Coronavirus support for businesses

Working safely during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Keeping your customers and visitors safe

Seven steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus.

  1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment. Share it with all your staff. Find out how to do a risk assessment.
  2. Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot. Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently.
  3. Ask your customers to wear face coverings in any indoor space or where required to do so by law. That is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.
  4. Make sure everyone is social distancing. Make it easy for everyone to do so by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that your customers can follow.
  5. Increase ventilation by keeping doors and windows open where possible and running ventilation systems at all times.
  6. Take part in NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all staff and contractors (not customers) for 21 days. From 18 September, this will be enforced in law. Some exemptions apply. Check ‘Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace’ for details.
  7. Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member (or someone in their household) or a customer has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should be isolating. By law from 28 September employers must not require someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.

Five more things to be aware of if your business is a shop, retail store or a branch:

  • Ensure staff wear face coverings. By law, staff in retail settings must wear face coverings when in customer facing areas, unless they have an exemption.
  • Reduce crowding. Consider how many people can be in the space while remaining socially distant. Use floor markings to manage queues.
  • Help your staff maintain social distancing. Consider using barriers to separate staff and customers, introduce back-to-back or side-to-side working, and have staff work in the same team each day.
  • Limit the handling of goods and clean stock regularly. Store items that have been returned, donated, or brought in for repair in a container or separate room for 48 hours or clean them before display.
  • Communicate and train. Make sure all staff and customers are kept up to date with how safety measures are being used and updated.

These are the priority actions to make your business safe during coronavirus, you should also read the full version of the guidance below.

More information can be found on the gov.uk website. 

The UK government, in consultation with industry, has produced ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.

Businesses should print, sign and display the Staying secure in 2020: Five Steps to safer working together notice (PDF) to reaffirm to members of the public and employees that the business is complying with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19. For smaller, lower risk businesses, enforced for health and safety by local authorities and who don’t have dedicated health and safety advice we have created a template to help businesses (Word) go through the risk assessment process and document their findings. 

Risk assessment implementation template for COVID-19 (Word).

View the information on working safely during coronavirus which includes 12 guides for different sectors on the government's website (external link).

You can view guidance on the gov.uk website on the closure of certain businesses and venues in England as part of further social distancing measures has been updated to reflect changes in rules about social contact, and requirements for certain businesses and venues to collect data for test and trace. 

Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic is available on the government's website (external link). Specific guides are available for a number of industries including:

Businesses are only allowed to reopen if they are complying with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19. Businesses should print, sign and display the Staying secure in 2020: Five Steps to safer working together notice (PDF) to confirm to members of the public and employees that they are COVID-19 Secure.

For smaller, lower risk businesses, enforced for health and safety by local authorities and who don’t have dedicated health and safety advice we have created this template to help businesses (Word) go through the risk assessment process and document their findings. 

The Council has also created social distancing posters for you to display for the exterior and interior of your businesses, to remind customers to maintain social distancing. 

Download the posters in A3 size (PDF)

Download the posters in A4 size (PDF)