COVID-19 Safety Plan for Tasting Room and Wine Store Operations
This plan was posted by Katie Phelan on May 24th 2020. It is considered a working document and will be updated as required with guidance from Mark Timmermans, general manager, and input from Jacinda Flynn, tasting room associate.
On May 15th 2020, BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, issued an order to food service establishments and liquor services which repeals and replaces her March 20th order. Food service establishments and liquor services (to include winery tasting rooms) are now allowed to re-open subject conditions outlined in the May 15th order.
We have carefully considered all of the conditions and are confident that we can safely re-open for tastings, albeit with alterations to our previous model.
In accordance with the May 15th order, this COVID-19 Safety Plan for Beaufort will be posted on our website; within the winery; and a copy kept should it be requested by a health officer/WorkSafeBC officer.
This COVID-19 Safety Plan for Beaufort was developed using WorkSafeBC’s template and resources available here: https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/checklist/covid-19-safety-plan?lang=en
- We have received input from multiple sources and stakeholders including WorkSafeBC (Rod Saunders, Inspection officer), as well as staff and management at Beaufort.
- We have identified areas where people might gather (entrance way, washroom area, tasting bar) and have implemented procedures to eliminate gathering.
- We have identified job tasks and processes where staff come close to one another and/or the public and have implemented procedures to eliminate close contact.
- We have identified tools, machinery, equipment and surfaces that workers and/or guests share and have implemented procedures to limit the shared use of same. This includes implementing new sanitation protocols.
PROTOCOLS TO REDUCE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH CONTRACTING COVID-19
- We have moved to a tasting by appointment only model. Although tasting rooms are NOT required (like restaurants for example) to halve their occupancy, we feel that 2m physical distancing between staff and guests is only possible if we host bre-booked tasting appointments. As such, we are LIMITING the number of guests at Beaufort at any one time. Tastings will be hosted on the deck adjacent to our tasting room (we have received a temporary expansion to our service area). In circumstances where weather does not allow for tastings outside, we will host tastings on the crush pad (part of the expanded service area). There is a strict max of 6 people per tasting group.
- Tasters/customers will approach the deck from one entrance path, and exit via a one-way system. We will install signage referencing the flow of guests, as well as reminders about 2m physical distancing.
- The wine store will remain open, but we will limit the number of customers in the store to ensure physical distancing.
- We are reducing the number of staff in the tasting room to ensure physical distancing rules are met.
- We have made one washroom available for staff use, and one washroom for guests. Guest washroom will be sanitized before start of day, and on the hour.
- Where possible, doors will remain open to limit the need to touch door knobs; same with light switches and extractor fans (all will remain on). We will wipe down POS with sanitizer, if necessary, after every customer.
- The Patriot (used by staff to put out road signage) will have Lysol (or similar wipes) inside for use by staff.
- We will place sanitizer and disposable cleaning cloths throughout the winery so that the staff on duty can easily and regularly sanitize surfaces to include (but not limited to); washrooms, POS, POS area, door knobs & light switches (if necessary), bottles that are being handled by pourers.
- We will also place hand sanitizer in the store area, and tasting areas for use by guests and staff.
- We will endeavour to maintain 2m distance from other staff members, as well as guests at all times. As such, we will not be offering tastings at the bar. We will not lean over guests to pour, but rather ask that glasses are extended to the staff member in a way that ensures 2m physical distancing. At the till, we will request the customer approach to complete the transaction, only when the staff member can step back to ensure 2m physical distancing.
- Because we understand that masks should only be considered when other control measures cannot be implemented, staff and guests may wear masks if they wish but this will not be mandatory.
- Staff will continue to wash their hands regularly with soap and hot water, drying them with disposable towels.
- We will be pouring strict 1oz pours and no longer offering communal spittoons. We can provide disposable cups for individuals wishing to spit during their tasting.
- We will retain contact information (through the online booking app) for each tasting party for a minimum of 30 days following their tasting.
- We will move to a digital/online version of wine tasting notes. Guests can no longer request to see the tasting bottle.
- We will remove the communal water dispenser and instead provide individual water bottles to each table (to be run through the sanitizer between use).
- We will continue to use real glass for tastings/water, but the glasses will be sanitized immediately after each tasting party.
- We will only place sanitized tasting glasses in front of tasters when they arrive for their tasting, not before.
- We will not host a tasting or permit entry to Beaufort to anyone exhibiting the symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days. This includes both staff and guests. COVID-19 symptoms include fever, chills, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and new muscles aches or headache.
- Workers must report to management if they exhibit even mild COVID-19 symptoms during their shift.
- Workers who fall ill with symptoms of COVID-19 during their shift will be asked to isolate in a structure away from the winery/tasting room building. We will immediately sanitize surfaces that the worker has come into contact with and suspend tastings for that day. We will contact a family member, 811 or 911 as required to ensure the staff member receives the appropriate care.
COMMUNICATION PLANS AND TRAINING
- We have a training plan to ensure staff is trained in policies and procedures – this includes staying in regular email/text communication with staff, as well as sharing any updates to Beaufort’s COVID-19 safety plan. The safety plan must be read by staff and will be easily accessible on the website, as well as in the winery (hard copy). Verbal communications will be on-going.
- We will post signage to communicate the core tenets of our COVID policies and procedures for both staff and guests.
WORKPLACE MONITORING AND SAFETY PLAN UPDATES
- We will constantly reassess our protocols and policies and procedures to ensure the safety of both staff and guests. We will update our COVID-19 safety plan accordingly.
- Staff know to approach Beaufort management with any health and safety concerns.
- We will work as a team to resolve safety issues.
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