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Reopening and trading safely

Find the information most relevant to your business by using the government's guidance finder

Specific information regarding close contact services is also available.

Rule of six and social distancing

From 17 May, further restrictions have lifted. Socialising indoors is permitted in a group of up to 6 people or 2 households, including for overnight stays. Pubs, theatres and other venues can open indoors but must maintain social distancing measures. Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can open for people on holiday.

For further guidance visit the government website.

Legally enforcable restrictions for businesses

It is an offence for a business to fail to adhere to the rules when taking a booking, to allow entry to a group of more than six people or to fail to advise groups not to merge in ways that breach the rules. 

  • pubs, bars and restaurants are restricted to table service only (for groups of up to six), except for takeaways 
  • hospitality venues can have groups of up to 30 sat outdoors. 
  • subject to exemptions, face coverings are compulsory for bar staff and non-seated customers, shop workers, waiters, staff in close contact services and for customers in private hire vehicles or taxis
  • businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated 
  • employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work 

General guidance for operating safely

Layout and routes

  • try to limit the number of ways into and out of your business. If possible, keep your exit and entrance points separate
  • consider one-way routes inside your premises
  • put clear social distancing signs in your place of business, visible from the outside, so customers will understand your layout

Limit numbers

  • limit the number of customers in your premises at any one time, based on the size and layout of your space
  • encourage customers to shop alone if possible
  • have a colleague greet customers at the entrance and explain the social distancing measures inside, this employee can control the number of customers allowed inside
  • don't run sales and discount events in store. Keep them online to avoid queues and overcrowding.

Queues outside your business

  • if customers have to queue, make sure the queue runs along the longest side of the front of your premises rather than out onto the footpath
  • speak with neighbouring businesses to agree on how you will set up queues, you may be able to agree on a shared queuing space
  • actively manage your queue and stop people from joining it if you have reached your space limit

Deliveries and collections

  • if you offer click and collect, try to arrange collection times outside of busy hours
  • try to arrange your stock deliveries outside of busy hours

Keep pathways clear

Help us keep the pathways clear - do not put A-boards, flags or other signs outside of your premises or anywhere on public footpaths.

Consider water stagnation

If your building was closed or has seen reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease.