Business advice during coronavirus

In this section

  1. Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020
  2. Businesses now operating as a takeaway

Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020

This guidance relates to consumer facing businesses who have either been ordered to close, or who may continue to trade with certain restrictions in place.  The restrictions which came into force on the 21st March 2020 reflect the need to minimize unnecessary social contact, whilst allowing for the continued provision of food and other essential items to consumers. 

All non-essential shops must now close until further notice, those limited few that can remain open include food shops and pharmacies.  Detailed guidance on premise closures can be found here: 

Advice and guidance

What food activities you are now able to provide will depend on the type of business you are.  The following businesses are now required not to sell food or drink for consumption on the premises:

  • Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members clubs.
  • Cafes, including workplace canteens, but not including—
    • cafes or canteens at a hospital, care home or school;
    • prison and military canteens;
    • services providing food or drink to the homeless.
  • Bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs.

Takeaway and delivery facilities should remain open and operational. This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers. Planning regulation will be changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so.  Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their license does not already permit.

If your business falls under any category which can remain open, you must ensure you maintain good hygiene practices and ensure you are able to manage social distancing within your premise.  These measures should include:

  • Encouraging customers to order online line and collect at a specified time only to reduce the likelihood of customer build up within your premise.  Remembering you must ask each online and telephone customer if they have an allergies
  • Encourage customer to pay using contactless devices or over the phone prior to collection to reduce your money handling.
  • Keep all doors accessed by customer open to limit hand contact on doors and handles.
  • At premises where there is seating, customers will not be allowed you use the seating and so these areas must be closed off to prevent use.  You may wish to do this with some form of barrier or with notices to customers clearly displayed, by simply removing the chairs or by stacking them on your tables.   
  • You should mark a perimeter on your floor to ensure both you and you staff can maintain social distancing from customers and so that customers know where to stand to maintain that same distance form each other.