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:

Frequently asked questions and answers

Greater Manchester Regulatory Centre of Excellence have put together a set of questions and answers for businesses.

pdf icon Frequently asked questions and answers for businesses [674kb]

Guidance on how to stay safe and prevent the spread

Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, but Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer. If your staff do 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.

You are recommended to remain cautious and to follow guidance, including:

  • wear a face covering in crowded areas such as public transport
  • being outside or letting fresh air in
  • minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts
  • wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

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.

Working safely during coronavirus guidance on

Full detailed guidance, including guidance on PPE and use of masks, has been released for the following workplaces.

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


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.

More guidance on Legionella

Reporting of Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences 2013 (RIDDOR)

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.

Pricing and sales

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.  

Pest control

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.

Financial help

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.

Testing for coronavirus

Tests for coronavirus can be requested at a local drive-through test site in the Borough of Bury or at a regional testing unit.  

Licensed premises advice and guidance

Information for licence holders to assist with the planned reopening of your business.

More information for businesses