The accreditation program, which was set up in September last year on a pilot basis, was the first of its kind launched by a UK governing body.
After its initial success, it was relaunched in April to promote public confidence in London pubs, restaurants, gyms, hairdressers and shops.
Now, as Stage 4 of the government’s COVID-19 roadmap approaches, all businesses in the city are invited to participate.
The City of London Corporation has partnered with the London Boroughs of Southwark and Camden to lead the initiative, which aims to support businesses as they reopen and reassure customers that the premises are safe to visit.
The program involves environmental health officers from local governments reviewing companies’ COVID-19 risk assessments and procedures.
Agents conduct site visits, assess social distancing measures, customer tracking and traceability, and cleanliness.
Businesses either get a simple pass or fail. Agents on site will tell companies that fail what they need to do to be successful and they can then be reassessed.
Businesses are awarded a sticker to display on their premises and the result will be posted on the websites of each local authority and municipality.
Small businesses that are in direct contact with the public and join the program can apply for a new COVID Business Stimulus Fund.
The aim is to help companies that can show through the grant application process that with support they have a reasonable chance of surviving beyond the short term.
City of London Corporation Environmental Services Committee Chairman Keith Bottomley said:
“As we approach critical Stage 4 of the government’s COVID-19 roadmap – the final step to ease lockdown restrictions – it is vital that we do all we can to support businesses. This is why we are extending this system to all businesses in the City.
“We understand that this has been an extremely difficult time for so many businesses, large and small, and we are delighted that so many businesses in the city have already signed up.
“It is crucial to encourage the return of workers and visitors when government directives allow it, while reassuring about the measures taken to protect public health throughout the reopening of the city.”