Coronavirus Business Guidance

National lockdown: Stay at Home guidance

Working from home
Working safely guidance
Government support
Non-essential retail premises
Outbreak Management Support for Businesses
Managing queues
Doing business online
Food businesses
Trading Standards
Environmental Health
Test and Trace

Working from home

Under national lockdown restrictions everyone who is able to carry out their work from home, should do so.

Working safely guidance

The government’s working safely guidance sets out practical steps for businesses in covering a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of the working safely guides as you think through what you need to do to keep employees and customers safe.

Once you have completed your Covid-19 risk assessment, you should sign and display a declaration notice at your premises to show that you have followed government guidance and have put processes in place to protect customers and staff. You do not need permission to re-open your business, however it must be one of the businesses exempt from the national lockdown.  If you are unclear on this, please contact

Government Support

The government’s website has a dedicated section where you can find advice for your business or if you are self-employed, and find out how to keep your business and employees safe.

GOV.UK Business Support

Watch videos and register for the free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of Coronavirus.

All non-essential retail premises must remain closed

Non essential retailers such as hair dressers, barbers, beauty salons and clothes shops must remain closed. 

Only essential retailers are allowed to open to the public. Essential retailers are premises such as food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and retailers providing essential goods and services such as vehicle service centres and accident repair workshops. Other essential businesses like banks, opticians and dentists can also stay open.

If you are unsure whether your business is allowed to open under the current restrictions, or you have questions on operating safely within the current guidance, please contact us by email in the first instance –

COVID Outbreak Management Support for Businesses

If your business is regarded as essential and as such, can continue to operate under the current restrictions in accordance with The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020, as amended (SI. 2020 No. 1374), you need to be aware of the potential risk of a COVID outbreak occurring in your business and/or workplace. Even with COVID precautions already in place, there is still the risk of an outbreak occurring amongst your staff.

Due to the high transmission rate of the new strain of COVID-19, as a business owner, employer or duty holder, it is good to know what to do if this was to occur and when to inform your local Environmental Health Team.

Download a document detailing the procedure you should follow.

Managing queues

For the safety of everyone in our towns and villages, businesses that can open are encouraged to actively manage the queues outside their premises and use signage in their shop front windows to:

1.    Make it clear where a queue begins and ends
2.    Ask customers to return later if the maximum queue length has been reached
3.    Keep queues close to the shop to avoid drifting into other pedestrians
4.    Ensure queues do not obstruct entrances to other buildings
5.    Make reasonable adjustments for shoppers with disabilities
6.    Work with nearby businesses to agree fair and safe queuing

If you need advice or would like some social distancing window stickers please email

Doing business online

There is government advice to do business online and understanding the rules of selling online, in addition to advice on growing your business and business trading internationally during coronavirus.

Food businesses

Food businesses must operate in line with national guidance - this means that you can only provide food for takeaway, delivery, drive through or click and collect. Businesses offering food delivery and takeaway services should follow guidance on keeping customers safe. Planning regulations have been changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not normally offer delivery and hot food takeaway options, the flexibility to be able to do so.

Alcohol can now only be delivered, it is no longer available for takeaway or click and collect.  This is in order to prevent people gathering and congregating leading to increased contact.

Businesses are required to tell the local planning authority when the new use begins and ends. Please email with the subject line 'Temporary change of use to a Take Away'.

Trading Standards

Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards have published a page of frequently asked questions covering issues such as contracts, consumer rights, work cancellations, charges, deliveries and social distancing.

The Trading Standards business advice service is open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.  You can phone them on 0300 1232329 or email


Event guidance including weddings, funerals an places of worship.

Environmental Health

If you require information or advice on matters concerning the safe operation of your business, you can email

Test and Trace

From 24 September 2020 it is a legal requirement for certain businesses to display an NHS COVID-19 app poster with the venue’s own QR code visible on entry to their premises.  This applies to the following businesses:

  • Hospitality – bars, restaurants, hotels, cafes
  • Tourism and Leisure – museums, galleries, gyms, leisure centres
  • Local authority buildings
  • Places of worship
  • Close contact services
  • Where an event is taking place in a physical location

Create a QR code and download a poster  

Further information and resources