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Health Protection COVID 19 - Social Distancing Guidelines

Ice Cream Vendors and other mobile food businesses

Ice Cream Vans and other food mobiles fall under the definition of a take away food service and are currently permitted to trade.  However, as with any business, you must ensure that adequate social distancing measures are in place for any customers and staff. 

If you or any staff members are exhibiting symptoms you must self-isolate for 7 days and if you live in a household with someone exhibiting symptoms you must self-isolate for 14 days. If more than one member of staff is required to operate a vehicle, and they are not members of the same household, then face masks must be worn.

Arrangements should be made to ensure customers maintain a distance of 2-metres apart and it is your responsibility to maintain this. Consider:

  • Clear signage visible to customers
  • Place 2 metre markers on the floor to remind customers what a 2-metre distance is (use chalk or similar for a non-permanent mark on the pavement).

You must have due consideration of the impact of where you park your vehicle; the location should allow adequate distancing for both customers and other pedestrians. 

Where there is clear evidence that you have not taken such steps we will consider taking action against you.

Your food mobiles will already have hand washing facilities for staff (ensure you have plenty of fresh water on the vehicle) but you must also ensure that customers have access to hand sanitiser so they can ‘wash’ their hands before they eat ice cream etc. 

  • Providing hand sanitiser on a stand at 2-metre distance from the servery will allow customers to do this and will reinforce the social distancing message.

Virucidal spray and paper towel or Virucidal wipes must be used to regularly wipe equipment on the mobile, servery counter and any stand and hand sanitiser bottle.

Staff should wear protective gloves to minimise contact. These must be changed regularly.Remember to wash hands in between glove removal and putting on new gloves.

Transactions should be carried out with the minimum level of person to person contact: 

  • The use of receptacles where cones are placed for customers to remove them should be used and cleaned with Virucidal spray/wipes after each transaction. 
  • Where contactless payments cannot be achieved, monies should be placed in a small bowl left on the counter (with staff stepping away), once the money has been deposited into the bowl, you collect it and step back, remove the money and place any change in the bowl and return the bowl to the counter for them to take the change.  The bowl and counter must be cleaned with Virucidal spray/wipes after each transaction. Notes and coins must be regularly cleaned with Virucidal spray/wipes.

Please Notethe recent tightening of S6 of the Business Closure Regulations, restricting the movement of people for all but essential journeys, (including on foot) would mean that a person leaving their home for the sole purpose of getting an ice cream could be deemed to be making a non- essential journey. 

Finally, no person should be driving to a location for the sole purpose of purchasing an ice cream. Such action would be contrary to the above regulations and in such circumstances the Police may wish to take more formal action.

Last updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020

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