Guidelines for business opening

Published: 3 April 2020

Council House at night

The Government have imposed a number of restrictions upon businesses during the current COVID-19 pandemic

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Government have imposed a number of restrictions upon businesses in relation to how they can operate. We understand that these restrictions can be confusing and are working alongside businesses to support and help with the restrictions and to ensure employees can work safely.

What Businesses must close?

If a business sells food or drink to be consumed on the premises they must close immediately, or alternately provide a takeaway service. Other non-essential retailers, such as shops which don’t sell food, or businesses where members of the public are likely to gather such as gyms, theatres, cinemas and places of worship must remain closed.

Do all non-essential businesses have to close?

Currently there is no legal requirement for non essential businesses such as call centres, offices, factories or building sites to close. Where possible, employees must work from home.

What must  businesses do to continue to operate?

To continue operating, businesses must have procedures in place to ensure social distancing is in practise between employees and customers. There must always be a two metre separation between people, which could mean that less people at work can be in the workplace. All contact surfaces must be cleaned and sanitised regularly and employees must wash their hands as often as possible. There must be a supply of running hot and cold water and soap at the workplace and paper towels for hand drying.

What will happen if a business fails to follow Government restrictions?

Our Food and Safety Team are working along side businesses to help them comply.  If a business which should be closed continues to trade, a notice of closure may be served requiring them to stop. Fixed penalty notices can be served for breaching the notice of closure. The business may also be prosecuted which could result in an unlimited fine.  Notices may also be served requiring businesses to implement appropriate controls in relation to preventing the spread of the virus.

What can I do if I need further advice?

Advice in relation to COVID-19 can be found at  Information for food businesses looking to provide a takeaway service is available on the Council’s website, You can also contact the DCC Food and Safety Team at

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