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Coronavirus (Covid-19) checklist for businesses

19 July 2021. Version 10.

From 19 July 2021 all businesses can open and many legal restrictions have been lifted. You should however proceed with caution, as infection control measures should be included within your health and safety risk assessments.

Businesses should still follow the government guidelines to limit the spread of coronavirus.

This checklist will help you to put in place measures in your workplace to keep both employees and customers safe.

Many businesses have been forced to close during this pandemic, and now that you are open, we want to ensure that you have a happy and healthy workforce in order to remain open.

Employee safety - in all settings

Employee safety measures
Measure Done

Businesses can now encourage employees to return to the workplace. This should be a gradual return.

Keeping social distancing measures in place could help to reduce the number of employees that need to self-isolate as a workplace contact. This could help you to stay open if you have a small workforce.

Where it is not possible to remain 2 metres apart, staff should work side by side or face away from each other, rather than face to face. Consider the use of physical screens or barriers.

Staff should also maintain social distancing whilst on breaks, in changing rooms etc.

Businesses must carry out a health and safety risk assessment. Within this you must identify and assess the risks and controls  needed to reduce the spread of Coronavirus between staff and members of the public. This checklist should help you do this. You must then put the controls in place in practice. Your risk assessment will need continually updating as new risks emerge or you find that controls are not working. If you have more than 5 employees the risk assessment must be written down. It is best practice to consult your workforce when carrying out your risk assessment as they are the best placed people to identify the risks. You must also have regard to those most vulnerable.  

To protect your staff, you should remind colleagues daily to only come into work if they are well, and have not been asked to self-isolate as a contact of a positive case.

No one with Coronavirus symptoms or a positive test should be allowed in to work.

Your work force should partake in lateral flow testing twice weekly to identify those who have Covid 19 but do not show symptoms. These can be ordered via the website, or from your local pharmacy. Blackpool Council’s public health team can provide you with a pack to get you started, by

There is a link at the end of this document that will identify the location of these testing sites. Lateral flow testing is a great control measure in ensuring that a-symptomatic people are not attending work and potentially infecting others.

If you test positive for a lateral flow test, you must book a confirmatory PCR test. You should report any positive test results and potential outbreaks to our Public Health Team via


Encourage your employees to get vaccinated against covid-19. As well as booking through the NHS, Blackpool Council currently have a vaccination van parked in various location around the town. You do not need an appointment, ID or an NHS number. Further information on how to get vaccinated can be found in the links at the end.

Identify employees who are at increased risk of severe illness from Coronavirus and you should include them in your risk assessment. This group includes those who are aged 70 or older and those with underlying health conditions. These individuals may require control measures such as social distancing to remain in place.  
At present, high risk people are no longer being asked to shield. However you must still consider their vulnerability when carrying out your risk assessment.  
Provide handwashing stations with soap, hot and cold running water, and hygienic drying facilities, and encourage staff to use them. All staff must wash their hands more often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly after blowing their nose, sneezing or coughing, and before/after using shared equipment and prior to eating. Where facilities to wash hands are not available, hand sanitisers may be used (eg. for a delivery driver).  
Workers should cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue in a bin and immediately wash their hands. Anyone with a persistent cough should not be at work and must be tested for coronavirus.  
Provide suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) where necessary. Face coverings must be worn by retail, leisure and hospitality staff working in areas that are open to the public and where they’re likely to come into contact with a member of the public. You should consider continuing to wear a face covering, particularly in indoor busy areas. Ensure that face coverings and visors are used correctly and changed safely with clean hands.  
Communicate with staff on a regular basis to remind them to follow social distancing guidelines and reinforce with signage. Training should be provided on what is expected of employees, and for them to understand the new risks and control measures – carry out spot checks.  
Where possible use digital and remote transfers of material rather than physical format, such as using e-forms, emails and e-banking  
Allocate work spaces that are 2 metres apart from other employees (1 metre+ with additional controls), these can be marked out with tape, stickers or chalk. Equipment and fittings should be re-arranged to accommodate for social distancing.  
Where possible use digital and remote transfers of material rather than physical format, such as using e-forms, emails and e-banking.  
Allocate work spaces that are 2 metres apart from other employees (1 metre with additional controls), these can be marked out with tape or chalk. Equipment and fittings should be re-arranged to accommodate for social distancing.  

Where it is not possible to remain 2 metres apart, staff should work side by side or face away from each other, rather than face to face. Consider the use of physical screens or barriers.Please note that if social distancing cannot be achieved, you must consider if the activity needs to continue in order for the business to operate.


Try to maintain dedicated work teams, such as ‘buddy systems’, and keep the number of staff members working with each other as small as possible. ie the same 2 people always working together on each shift. This will help to reduce the number of staff that could be asked to self-isolate if someone in your business tested positive for coronavirus.


Consider training your staff in other areas of your business. This may help you to stay open should staff members have to self-isolate.


Increase the ventilation within the premises by opening doors and windows, and using mechanical extraction. Ensure mechanical ventilation is working properly. Good ventilation is key to the dispersal of coronavirus particles, and an important infection control measure.


Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection throughout the premises. Special attention should be given to shared equipment and hand contact surfaces including work surfaces, tables, chairs, switches, door handles, push plates on doors, toilets, hand towel dispensers, taps etc. Check that you are using sanitisers that comply with BS EN 14476, or claim to kill viruses, and ensure that staff are adhering to the correct contact time and dilution rates. A solution of 1:8 bleach and water kills the virus. You must ensure an adequate supply of cleaning materials are provided.

Good old fashioned elbow grease is more effective than fogging.


Avoid customers should not be directly in front of staff at counters/tills etc. Options to control risk include providing a physical ‘sneeze screen’ barrier to separate staff and customers and creating exclusion zones around such areas with a customer notice ‘Please stand behind the line whilst being served’


Keep a record of staff rotas and contact information in case it is needed for NHS Test and Trace services. This should be kept for 21 days.


Public safety - in all settings

Public safety measures
It is optional for members of the public to wear face covering in indoors areas, however this should still be encourage, particularly when busy. except when sat down at a table to eat or drink. This is now a legal requirement. Refer to the face coverings link for all exemptions. Signage asking people to wear face coverings may help to avoid difficult situations.  

You should encourage your customers to continue to scan the NHS QR code. Register for the updated NHS QR code to assist with the NHS Test and Trace service. You should also provide a method of recording information for those who do not have a smartphone. Information should be kept for 21 days and then securely discarded. It is also recommended that the arrival and departure times are recorded where possible. ALL customers aged 16 and over must leave this information.

This is now a legal requirement, and entry can be refused to those unwilling to provide this information. In hospitality settings, entry must be refused.

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  
Consider continuing to restrict the number of customers / visitors in to your premises to allow for social distancing. This may also help your customers who may still feel anxious in busy placesCalculate the maximum number of customers / visitors that can reasonably fit inside (and outside where applicable) your premises whilst following social distancing requirements   
Remind customers / visitors when making bookings / appointments not to visit the premises if they have any of the symptoms, and/or display a sign at the entrance asking them not to enter. Consider asking your customers screening questions upon or before arrival where possible. Customers also must not visit your premises if they have been asked to isolate as a contact by the national or local test and trace teams.    
Continue to provide sanitiser with an alcohol content of at least 60% for customers/staff to clean the basket/trolley handle and to sanitise hands.  

Infection controls may continue to include:

  • Make it to clear to your customers what your controls are and what is expected of them when visiting your premises. This could be via signage at the entrance of premises. Or for an appointment or booking, this could be via email / text / App prior to their arrival. 
  • Limit the number of customers, bookings or appointments, to control entry so that the premises does not become overcrowded. 
  • Control the queue outside of premises so that the 2metre rule is observed by those waiting in the queue – customers must not be allowed to congregate or loiter. Use tape or chalk to mark the pavement as to where your customers should wait. (tape to be maintained so as not to cause an environmental issue)
  • Use signage and floor markings to direct people around the premises once inside, and to Prevent congestion by managing pinch points
  • Create a ‘one way’ system where possible, 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 / pause serving new customers
  • Where possible allocate a member of staff to act as stewards to advise customers, including making nervous customers feel more comfortable on social distancing / direct customers around the premises
  • Continued use of screens and barriers 
  • Rearrange Indoor and outdoor seating to allow for adequate distancing 
Encourage contactless payments. 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, tables, back of chairs, arms rests, light switches, and on site ATMs etc. Consider removing gaming machines etc . This will also include children’s play areas and fitness equipment . Check that you are using sanitisers that comply with BS EN 14476, or claim to kill viruses, and ensure that staff are adhering to the correct contact time and dilution rates. A solution of 1:8 bleach and water is effective in killing the virus. You must ensure an adequate supply of cleaning materials is provided  
Encourage the use of hand sanitiser, or hand washing where possible  
Remind customers that they must supervision children  

What makes you a contact

What makes you a contact checklist
Direct contact - Face to face contact with a positive case for any length of time, within 1m, including being coughed on, a face to face conversation, unprotected physical contact (skin to skin) or travel in a small vehicle with a case. This includes exposure within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer.  
Proximity contact - Extended close contact (between 1 and 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) with a positive case.  

If you have a positive case within your work place, you will need to consider whether you and your employees fall into the above 2 categories. If the answer is yes, then you/they will have to self-isolate for 10 days from the last contact with the case. You do not have to get tested for coronavirus if you do not have any symptoms. Only get tested if you become symptomatic

Positive cases and workplace contacts could be the reason that your business has no option but to close, and why consideration to retaining controls measures should be made. 


At present, as of the 16 August 2021, those who have received both vaccinations will not be asked to self-isolate as a contact


Hospitality and entertainment – Restaurants, pubs, bars, takeaways, entertainment venues


Hospitality – Restaurants, Pubs, Bars, and Takeaways checklist

All hospitality settings such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants can now operate indoors. This will mean:

  • Maximum party of 6 people, or 2 households / bubbles. You must take all reasonable steps to ensure that this is adhered to. 
  • Infection control measures may continue to include:
  • Table service to reduce the number of customers gathering at the bar / order points / pay points  is required for premises that provide alcohol. This includes ordering, consuming, and paying for food and drink at the table. If you do not serve alcohol, you do not need to provide full table service, however you must takes reasonable steps to ensure your customers remain seated whilst eating and/or drinking
  • Premises serving alcohol must not offer a buffet-style service as customers must remain seated. If no alcohol is served, your customer can leave the table to be served by a member of staff at a food station
  • Reduce self-service of food, and use of shared condiments where possible
  • Traffic routes must be monitored and customers moved along where necessary.
  • Face coverings must be worn indoors when not sat at the table unless the customer is exempted.
  • Outdoor seating must be 50% open air. Structures with 4 or more sides are not acceptable.
  • Outdoor gatherings have been increased to 30 people, and you should take necessary steps to ensure that you are not facilitating gatherings with a greater number than what is permitted – ask for verbal confirmation upon arrival. Customers must still remain seated when at a premises that serves alcohol
  • You must ensure adequate space for social distancing. This also means allowing sufficient room for servers to safely pass through. 2 metres is still the preferred distance, however 1 metre + is acceptable with an additional control, ie physical screen or back to back. Any measurement should be from person to person (allowing manoeuvre room), not from the edge of the table/ chair tucked in – directly back to back (ie a booth) without a physical divide in between is not acceptable
  • If you are operating on a booking system, it is suggested that you stagger arrival times to prevent queuing and congestion. If queues do form, these must be sufficiently managed to avoid any risk to patrons, and consideration made to implement a queuing system
  • Music should be kept to a background level to avoid shouting, singing and people having to lean in to each other to talk
  • Ensure sure that provisions are in place to control any litter that could be produced from your premises if you are continuing to operate outdoors.
  • All licensing condition must still be adhered to, including noise from the premises and antisocial behaviour
  • External Speakers are not permitted after 9pm. Please be considerate of your neighbours AT ALL TIMES. Live music is not permitted as per your licensing conditions
Review your Food Safety Management System to identify any new risks that have been introduced due to Covid 19. This could include changes to production, workflow management, increased cleaning frequencies, staffing and customer interactions, changes in suppliers etc  
Carry out all of your usual required opening and closing checks each day  
Avoid the use of communal condiments such as sauces, sugar, salt and pepper, and the use of communal cutlery holders, as this increases the risk of hand contact transmission. You must either add the condiment for the customer or offer it in individual sachets, and provide cutlery when serving the meal   
Use a dishwasher (and glass wash where applicable) rather than hand washing items  
Check that all food which has been left in the business whilst it was closed is still safe and of good quality   
Use a dishwasher (and glass wash where applicable) rather than hand washing items   
Cloths and sponges should be changed daily    
Ensure staff know what controls they need to carry out to keep food safe – train new staff and provide refresher training to returning staff   
Minimise contact times between front of house and back of house employees   
Redesign kitchen to allow for social distancing of employees    
Only allow for two different households in one booking. Prevent large bookings   
Prevent customers congregating at the bar. Consideration of table service / use of App for ordering.    
Live performances can take place in front of a live audience, whilst adhering to social distancing and the relevant infection control measures. Audience participation / singing and shouting should be discouraged  
Control measures should be implemented around karaoke, such as being limited to solo singers, and sanitizing hands and the mic before and after use  
Increase the availability of waste facilities, with increased waste removal   

Hotel and other guest accommodation

Hotel and other guest accommodation checklist
 Measure Done

Overnight stays are permitted for 2 households, OR a group of 6. You are responsible for making these checks when bookings are made.

If you offer rooms for hire, please also note that the maximum number for a wedding reception, wake or commemorative event is 30 persons.  

Any events should follow covid secure guidance and be subject to capacity restrictions


Have a conversation with your guests prior to their arrival in the resort. Check that they are not symptomatic, not had a positive test within the last 10 days or that they should be self-isolating as a contact. Advise that a negative lateral low test is preferable before travelling. Ensure that they are aware of the legal limits around party size.

Have a plan in place that covers what you would do if there is a positive case at your accommodation. This will include their ability to stay and isolate at your premises, how will meals, laundry and self-care be managed to minimise further transmission. Guests can return home if they have private transport.This can be discussed with our public health teams if the situation arises  
Reception area considerations:
  • Measures to prevent overcrowding in reception area such as allocated check-in times, or a drop box for keys
  • Make employees accessible via phone/email/app to reduce face to face contact
  • Make the time in common areas as short as possible. This could be by providing your guests with certain information
    before they arrive at your premises – such as contact numbers, appliance instructions, and local information
  • Cleaning of keys/ key cards/ pens between guests
  • Avoid helping with luggage if possible – wash hands afterwards  
  • Face coverings to be worn indoors when not sat eating/ drinking 
  • Provide signage to help your guest to understand what is expected of them
  • Adapt a one way system through the premises where possible
Minimise the use of lifts and person permitted at one time. Regularly clean touch points    

Service of food:

  • Offer room service – knock and step back from the door, and either ask the guest to put the tray back outside of the door once
    finished, or remove from room upon guest departure.
  • Implement a booking system for dining  
  • Do not offer buffet-style dining
  • Communal kitchens can only be used where social distancing can be achieved
Use of ensuite rooms where possible. Shared bathrooms should be avoided or allocated to one household group. Shared shower facilities are permitted, but all steps much be taken to minimise household mixing – eg. Run a reservation and clean rota. Keep clear of personal items. Provide signage.  
Cleaning of rooms and common areas:
  • Implement a cleaning schedule inclusive of all hand contact surfaces to be cleaned on guest departure
  • Rooms should be well ventilated, especially whilst cleaning
  • Appropriate PPE to be provided such as gloves, aprons and face masks – to be changed between rooms and wash hands.
  • Bedding and towels to be removed gently so as not to disperse potential virus particles into the air
  • Increase time required to clean room
  • For longer stays – only clean room if guests are not present
  • Regularly disinfect common areas and touch points throughout the day 
Bar and dining areas can be used but must be compliant with social distancing, and with consideration to the measures outlined in the hospitality section above. This includes full table service if you provide alcohol. Food and drink is not to be consumed in communal areas such as lounges and leisure rooms  
Implement a policy to allow for the last minute cancellation or movement of a booking. This will prevent guests deciding to travel when knowing that they shouldn’t.  

Close contact services

Close contact service measures
 Measure Done
It is recommended that you ask your clients screening questions before you go ahead with the service. This would include asking if they have any Covid 19 symptoms, or if they have been asked to self-isolate.  
Maintain social distancing between your clients. You will need to calculate the maximum number of clients permitted  
As certain treatments mean that you have to get very close to your client, it is recommended that you continue to wear a face covering.  This will be in the form of a Type II face mask (medical face mask made up of a protective 3-ply construction that prevents large particles from reaching the client or work surfaces). It is also advised that you wear a visor in addition to a mask.   
Clients encouraged to wear face covering when waiting in communal areas, and when possible throughout their treatment are not on the clients face, face coverings should still be worn.  
Request that clients attend on their own, and arrive to their appointment on time, not early   
Operate an appointment only system   
Review working practices to reduce the time spent with the client    

Leisure and sports facilities

Leisure checklist
 Measure Done
Indoor leisure in permitted to reopen. This is for individual use or within household groups. Group exercise classes must not take place at this time.  
Changing facilities should be discouraged, but where open, must allow for social distancing with a maximum number of persons, should continue to have an increased cleaning programme   
Gym facilities / equipment should continue to have an increased cleaning programme   

Toilets - in all settings

Toilets check list

 Toilets may be used in premises, however this is a high risk area that would need to be identified in your risk assessment. Things to consider:

  • Size of toilet area / amount of toilets available
  • Amount of sinks available – can one be taken out of use to create wider gaps between users
  • Amount of urinals available – could any be removed/ taken out of use to create wider gaps between users
  • Use of one-use, disposable paper towels
  • Queueing systems in place and clear signage. Queue for toilet must not impact on other queues
  • Operate a 1 in 1 out system if necessary – consideration to a traffic light system
  • Increase in cleaning and disinfection of touch points such as taps and door handles
  • Increased checks to ensure sufficient supply soap and towels
  • Provision of hand sanitiser outside of the toilet
  • Installation of hands free activated toilet flush
  • Installation of hands free activated taps and soap dispenser
  • Provide signage to encourage customers to wash their hands properly and not to congregate in the toilet
  • Consider locking some of the cubicles to avoid too many people using the facilities at once and ask people to wait outside until one is free

Queuing - in all settings

Queuing check list
 Measure Done

 Managing your internal queue:

  • Calculate the internal capacity of your premises
  • Decide whether internal alterations are needed to accommodate the queue inside the business, removing any pinch points where possible and identifying any troublesome areas
  • Determine whether a one-way system would be beneficial in guiding customer movement around the business
  • Provide signage to aid customers in their movement around the business
  • Ensure that reasonable adjustments are made for those customers who have accessibility requirements
  • If your business large enough to accommodate a separate entrance and exit, then introduce this.
Managing your external queue:
  • Remove street clutter outside of your premises to keep the entrance clear. This includes A-Boards that could add to the congestion of the walkway
  • Identify the size and direction of the external queuing area and where necessary talk with neighbouring business/ properties to work together and reduce the likelihood of conflict
  • Work on the principle that the length of the queue should not exceed the frontage of the premises, unless your queue can be safely accommodated without blocking other rights of way
  • Ensure signage is visible and displayed in appropriate locations. This may include non-slip markers on the ground and signs in the window display. Provide signage at the end of the queue, indicating that customers should not join until there is space
  • Staff should be confident and proactive in ensuring effective queue flow, manage the capacity of the premises, and monitor customer behaviour
  • Always maintain a clear and visible emergency access/ exit
  • Dependant on the size of your business and the predicted footfall, consider the introduction of a Virtual Queuing System

Things to consider if your premises have been closed

Things to be considered if you have been closed measures
 Measure Done
Ensure the premises are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before recommencing trading  
Carry out pest control checks. Check for any ingress points that have appeared whilst the premises has been left closed, and look for evidence of pest activity within the premises. If evidence is found you must treat the problem accordingly and prevent a recurrence.  
Carry out an inspection of the outside of your premises. This will include external signage, lighting with electrical elements, and general maintenance. Safely remove any damaged or loose signage, and ensure that any required remedial action is carried out by a competent person.  
 Carry out a legionella risk assessment. If your business has been closed for many weeks your water system may be stagnated. This could lead to an increased risk of legionella. You must flush your systems through prior to trading. Cold water should be less than 20ºC and hot water to 60ºC and above. Further guidance can be found in the links below.  

Note: This guidance has been created with the best information available at this time. It will be reviewed and modified in accordance with emerging guidance from the government and other professional bodies.

Further information

Further information and guidance is available on the following websites:

HSE Coronavirus telephone advice line if you need help and advice on how to protect people from coronavirus in your workplace 0300 790 6787.

Alternatively, if you would like to contact our public protection team with a COVID 19 query, please send an email to with either your question, or a phone number for an officer to call.