COVID-19 - guidance for businesses re-opening

Last updated: 10 July 2020 at 1.45pm

The Government is gradually easing the COVID-19 restrictions and allowing various businesses to re-open in a controlled way. To help support you it has issued guidance on how you can work safely and keep both your customers and staff safe. It is important that you read and implement the guidance that has been produced for your business sector.

Please visit the GOV UK website for advice on how you can re-open your business safely.

Employers who are re-opening their business have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and everyone needs to consider the safety of other people who may visit their premises.

You will be expected to comply with this guidance and enforcement officers may carry out spot checks to ensure compliance, especially if complaints are received from staff and or the general public about your business. If you do not carry out a risk assessment and implement guidance designed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your business, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council can issue an enforcement notice.

It is critical that businesses take a range of measures to keep everyone safe. These documents help you understand how to work safely and keep your customers safe during this pandemic, ensuring as many people as possible comply with social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable, is acceptable). They are designed to give you freedom within a practical framework to think about what you need to do to continue, or restart, operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government has been clear that the public must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to keep coronavirus under control. The Government will keep all measures under constant review and will not hesitate to apply the handbrake, or reverse measures, should the virus begin to run out of control.

If you are not clear about whether your business can re-open yet please check the Government Advice by visiting the GOV UK website.

Licensed premises

It is not 'business as usual' for the licensed trade but the Licensing team remains operational with reduced staff to assist customers in navigating the current period as effectively as possible.

For information and advice for premises licensed under the Licensing Act 2003 please visit the alcohol licensing section of our website.

Our Licensing team is maintaining services in balance of supporting local businesses whilst promoting the licensing objectives.

Hot and cold water systems

When buildings re-open after lockdown, it is essential that water systems such as taps, WCs and showers are not put back into use without considering the risks of Legionnaires' disease. There is an increased risk of waterborne pathogens such as Legionella bacteria being present as a consequence of the conditions that lockdown may have created.

Please visit the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health website for guidance on how to manage water systems and recommission them after a period of disuse.

Further advice for food businesses

For those re-opening food businesses after a period of closure the Food Standards Agency has provided some practical advice to identify what you need to do to restart operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the hygiene processes and requirements you must follow to safely operate your food business.

Please visit the Food Standards Agency website to view the reopening checklist for food businesses during COVID-19.

For clarification of which businesses can re-open from 4 July, please visit the GOV UK website.

Health and safety advice

For general advice on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, including advice on how to carry out risk assessments, how to protect home workers, PPE and social distancing in the workplace and general workplace cleaning and hygiene please visit the Health and Safety Executive website.

Further general advice and guidance, including how to get financial support can be found on our home page.

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