Reopening guidance for businesses

business support

Alert

The government has announced a three-step route for the reopening of businesses in England. The key dates and guidance are listed below, however, the government has advised that these dates are provisional and are subject to change depending on infection and transmission rates of coronavirus.

If you are a hospitality business (pub, café, bar or restaurant) you may be able to apply for a Pavement Licence to allow for seating outside your premises. This licence was introduced last summer to help hospitality businesses operate safely while social distancing measures remain in place.

If you are a retail business and are interested in trading outside your premises, you might be eligible for a Street Trading Licence.

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  • All retail
  • Personal care premises
  • Outdoor hospitality
  • Indoor leisure
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas
  • Rule of 6 or two households which can make up more than 6 people. No household indoor mixing

Step 1 will see the opening of non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons; and public buildings, including libraries and community centres. Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will also reopen (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups); as will most outdoor attractions and settings including outdoor hospitality venues, zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas. Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.

Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors at Step 1 and there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew, although customers must order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’). Wider social contact rules will apply in all these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households

Step 2: Not before 17 May Click to get info

  • Most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted - although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.
  • Indoors, the Rule of 6 or 2 households will apply
  • Indoor hospitality will reopen and as in Step 2, venues will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks: nor will there be a curfew. Customers will, however, have to order, eat and drink while seated.
  • Other indoor locations to open up including indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas and children’s play areas: the rest of the accommodation sector, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs; and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes.
  • Some larger performances and sporting events will be permitted in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number), and in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number).
  • In the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).
  • Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, reception’s and wakes, as well as funeral and other significant life events.

Premises serving alcohol

  • Indoor parts of the premises that are used for the consumption of food or drink may re-open
  • Inside, customers can gather in groups of up to 6 people from up to 6 different households (rule of 6). You must not accept bookings for groups larger than 6 people (unless the group is restricted to members of 2 different households).
  • Outside, customers can gather in groups of up to 30 people.
  • Food or drink must be ordered by, and served to, a customer who is seated
  • The business must take all reasonable steps to ensure that customers remain seated whilst consuming food or drink.
  • Inside, customers will be required to wear a face covering indoors unless seated to eat or drink. They will be required to put a face covering back on once they finish eating or drinking.

Premises not serving alcohol

  • Indoor parts of the premises that are used for the consumption of food or drink may re-open
  • Inside, customers can gather in groups of up to 6 people from up to 6 different households (rule of 6). You must not accept bookings for groups larger than 6 people (unless the group is restricted to members of 2 different households).
  • The business must take all reasonable steps to ensure that customers remain seated outdoors whilst consuming food or drink on the premises.
  • Outside, customers can gather in groups of up to 30 people.
  • Inside, customers will be required to wear a face covering indoors unless seated to eat or drink. They will be required to put a face covering back on once they finish eating or drinking.
  • In all cases businesses must not provide a waterpipe to be used for the consumption of tobacco or any other substance on the premises.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Obligations of Hospitality Undertakings) (England) Regulations 2020

In addition to the above, businesses are reminded that they have a legal responsibility to adhere to the above regulations until further notice. These include: 

  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally.
  • Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
  • Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings
  • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.
  • The requirement to maintain an appropriate distance between tables occupied by different groups remains.

an “appropriate distance” means a distance between tables of:

  • at least two metres, or
  • at least one metre, if:
    • there are barriers or screens between tables
    • the tables are arranged with back to back seating, or otherwise arranged to ensure that persons sitting at one table do not face any person sitting at another table at a distance of less than two metres: or
    • other measures are taken to limit the risk of transmission of the coronavirus between people sitting at different tables.

Keeping your workplace and business safe during re-opening is vital. The government has provided advice for keeping your workplace safe during Covid-19.

There is also advice from the HSE on keeping your workplace safe.

Further general advice on key steps for businesses to reopen safely can be found on our steps-businesses-reopen-safely pages

You can register to order free rapid Lateral Flow Tests to test your employees twice a week in the workplace. You must register by 31 March 2021.

Licenses Click to get info

The Business and Planning Act 2020 has different measures that will help businesses to reopen.

If you are a hospitality business (pub, café, bar or restaurant) you may be able to apply for a Pavement Licence to allow for seating outside your premises. This licence was introduced last summer to help hospitality businesses operate safely while social distancing measures remain in place. For more information on pavement licences, please see our FAQs

If you are a retail business and are interested in trading outside your premises, you might be eligible for a Street Trading Licence.

Find more information about licenses and street trading

 

Business Support Click to get info

Waltham Forest Connected Business Directory

You can register your business on Waltham Forest Connected Business Directory.

Find out information about the directory register your business on the Waltham Forest Connected Business Directory and how to add your business The Council will be holding a webinars on 7 April 2021 to help businesses in the reopening process. The sessions will include information on:

  • Reopening your business safely
  • Licenses such as pavement licenses that may be available to hospitality businesses to allow for seating outside your premises
  • Grants like the recently announced Restart Grants
  • General information on support available to businesses

Digital Skills Training and Support

Microsoft have a variety of initiatives to help you and your business improve your digital and technical skills and knowledge and including a global skills initiative and free online courses and virtual training days. You can find out more about these on our Adult Learning page and Microsoft’s website.

Find out more about digital and ICT courses that we offer with our partners.

Schemes and funding 

There are a number of schemes and organisations that can help your business to reopen and thrive:

  • Resilience Fund is the Mayor of London’s £1 million challenge fund calling on innovators to address key challenges facing London, help us emerge stronger from COVID-19 and ensure the capital is prepared for future disruptive challenges.
  • Applications close on 1 April 2021. 

Enterprise Nation is launching a three-month campaign called 'Hello, World' offering advice on the legalities around refunds, raising money to buy new stock/equipment, and how to pivot back to the physical world. Content thus far is:

Find out more about Hello, World

The British Business Bank has outlined some tips and steps to take to build your resilience and diversify your processes, services and offering. Business resilience is never tested more than during challenging economic circumstances. Building a more resilient business, with more resilient processes, can be the difference between surviving and going under.

Access the tools

The British Library's Reset. Restart programme is here to help you transform, future-proof or grow your business through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond and is open to all business owners especially those in the first years of trading.

Join one or more of their series of ten monthly webinars for practical, jargon-free training and advice; network with other entrepreneurs and receive further tailored support.

Find out more about the Reset. Restart programme

Choose Local Click to get info

Based on the success of Choose Local campaign we will be launching a third phase to highlight some of the brilliant businesses in the borough and encourage residents to choose local and use their spending power locally.