor grill systems; inner room configurations etc.
Due to these factors, restaurants around the world have become infamous for some of the COVID-19 “super-spreading events”.
How to achieve better biosafety and compliance in hospitality settings
The interior air quality has to be priority given the nature of the hazard, so inside environments now will need to reassess potential:
- Ventilation airflow rate rates
- Ventilation system filters
- Ventilation Methodology
- The reliable supply of uncontaminated, fresh air
- Risk of exposure to bio-aerosols
- Compliance for “Adequate Ventilation” OR use HEPA Filter or Ultraviolet Based Devices.
As professional engineers, scientists and medics, we know intimately how to target the infection risks by designing bespoke solutions, combining established and proven engineering and health technologies, to take your biosafety to a new level.
We are able to assess your building configuration, engineering infrastructure, occupancy use and risks. We then will model and engineer a bespoke solution to suit your asset and user requirements. Most hospitality venues can be made highly covid-assured with high levels of “air-security” against the virus very economically, through the use of:
- Better ventilation strategy, airflow, air distribution and filtration.
- In-duct GUV devices in HVAC systems – One way to counteract the spreading of disease is with efficient air circulation systems, which will be fitted with UV-C devices in order to kill any airborne microbes while the air is recirculated through it. For large venues such as Night-Clubs, Theatres, Concert Halls, Arenas, this is a highly effective, safe and low-cost intervention.
- Upper Room GUV systems and Medical Grade HEPA Filters – these can be put in place to reduce localised spreading of the diseases in key higher-risk locations. When correctly specified and blended with a primary building ventilation system improvement, these together wil reduce the transmission risk of COVID-19 and future pathogenic risks, significantly.