Coronavirus guidance for businesses

Page updated: 7 January 2021

National Lockdown latest government guidance

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)(All Tiers)(England) Regulations 2020 (as amended).

Covid 19 cases are rising rapidly in the whole of the UK and as you will be aware we have entered a new National Lockdown.

The key message to control the spread of Coronavirus is to ‘Stay at Home’.  Employers should make arrangements for employees to work at home wherever possible.

There are new restrictions for businesses. Unless you are an essential retailer such as a; food shop, supermarket, pharmacy, building merchant, petrol station, vehicle repair/MOT garage, taxi business, bank, medical and dental service, or veterinary surgery you must close.

Businesses and venues which must close includes the following:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, car washes (except for automatic ones), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, and mobile phone shops. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non- alcoholic drink for takeaway (between 5am and 11pm).  Between 11pm and 5am food and drink can be provided via pre ordered click-and-collect (the person collecting the items must not enter the premises), drive-through or delivery.   Alcohol may only be provided via delivery services and the business must have the appropriate licence.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where they cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes.
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as indoor and outdoor leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, fitness and dance studios, sports courts/grounds.
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, soft play centres and areas.
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes.

Full guidance on the new restrictions is available via the following link: lockdown-stay-at-home-guidance

The Government has announced additional support measures for businesses, more information on the support and how to apply for it can be found on our Slough Borough Council website here .

Local Authorities now have enhanced powers to issue Restriction Notices and Fixed Penalty Notices (on the spot fines) for various breaches of the legislation and so please be aware that both Council Officers and Covid Marshalls are making regular spot checks of businesses to check compliance.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact

There are a number of key steps to working safely during coronavirus

  1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment. Share it with all your staff. And make sure that you put in place all of the controls that you identify in your assessment. There is guidance on how to work safely available to help you work out what controls are needed for your type of business. The HSE also has webpages with information on how to do a risk-assessment. Make sure you consult with your staff when preparing your assessment and share the final version with them
  2. Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot by different people (e.g. taps and door handles). Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently.
  3. Ask your customers to wear face coverings in any indoor space or where required to do so by law. That is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions do apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own. Certain staff will need to wear face coverings too (see below for details). You must provide posters in prominent places or do something else to remind customers or them of the legal requirement to wear face coverings when in your business.
  4. Make sure everyone is social distancing. Social distancing means keeping 2m apart wherever possible from people not in your household. Make it easy for everyone to do so by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that your staff/customers can follow.
  5. Increase ventilation by keeping doors and windows open where possible and running ventilation systems at all times.
  6. Take part in NHS Test and Trace by providing a NHS QR code and keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days.Some exemptions apply. Maintain records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace for details.
  7. Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member (or someone in their household) or a customer has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should be isolating.

More here: Business leaflet Oct 2020 (PDF). This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Please go to our accessibility statement for more information.

Food business advice 

Visit the FSA website for more infomation for food businesses on food safety during COVID-19

Retail businesses and face coverings

All staff with a customer facing role will (unless they are specifically exempt) need to wear suitable face coverings. The face covering should be close fitting around the nose and mouth. If there is a screen between the staff member and the customer a face covering is not required.