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The UK Government’s COVID-19 guidance

The UK government has published the newly updated working safely guidance  to support businesses in England through Step 4 of the roadmap.

This guidance should be used to assist you with your risk assessment, and inform planning and business operations from Monday 19 July onwards.

From the beginning of Step 4 legal restrictions are lifted, all businesses can open and the government is no longer instructing people to work from home.

Businesses still have a legal duty to ensure that they manage health and safety risks. You must carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of Coronavirus, and take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks that you identify. 

Business advice

The government has guides which cover 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 these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. Further guidance will be published as more businesses are able to reopen.

In addition to the other specific business guidance already published, the Government has recently issued business guidance for Performing Arts, Close Contact Services, Hotels and Other Guest Accommodation, Heritage Locations and The Visitor Economy. There is also guidance for people who work in grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities.

The Government has developed a tool to help businesses in England to make their workplaces Covid-secure.

Advice for businesses who may be reopening

We have a dedicated ‘Reopening businesses toolkit’ webpage which provides businesses with practical advice regarding the reopening of businesses which have previously been required to close during the Coronavirus emergency period. 

Adapting food and other businesses

The Food Standards Agency has published guidance on reopening and adapting food businesses. This aims to provide a practical framework to identify what businesses need to do to continue, adapt, or restart operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes the hygiene processes and requirements that must be followed to safely operate a food business. The guidance is split into the following areas: farming and agriculture, food manufacturers, restaurants and takeaways.

Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing teams across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have worked together to provide some advice on the many compliance challenges businesses are facing in having to rapidly respond to Covid-19. They want businesses to feel confident in taking these major steps to diversify their business. Their advice ranges from what you need to consider when moving into food delivery or takeaway activities to how you can manage changing ingredients of your products due to supply chain issues.

Guidance for food businesses on coronavirus is available on the Government's website.

Staying alert and safe (social distancing) guidance

There is guidance on social distancing which includes information on businesses and venues and going to work.

Test and trace

From Friday 18 September 2020 it became mandatory for some types of business such as hospitality businesses, tourism, leisure and close contact services to collect contact details for Test and Trace purposes, should they be needed. 

A letter received from the director of Public Health England for Cambridgeshire County Council [PDF, 1MB] urges businesses to support the NHS Test and Trace programme and keep a record of anyone who visits your venues - customers, staff and visitors. Please keep this record for 21 days from the data of a person's visit, until further notice. 

Please download a QR code poster from featuring a unique QR code for your premises and display it in advance of the public rollout of the new app. Visitors will be able to check-in with the QR code when they arrive, making an easy and convenient way for your business to ensure legal compliance with Test and Trace and GDPR obligations. Find out how to set up a QR code for your business [PDF, 74Kb]

Workplace guidance on the NHS test and trace service for employers, businesses and workers has been published by Government.

Transport and travel

The Government's transport and travel hub brings together information for people using transport or working in the transport sector during the Coronavirus outbreak. This includes updated guidance for freight transport industry on travelling internationally, guidance for passengers on how to travel safely and safer transport guidance for operators. There are new rules on entering or returning to the UK.

Coronavirus: safer public places – urban centres and green spaces

Guidance has been issued for the owners and operators of urban centres and green spaces to help social distancing. This guidance applies in England only.

Personal Protective Equipment

government hub contains guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE), and infection prevention and control (IPC) including the cleaning of environments in the workplace and other non-healthcare settings. 

The Government has issued reminders that masks, gloves or other personal protective equipment (PPE) should not be put in the recycling. They cannot be recycled. Throw them in the bin instead. If you have Coronavirus symptoms or live with someone who does, you need to take extra precautions before throwing away your PPE.

There is guidance on the different regulations which apply to devices and equipment being used to help prevent Coronavirus, including hand gels and PPE.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has a range of guidance documents on manufacturing PPE.

Keeping businesses safe 

Guidance is available from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) for businesses on managing security risks during the pandemic. The CPNI has drawn together important security considerations for businesses in financial distress, including:

  • Returning to the workplace
  • Protective security and managing risks
  • Securing your people
  • Physical security and guarding

Coronavirus and mental health at work

Acas has released guidance and resources to help employers and employees cope in these challenging times. 

Sector guidance

The Government has issued guidance on home buying and selling including advice to the property industry and to social landlords.

There is also guidance on meeting the regulatory requirement to secure a valid Energy Performance Certificate on marketing a property during the Coronavirus outbreak.

There is guidance for the public, providers of outdoor sport facilities, elite athletes, personal trainers and coaches on the phased return of sport and recreation.

The Government has drawn together information for the adult social care sector on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

All the guidance and advice about coronavirus in educational settings for staff, parents and carers, pupils and students is available on the Government’s website.

The latest information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses has also been drawn together. Advice for seasonal agricultural workers coming to England to work on farms and their employers has been published

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has regularly updated guidance for industry, healthcare professionals and patients.

Additional industry guidance from Government includes:

The Government has also provided a list of Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations that you can speak to for advice. Sector specific guidance and Q&A are included on the websites of many of their websites, and many of them are happy to hear from non-members and members alike.

Protection from eviction

The Government has announced that commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will temporarily be protected from eviction until the end of September 2021.  

Other Government guidance

There is advice for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations about changes to apprenticeships due to coronavirus. 

The Government’s guidance for British people travelling overseas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been updated.

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