Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business Advice
The following information has been developed by our Public Health and Regulation department to support local businesses (food and non-food) to operate safely during coronavirus (COVID-19). It covers food safety, health and safety and infection control, with links to the latest guidance from the government:
Following the government’s announcement on Sunday 10th May 2020 of a gradual easing of the measures that were put in place to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), new guidance has been produced for businesses. This guidance is for businesses that have continued to operate throughout the period of lockdown as well as those that are intending to restart their operations.
The guidance is divided into eight industry sectors. Each guide provides sector-specific information. This includes information conducting risk assessments and implementing social distancing measures in the workplace.
If your business operates more than one type of workplace (eg an office, a factory and a fleet of vehicles) you will need to read all of the guides that are relevant to you:
- Restaurants that offer takeaway and/or delivery - on the GOV.UK website
- Offices and contact centres - on the GOV.UK website
- Shops, stores and branches - on the GOV.UK website
- Factories, plants and warehouses - on the GOV.UK website
- Construction and other outdoor work - on the GOV.UK website
- Vehicles - if you work in a vehicle or use a vehicle for work purposes - on the GOV.UK website
- Laboratory and research facilities - on the GOV.UK website
- Other people's homes - if you work in other peoples homes, visiting someone at home whilst at work or delivering items to someone's home - on the GOV.UK website
The government has has produced practical actions for businesses to take based on 5 main steps. Each guide has specific actions for businesses to take based on these steps. Further guidance will be added as more businesses are able to reopen:
Specific guidance has been developed for care homes, with information about how to work safely during coronavirus (COVID-19):
The government has also launched an online portal for care homes to arrange delivery of Covid-19 test kits. All care home staff and residents are now eligible for testing with priority for those in homes that look after the over-65s:
- Government launches new portal for care homes to arrange coronavirus testing - on the GOV.UK website
See also: Legionella advice (below)
Reopening and adapting your food business during COVID-19
This guidance is for food businesses planning to reopen and operate during coronavirus (COVID-19). It contains information on hygiene and food safety requirements for employers, employees and the self-employed working in the food sector about how to operate safely:
Please also refer to this guidance for food businesses from the Food Standards Agency about allergen management:
Food banks and community provision guidance for food banks, charities and volunteer organisations dealing with food
This guidance provides food safety information and guidance for individuals or groups wishing to prepare meals at home for their community. This can include preparing or donating meals for:
- those in self-isolation due to coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
- vulnerable groups who are being shielded
- community groups and local organisations
- NHS staff
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)
The CIEH have produced a range of resources relating to coronavirus (COVID‑19):
Drainage and cleaning advice for food businesses
Southern Water has produced some useful guidance for food businesses about how to clean and maintain kitchen equipment during a period of closure, and what you need to think about and do before you re-open:
To help you assess your ability to implement measures to ensure employee and public safety during this pandemic, the following checklists for businesses are available. If you are unable to implement the measures required to reduce the risk of transmission, you will need to consider closing your businesses:
Checklist for food businesses:
Checklist for all businesses:
If you would like help with completing these checklists, please get in touch with the Public Health and Regulation department. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01903 221064.
As a result of businesses having to close and water systems being shut down during coronavirus (COVID-19), there is an increased risk of Legionella bacteria being present when the water system is switched back on. Businesses that could be affected include hotels, B&Bs, leisure centres, gyms, clubs, spas and hairdressers.
Covid-19 could also increase the risk of waterborne infections, including Legionnaires’ disease, in nursing and care homes.
These guides set out the requirements for Legionella control to avoid the potential for Legionnaires’ disease:
- Legionnaires'disease: lockdown risks and reopening safely (PDF on the CIEH Chartered Institute of Environmental Health website)
Vehicle safety and social distancing
This guidance from the HSE sets out the latest advice for drivers for maintaining social distancing while loading and unloading during deliveries and collections:
- COVID-19: Advice to distribution centres and other sites on maintaining social distancing for drivers - on the HSE website
Adult social care workforce guide
This advice is for those working in adult social care on managing mental health. It provides advice on how you can manage your own mental health and how to take care of the wellbeing of staff at work during coronavirus (COVID-19):
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce - on the GOV.UK website
Educational and childcare settings
The government has outlined plans for the wider opening of education and childcare settings from 1st June. This guidance provides further information about the plans, and what educational and childcare settings need to do to prepare. It can be read in conjunction with the updated guidance and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) for staff, parents and carers, pupils and students:
- Actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1st June 2020 - on the GOV.UK website
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for schools and other educational settings - on the GOV.UK website
This latest guidance from the government sets out 11 principles for staying safe when outside of your home. It applies to everyone, including customers, visitors, employees or employers:
If you need extra support or have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Public Health and Regulation.
You can send us an email at: email@example.com
You can also give us a ring on telephone number 01903 221064.