Help for businesses to reopen safely

As lockdown restrictions ease, we are offering a new package of support to help local businesses reopen safely.

In this section

Rule of 6

Hospitality venues in England are legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000.

Businesses now need to take bookings of no more than 6 people, ensure people are not meeting in groups of more than 6 people on their premises, and make sure there is sufficient space between tables.

Read the guidance on meeting with others safely

Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

Designated venues in certain sectors must have a system in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff to help break the chains of transmission of coronavirus.

From Thursday 24 September, designated businesses and organisations, including hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues, will need to display an official NHS QR code poster to make it easier for people to check-in.

Venues that fail to comply with this new legislation  may face fines of up to £1,000. Fines will rise to up to £4,000 for repeat offenders.

Businesses will be expected to make sure their customers are aware of the rules around QR codes by displaying posters and speaking to customers directly.

Read the government guidance on the new legal requirements to collect contact details and display official NHS QR code posters.

Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue

Footsteps pavement markings for social distancing How we can help you reopen safely

We are offering a new package of support to help businesses become 'Covid Secure' and safe for employees and customers.

Officers will visit your premises to help you reopen safely.

We can provide:

  • a free street marking service, to ensure a consistent approach to social distancing 
  • assistance with tables and chairs licence applications
  • support and templates for your Covid Secure Workplace Risk Assessments
  • guidance for food, licensed and hospitality premises preparing to reopen

Free street marking service

If you would like us to come and install social distancing pavement markings outside your premises for free, please fill in the form below and an officer will contact you within 1 working day.

Request social distancing street markings

For more information, email or call 01895 277433.

Reopening close contact services

If you are preparing to reopen your beauty treatment business, you must ensure that you have prepared a 'COVID Secure' risk assessment and that you have the correct licences in place in order to operate.

For further advice from our team, please contact or read the guidance on the government website.

Reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants

Pubs, bars and restaurants can now reopen and we are preparing a range of support services to assist these premises to open safely by providing:

  • assistance with tables and chairs licence applications
  • advice on the latest licensing relaxations for off-sales
  • support and templates for your Covid Secure Workplace Risk Assessments
  • guidance for food, licensed and hospitality premises

Businesses have been advised by the government to collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors to their premises to support NHS Test and Trace. Find out more about the government's advice.

The latest government guidance on keeping workers and customers safe is available on the website.

If you are a hospitality business operator and would like advice on social distancing, health and safety, food safety or licensing, please email or call 01895 277433.

Information for residents on staying safe in pubs, bars and restaurants can be found on our  customer safety pages.

Preventing Legionella

Local businesses are reminded to test their water systems and ensure they are preventing Legionella bacteria before reopening.

Read our guidance document [26KB]

Government guidance on workplace safety

The government has published guidance on keeping the workplace safe during the current pandemic. 

Read the guidance

Risk assessment

As an employer, you're required by law to protect your employees, and others, from harm. The minimum you must do is:

  • identify what work activity or situations might cause injury or illness, including transmission of the virus
  • think about who could be at risk
  • decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
  • act to remove the activity or situation - or, if this isn't possible, control the risk

You should assess risks related to COVID-19 as part of an overall risk assessment review for all your activities in the workplace. For most small, low-risk businesses, the steps you need to take are straightforward - much of what you need to know is on the HSE website

You need to identify sensible measures to control risks. You can use our shop risk assessment checklist [685KB]  to help assist you in the development and implementation of your risk assessment of COVID-19. If you operate a pub, bar, club or restaurant you can use our  risk assessment checklist for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaways [244KB]

Reopening your food business

Sector guidance has been provided to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely in the food sector and these should be read in conjunction with the government guidance.

More practical help for working safely

The following advice should be read in conjunction with the government guidance.

Page last updated: 22 Sep 2020