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Reopening businesses - support and guidance

All businesses and venues in our town and district centres can reopen if it is safe to do so.

A small number of ‘close proximity’ venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys and spas, will need to remain closed for now. 

You can only open your business if you've completed a risk assessment. Work with trade unions or workers to make sure the workplace is safe. 

Local guidance for reopening

This includes information on:

  • Café Pavement Licences in BCP Council area
  • Fire Safety Guidance for reopening
  • Environmental Health guidance for reopening
  • BCP Council and Dorset Police Licensing Guidelines for the re-opening of Licensed Premises

Maintain records of your visitors and staff

The easing of lockdown restrictions nationwide is supported by NHS Test and Trace. If you offer any kind of on-site service or host events, you should keep a temporary record of your staff, visitors and customers for 21 days and assist NHS Test and Trace if they request this data. This could help contain future outbreaks.

NHS Test and Trace will only contact you for data if someone testing positive for COVID-19 visited recently, or if your premises has been identified in an assessment of a local outbreak. Contact will come from the following places only with a request that you log into the tracing website:

  • a phone call from 0300 013 5000
  • a text message from NHSTracing

Full details on how to collect data and how it will be used can be found in the gov.uk Test and Trace guidance for businesses.

How to reopen your business safely

It's very important that businesses help their customers keep to social distancing guidelines.

General guidance for operating safely:

  • Information for Hospitality and Tourism Businesses
  • Keep up to date with social distancing guidance from the government. There's additional guidance for shops and branches
  • Try to limit the number of ways into and out of your business. If possible, keep your exit and entrance points separate
  • Limit the number of customers in your premises at any one time, based on the size and layout of your space
  • Consider one-way routes inside your premises
  • 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
  • Put clear social distancing signs in your place of business, visible from the outside, so customers will understand your layout
  • 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 queues and stop people from joining it if you have reached your space limit
  • Do not put A-boards, flags or other signs outside of your premises or anywhere on public footpaths
  • Encourage customers to shop alone if possible
  • 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
  • Do not run sales and discount events in store. Keep them online to avoid queues and overcrowding.

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

Social distancing signs

We are placing signs in all public areas reminding people to stay 2 metres away from others. These signs will be on lamposts, signposts, bins and bollards. Stickers will be placed on footpaths, and extra signs in busy areas.

We are also be placing signs telling people to "Keep Left" on paths, so that people walking in the opposite direction will have room to pass safely.

Report hotspots and pinchpoints

If there is an area around your place of business that's making it difficult for people to stay safely distant from each other, you can report it to us using an online form.

Stay Local, Spend Local advertising campaign

BCP Council has partnered with the Daily Echo, the Bournemouth Town Centre BID and the Poole BID to offer thousands of pounds of free advertising to local businesses.

Opportunities include 10-day print packages in Classified, and inclusion in a permanent online directory of local businesses.

You can apply for advertising in the Daily Echo at the bottom of their Stay Local, Spend Local news story.

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