Reopening businesses toolkit

Re-opening and working Safely

Welcome to the South Cambridgeshire District Council re-opening and working safely page. Here you will find general information such as checklists and FAQ's for all businesses, you can also find sector specific up to date government guidance and sector specific re-opening checklists. You will also be able to see links to other useful information along with information regarding financial help and other guidance you might want to read up on.


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Employee safety 


Have you completed a COVID-19 risk assessment?


Businesses and workplaces should encourage their employees to work at home. Where staff are required to be at work 2 metre social distancing guidance needs be adhered to.  

You must assess the steps needed to reduce the risk of transmission between staff and any customers who may be in the premises. You must put these steps in place. 


To protect your staff, you should remind colleagues daily to only come into work if they are well and no one in their household is self-isolating. 


Identify employees who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19).  


Specific individuals who are at severe risk are to be ‘shielded’ and will have received a medical letter informing them to isolate themselves.  It is important that these employees stay at home. 


Try to maintain dedicated work teams (cohorting) and keep the number of members as small as possible. 


Provide handwashing stations with soap, water and a hygienic means to dry hands encourage staff to use them. All staff to wash their hands regularly using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly after blowing their nose, sneezing or coughing, before/after using shared equipment and prior to eating. Anyone with a persistent cough should not be at work. 


Communicate with staff on a regular basis to remind them to follow social distancing advice and wash their hands regularly. 


Where possible use digital and remote transfers of material rather than paper format, such as using e-forms, emails and e-banking. 


Allocate work spaces to employees that are at least 2 meters apart, these can be marked out with tape. Equipment and fittings could be re-arranged to accommodate social distancing. 


Where it is not possible to remain 2 meters apart, staff should work side by side or facing away from each other, rather than face to face.   


Increase the ventilation within the premises by opening doors and windows. 


Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection. Attention to be given to shared equipment  

Check that you are using sanitisers that comply with BS EN 1276 and that staff are adhering to the correct contact time and dilution rates. 


Have staff been trained Contact tracing data collections  

Digital and non-digital  


Public safety 


Introduce telephone, email and internet ordering to limit public access to the premises.  


Provide a delivery service to the public to limit access to the premises. 


If a click and collect service is offered, provide a designated collection time. 


Display a sign/poster at the entrance to remind customers not to enter the premises if they have symptoms. 


Provide sanitiser with an alcohol content of at least 60% for customers/staff to clean the basket/trolley handle and to sanitise hands. 


Where the public access the premises introduce control measures to implement the 2 meter social distancing 

  • Limit the number of people in the shop and control entry so that the premises do not become overcrowded. 

  • Maintain queue control outside of shops and other essential premises so that the 2metre rule is observed by those waiting in the queue – customers must not be allowed to congregate or loiter. 

  • Use signage and floor markings to direct people around the premises and maintaining a 2 meter distance. 

  • Create a ‘one way’ system, by closing off aisles and using signage to direct customers to move in the same continuous direction. 

  • Close the premises if it becomes too busy. 

  • Staff may need to act as stewards to advise customers on social distancing.  


Customers should not be directly in front of the till operator. Options to control risk include: 

Provide a ‘sneeze screen’ barrier to protect both customers and the till operative. 

Alternatively, create an exclusion zone around the till area with a customer notice ‘Please stand behind the line while being served’ 


Contactless payments are encouraged.  Place a sign at the till ‘Please use contactless payment if you are able to do so. Contactless payment is available for purchases up to £45’ 


Frequent cleaning and disinfection of shared customer touch points including hand held checkout devices, keypads at check out, fridge/freezer handles, escalator and staircase handrails, on site ATMs etc. 



Download a copy of the checklist  [PDF, 71Kb]

On Monday 8 March 2021, England entered a new system of ‘steps’ – with differing levels of business operation and restrictions at each step. For reopening systems in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland please refer to the relevant guidance. New guidance and regulations will be produced by the Government to explain these changes. This document is an interpretation of the information currently available as it pertains to hospitality, as we currently understand it. The regulations and guidance for the Step system can be found below: 

Road Map out of Lockdown 

Health Protection Steps - Legislation    

This FAQ will be kept under regular review. Please note not all the information is currently available and may be subject to change.  

STEP 2 – 12 April Hospitality Outdoor areas at hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including members’ clubs) can reopen, including for takeaway alcohol. Non-essential retail and leisure facilities can also re-open from this date. 

Venues may allow customers to use certain indoor facilities listed in the Q&A section below. 

At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seatedLegislation on table service, see part 15. If customers need to access any indoor areas, they will need to wear face coverings whilst indoors, but are restricted to the exclusive use of a single household/support bubble.  

Guidance for Bubbles   

Outdoor and indoor attractions that can re open  


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 Who is allowed to meet outdoors? 


A group of up to 6 from mixed households, or two households Guidance on outdoor meeting 


Do I need to make changes to my cleaning schedule?

Frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly including counters, tills, seating and tables is a must, these should be cleaned after every customer. Making sure there are adequate disposal arrangements for cleaning products.



What is the definition of “outdoor”, for the purposes of shelters/pods/igloos/marquees? 

The definition of an indoor area is as set out in the Smoking Ban regulations, Smoking Legislation  

Therefore, a marquee or any similar structure must not be wholly enclosed, or substantially enclosed to be ‘outdoors’. In practice this means it must not have sides (including doors, windows or other fittings that can be opened or shut) that enclose more than 50% of the shelter if you want to use it as an outdoor space. 

Will table service be required for food and drink consumed in outdoor areas of hospitality? 

Yes. At premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink and pay whilst seated. Customers need to remain seated outdoors whilst consuming food and drink.   

 Table service legislation, see part 15.  

Will my staff be expected to enforce the rules?  

Yes - You are required to take all reasonable steps to deny entry to any person that refuses to check in, break the rule of 6 or two households. 

Venues Requirement to Enforce Rules 

What will happen if fail to enforce “rule of 6 or 2 households”? 

Failure to take these steps could result in a £1000 penalty. This process is essential to support NHS Test and Trace and reduce the transmission of the coronavirus.  

Venues Requirement to Enforce Rules 

What are the test and Trace requirements? 

Test and Trace details must be taken for customers eating and drinking seated at the premises – this includes outdoor areas. 

Customers for takeaway only are exempt. 

  • one person can no longer be nominated as a party lead. 
  • Every person over 16 MUST sign in.  

NHS Test and Trace in the Workplace 

Do I need to keep customer records for contact tracing? 


Yes  and you need a non-digital option for persons that cannot use the digital option.  

Maintain Records for NHS Track and Trace   

Will a substantial meal have to be served as a condition of serving alcohol? 

No. Alcohol can be served and consumed outdoors without food. Table service will apply.  

Table service legislation, see part 15 

If I am not serving alcohol, for example in a coffee shop, can I allow customers into the premises to order and pay for food and non-alcoholic drink? 

Yes, Government has confirmed that takeaway alcohol can be provided from Step 2 Further guidelines are expected on the detail. However, our current interpretation is that you will need to differentiate between sales of alcohol that will genuinely be taken away from the premises, and alcohol that will be consumed in the outdoor area. If it is the latter, then the table service rules apply.  


Can I allow customers into the indoor elements of my venue? 

Yes, indoor toilets, baby changing rooms or breast-feeding rooms are allowed to be used by customers. It is our understanding that customers can pay indoors if they cannot pay outside. 

Can takeaway alcohol be served? 

Yes, Government has confirmed that takeaway alcohol can be provided from Step 2 Further guidelines are expected on the detail. However, our current interpretation is that you will need to differentiate between sales of alcohol that will genuinely be taken away from the premises, and alcohol that will be consumed in the outdoor area. If it is the latter, then the table service rules apply.  

Table service legislation, see part 15 


Do staff have to wear face coverings when serving in outside areas? 

No. Previous and current reading of the law has been that, for employees and customers, face coverings only apply to indoor areas of the premises. Practically of course, for example if staff have picked up a tray of drinks/food inside (where a covering is required) to deliver to an outdoor table (where a covering is not required) they will keep the covering on for practical reasons.  

Facemask Guidance  

Where do I get a fast-track pavement licence? 


MHCLG Minister Robert Jenrick MP recently (5 March). He has written to local authorities asking them to prioritise – Pavement License Application   

Leisure and other Businesses  


When can trampolining, climbing and indoor swimming pools reopen? 

This is in line with indoor gyms, leisure centres and sports courts. Unless a specific exemption exists, these must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage - as a single household or bubble indoors.  

Outdoor and indoor attractions that can re open 


Can outdoor guided tours take place from 29 March and if so, can these be for multiple groups of 6? 

Other outdoor activities such as themed  

walking trails will also be permitted, including guided walks consisting of either a single permitted group or multiple permitted groups that are kept separate throughout the tourThese types of activities are subject to the gathering limits set out in the Roadmap.  

Events and Gathering 


Business sector guidelines

Whilst South Cambridgeshire District Council aims to keep these business pages updated, the most current guidance for each business sector with regards to working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) can always be found on the Government website. Here are links to specific sectors guidance and FAQ's

Close contact services

Construction and other outdoor work

Factories, plants and warehouses

Heritage sites

Hotels and other guest accommodation

Labs and research facilities

Offices and contact centres

Other people's homes

Performing arts

Providers of grass roots sport and facilities

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

Shops and branches


The visitor economy 



Legionella Safety

If your building has been closed or had reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease. 

Detailed guidance on Legionella risks during the coronavirus pandemic is available on the HSE website.

Support for businesses 

If you are a small to medium sized business in South Cambridgeshire and would like support related to current restrictions or reopening your business, please contact the Reopening the High Streets team.

You can also find out more information on and find out your eligibility for the latest round of grants

Changes to NHS QR codes

There has recently been a change in the NHS QR code system that venues are required to use.

Other useful links:

Related Information

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