Is your business safe to reopen?

The government has released a document to help employers, employees and the self-employed in shops and branches to understand how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19. As an employer, you also have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19.

reopen business

How can shops and branches reopen safely?

The guidance applies to those currently open and will help those that are  currently closed to consider what their operations need to look like when they are allowed to open.

Shops and branches include all retail stores. This includes:

  • food retailers
  • chemists
  • hardware/homeware stores
  • fashion shops
  • charity shops
  • betting shops and arcades
  • tailors, dress fitters and fashion designers
  • car dealerships
  • auction houses
  • antique stores
  • retail art galleries
  • photography studios
  • gift shops and retail spaces in theatres, museums, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites
  • mobile phone stores
  • indoor and outdoor markets
  • craft fairs
  • similar types of retail.

Branches include:

  • bank branches
  • post offices
  • other open money businesses.

The guide contains several sections, highlighting the importance of:

  • thinking about risk
  • who should go to work
  • social distancing at work
  • managing your customers, visitors and contractors
  • cleaning the workplace
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face coverings
  • workforce management
  • inbound and outbound goods

The Health and Safety Executive has guidance for business on how to manage risk and risk assessment at work along with specific advice to help control the risk of coronavirus in workplaces.


Read the document in full here to ensure your business is prepared to reopen.

Businesses can also demonstrate they have complied with the government’s
guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 by displaying this poster in their workplace.


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