Coronavirus: Resources for businesses to operate safely
The resources and information on this page are designed to help local businesses to reopen safely to the public by introducing strict social distancing measures.
High Street Recovery Packs
Produced in partnership with local task forces and businesses, we have produced pack of resources and information to help retail businesses reopen safely to the public.
Posters to download and print
Vulnerable person poster
Residents who need to self-isolate and have no one to help them with their shopping can contact their local community hub volunteers who can help.
Opening guidelines poster
Tell your customers when you are open and any distancing guidelines that are in place.
Tell your customers when you are open, any guidelines you have in place, and whether you are offering takeaway
Tell your customers when you are open, any guidelines you have in place, and how to book appointments
Tourism and leisure poster
Tell your visitors when you are open, any social distancing measures you have in place, and how visitors can book tickets.
Health and Safety Executive poster
Demonstrate your compliance with health and safety guidelines using this Health and Safety Executive (HSE) poster.
Maintaining social distancing in your shop
The advice below is to help retail business owners re-open their stores in a way that is safe for staff and customers.
- Define the number of customers that can reasonably follow social distancing within the store and any outdoor selling areas. Take into account total floorspace as well as likely pinch points and busy areas.
- Limit the number of customers in the store, overall and in any particular congestion areas, for example doorways between outside and inside spaces.
Advice to give your customers
- Encourage customers to shop alone where possible, unless they need specific assistance.
- Remind customers who are accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times and should follow social distancing guidelines.
- Encourage customers to use hand sanitiser as they enter and discourage handling products whilst browsing, if at all possible.
Making changes to your store layout
- Look at how people walk through the shop and how you could adjust this to reduce congestion and contact, for example, queue management or one-way flow.
- Use outside premises for queuing where available and safe.
- Ensure any changes take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including disabled shoppers.
- Manage outside queues to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals or other businesses, for example by introducing queuing systems, using barriers and having staff direct customers.
Making changes to your services
- Suspend or reduce customer services that cannot be undertaken without contravening social distancing guidelines. This may include re-thinking how assistance is provided, for example, using fixed pairs of colleagues to lift heavy objects rather than a single colleague lifting with a customer.
Complete your risk assessment – you will need this to display your COVID-19 Safe Poster
Make the most of your window display
With shorter or different opening hours and customers queuing in front of them, now is the time for many businesses to rethink how their window displays can work even harder to increase sales. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Make your window attractive and interesting – your customers have time to explore with their eyes while they are waiting.
- Make sure your shopfront is clean and glass crystal clear.
- Make a plan and rotate your display regularly to maintain ongoing interest.
- If you are proud of your display/s shout about it – photograph them and post on social media.
- Use your window for competitions to make visitors look harder at what you have got – Find something ‘hidden’, answer a question – related to what you sell.
- Most customers will be need-driven – they will know what they want before they come in – especially if they have to queue first and maybe conscious of time. So, think about what else you sell that a customer might add to their main reason for shopping with you? Load your window, where they may be waiting inside, and till area, all with quality impulse buys to build your average sale.
- Do you offer click and collect (if no, why not?) or home delivery options? Well tell customers clearly in the window along with how they can find you online – don’t lose the sale if they come to buy and find you shut or too busy for them to wait! Make yourself ‘convenient’ to buy from and exciting when they shop in person!
- Light your windows well – This is just as important in the daytime as night time – you have got to shout through those window reflections!
Re-opening advice for food and drink businesses with customer seating
The advice below is to help food and drink businesses with customer seating re-open in a way that is safe for staff and customers.
- Draw a plan of the seating area, arrange tables to ensure that social distancing can be maintained and create a one-way system for customers and staff.
- Arrange pre-bookings only with allocated times to prevent queuing outside. If customers arrive early ensure that they form an orderly queue with social distancing.
- Patrons seated at tables must be from the same household/social bubble.
- Offer hand sanitiser on entry to the premises.
- Do not place condiments, cutlery or menus on the table. Work out a safe system for handling these items.
- Waiting service only. Ask customers to order from the bar (one at a time) ensuring staff are protected by a Perspex screen. Use contactless payments where possible.
- Ensure that tables, seating etc. are robustly cleaned and disinfected in between customers.
- Consider the toilet facilities. Calculate numbers of toilets to ensure you have adequate facilities to maintain effective social distancing. Ensure you have sufficient hand washing facilities. Cover mirrors in toilets to discourage loitering. Provide antibacterial hand gels at the entrance and disinfectant wipes to allow customers to clean facilities before use.
- Design a safe queueing system for the WC with markings to ensure social distancing. Ensure that queues are managed to avoid obstructions and queues do not encroach into customer seating areas.
- Ensure staff are trained and familiar with new practices installed. They are aware of traffic routes, one way systems etc. Update your risk assessment, initially daily, to fine tune best practice for your business.
Top tips for hairdressing salons
- Draw a plan of the salon to organise distancing of workstations, use floor markings, and introduce one-way flow at entry and exit points. Display signage to remind both staff and clients to follow social distancing.
- Ensure regular effective cleaning and disinfection of each workstation between clients. Pay special attention to hand contact areas.
- Workstations should be assigned to one individual member of staff, or by the smallest possible number with effective cleaning and disinfection before handover.
- Try to increase the numbers of handwashing stations and provide hand sanitising stations for both staff and clients.
- Organise appointment timings to prevent clients congregating in waiting areas. Ask them to pay by card.
- When confirming bookings ensure clients know what is expected of them before they come for their appointment. Some clients may want to wear a face covering, reassure them that you are happy for them to do this.
- When clients arrive, check that clients do not have COVID symptoms.
- Take every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing of 2m apart wherever practicable. Where this is not possible take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission ie. provide screens, increase the frequency of hand washing, regular surface and equipment cleaning, ask staff to wear cloth face coverings, etc.
- Stagger arrival and departure times for staff to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace.
- Check the official guidance on the GOV.UK website daily. Due to the nature of the virus official guidance is liable to change at regular frequency.
Top tips for the leisure industry
This advice is for businesses that provide an attraction or non-essential service for the public in the leisure industry.
- It is vitally important you consistently observe the effect of your safety measures and complete a COVID-19 risk assessment. Consult with your staff and representatives: involving them will help the effectiveness of your decisions. Places like museums, venues and activity centres will all have unique surroundings and will require very individual non-generic assessment.
- Think about everyone at risk: staff, volunteers, contractors, and personal visitors not just the public. How might the risk vary from person to person?
- Define the number of customers who can socially distance from each other. Look for pinch points or congested areas, map out routes and one-way systems and try to arrange for any queuing to be outside, use barriers or staff to direct.
- Ventilation will help to reduce the risk, so doors and windows can be propped open if they do not cause an environmental issue, safety, fire or security risk. You will need to consider and maintain your fire safety and other arrangements especially if you have reduced staff. There may be a possibility your toilet provision is no longer adequate and needs additional units.
- Adjust service to minimise staff contact. Where possible, indoor table service must be used alongside other measures like dedicated staff to particular tables.
- Catering for your premises, whether front house or behind the scenes, requires the same evaluation: contact our Environmental Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org if catering advice is needed.
- Consider the security implications of any changes you intend to make.
- Prevent close contact activities like dancing, or people needing to shout or raise their voice.
- Remove shared items like leaflets, guides and magazines.
- Discourage touching surfaces, except in some instances such as stair handrails where they are essential for safety reasons. Spaces normally accessed by steep, narrow or uneven stairs, where people are heavily dependent on rails, must be kept clean on a regular basis and have hand sanitiser at the top and bottom.
- Temporary marking of the ground with suitable tape, stickers, or reversible paint, stencils or signs may be helpful at certain pinch-points. If different visitor routes are being considered, it is important that these are accessible to as many people as possible. Where, for example, such temporary routes are not accessible to people using wheelchairs, every effort must be made to find a practical alternative. Using different entrance and exit doors may be possible in some cases e.g. in places of worship. Sites with less outdoor space should consider pre-booking access or visiting slots limiting time on site.
Below is a list of PPE suppliers to consider using.
- Lello Home (range of products)
- Safety Signs 4 Less (range of products)
- Zoom Display (products for retail safety)
- ARCO (high-vis vests)
- UK Safety Store (range of products)
- Fantasy Prints (signage)
- Positive Images (signage and stands)
- IS Group (signage)
- EFS (portable flooring)
- LED Sky ceilings
- Place Experts
Masks are also available from Boots and Marks & Spencer in Swan Walk Shopping Centre.
Further guidance and partners
- To speak to someone from the Economic Development Team at HDC about any aspect of re-opening, please contact us on email@example.com and we will be in touch.
- For specific advice on health and safety contact the Council’s Environmental Health Team on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Small Business Saturday
- Federation of Small Businesses
- Horsham BID