Advice to businesses preparing to reopen
The coronavirus pandemic caused many businesses to close but as plans for recovery are being made, businesses are looking to take steps to prepare for reopening. We understand that there is a lot to consider to ensure you, your staff and customers return to a safe environment. We have put together advice and useful links to help you with your planned opening.
Quick links to more information:
- Guidance on social distancing
- Working safely during coronavirus guidance on gov.uk
- Reporting of Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences 2013 (RIDDOR)
- Pricing and sales
- Pest control
- Financial help
- Testing for coronavirus
- Licensed premises: Advice and guidance
- More information for businesses
- Downloads: Risk assessment template, social distancing checklist and cleaning schedule
Frequently asked questions and answers
Greater Manchester Regulatory Centre of Excellence have put together a set of questions and answers for businesses.
You should be encouraging your staff to work from home whenever possible. But if your staff do have to return to the workplace, the Health & Safety at Work Act places a requirement on all employers to take steps to safeguard employees, members of the public and themselves. To fulfil this duty in addressing the risk from the coronavirus, all companies must review their risk assessments and put in place measures to ensure social distancing is implemented.
- Read the Health and Safety Executive guidance on how to carry out a risk assessment.
- The following documents are available to download at the end of this page.
- COVID-19 risk assessment template.
- Social distancing checklist and cleaning schedule template.
Social distancing is achieved by maintaining a distance of two metres between everybody. You should also follow strict hygiene measures, including frequent handwashing with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Full detailed guidance, including guidance on PPE and use of masks, has been released for the following workplaces.
- Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace
- Working safely guidance on gov.uk
- Close contact services - working safely guidance on gov.uk
- Construction and other outdoor work - working safely guidance on gov.uk
- Factories, plants and warehouses - working safely guidance on gov.uk
- Heritage locations
- Hotels and other guest accommodations - working safely guidance on gov.uk
- Labs and research facilities - working safely guidance on gov.uk
- Offices and contact centres - working safely guidance on gov.uk
- Other people's homes - working safely guidance on gov.uk
- Performing arts
- Providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities
- Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services - working safely guidance on gov.uk
- Shops and branches - working safely guidance on gov.uk
- Vehicles - working safely guidance on gov.uk
- The visitor economy - working safely guidance on gov.uk
If your business covers a range of these workplaces, you must read all the relevant guidance. If you require further advice you can contact our Customer Contact Team.
- Phone: 0161 253 5353
You may wish to carry out a general clean before reopening. If you are a food business you are required to undertake a deeper clean. See the link above to the working safely guidance to restaurants offering takeaway or delivery.
All businesses will also need to consider additional cleaning measures to reduce the spread of the disease. This is outlined in the workplace guidance and additional cleaning measures if somebody that has tested positive for coronavirus has been on your premises.
More guidance on how to clean effectively
- Read gov.uk guidance on cleaning of non-healthcare settings
- Read Food Standards Agency guidance on cleaning effectively in your business
Stagnant water systems can support the growth of legionella, these can then be released in an aerosol spray which can result in respiratory infection if inhaled. To avoid this the water system should have been flushed on a weekly basis. If this is not the case and your premises has been closed for more than one month, the following measures are recommended.
- Flush out the system. Read ESGLI guidance to understand how to do this without risk of infection
- Disinfect to 50ppm of free chlorine or equivalent biocide.
- Run water heated to 60C through the whole water system.
- Carry out a risk assessment.
More guidance on Legionella
- Read Charter Institute of Environmental Health guidance - Legionnaires' disease: lockdown risks and reopening safely
- Read Health and Safety Executive's information on Legionella risks during the coronavirus outbreak
There has always been a requirement to report accidents and dangerous occurrences in the workplace. Recently there has been a change in the RIDDOR legislation and coronavirus is now reportable if there is a possibility of exposure at work.
You should ensure that all goods are clearly marked with a price so that customers are not misled. Any price increase for in demand products should be able to be justified.
Any description applied to goods must be accurate and not misleading and any goods sold must be of satisfactory quality as per consumer rights.
You should check your stock is genuine and sourced from legitimate suppliers. There has been an increase in counterfeit items on the market, particularly in relation to personal protective equipment for example face masks and hand sanitiser which may not provide the protection that is legally required and that customers expect.
You should be mindful that any sale advertised may cause an increase in customer interest and therefore social distancing and a safe queuing system will need to be considered. Furthermore, items cannot be put on sale at a lower price unless they have been on sale at the higher price for 28 days in the last six months.
You should check your premises for any evidence of pests. If you find any evidence of pests this should be cleaned away immediately, the area sanitised and reported to your pest contractor. Just because there was no pest activity previously, do not assume that there has been none over the closure period. It is advisable to arrange a visit from your pest control company as soon as possible prior to re-opening.
If your business has been adversely affected by the current pandemic, you may be eligible for government support. The government has introduced a range of packages of help.
Tests for coronavirus can be requested at a local drive-through test site in the Borough of Bury or at a regional testing unit.
Information for licence holders to assist with the planned reopening of your business.
- Licensed premises: Pre-opening checklist, guidance and FAQs [138kb]
- Advice on complying with Fire Safety regulations from GM Fire and Rescue Service [109kb]
- Find out how to apply for a street cafe licence if you want to place tables and chairs on the street outside your business premises.
- Read gov.uk Alcohol licensing guidance on new temporary off-sales permissions
- Get specialist advice and support from the Bury Means Business Team
- Read Food Standards Agency advice on adapting your food business during coronavirus