Licensing and Environmental Health

Update: Following recent Government announcements, some businesses may soon be re-opening. Please use the 'Requirements for all businesses opening during the coronavirus pandemic' tab below for advice and resources. Additional information for specific businesses can be found on our Working Safely During COVID-19 page

The British Retail Consortium also offers in depth guidance to businesses getting back up and running in a safe manner.

The government has announced new regulations about premises that can remain open and ones that need to close. For up-to-date information on these regulations please visit the Government website page The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 . You can also download a PDF of the government guidance on the regulations

For businesses looking to offer delivery you can find advice and guidance below.

Businesses are developing new ways of working to maintain social distancing measures ready for when they are able to reopen, if they haven’t already. If you have concerns about how premises are currently managing social distancing, you can contact our Environmental Health team and we will investigate the matter further. 

Please email us at providing details of the premises you are concerned about.

These regulations are made in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of coronavirus in England. 

For a full list including exceptions please download the document below.

Any businesses not on the following list must cease offering goods for sale in a shop (unless offering delivery through website, email, text, telephone or post):

  • Food retailers including supermarkets, food markets, convenience stores and corner shops
  • Off licences, licensed shops selling alcohol including breweries
  • Pharmacies including non-dispensing pharmacies and chemists
  • Newsagents
  • Homeware, building supplies and hardware stores
  • Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services including services relating to mental health
  • Veterinary surgeons
  • Pet shops
  • Storage and distribution facilities including delivery drop off and collection for all businesses in this table
  • Petrol stations
  • Car repair and MOT
  • Taxi or vehicle hire
  • Banks, building societies, short term loan providers and cash points
  • Post Offices
  • Funeral Directors

Advice for licensed premises that plan to deliver alcohol from their premises

Check your Premises Licence to ascertain whether it permits ‘sale of alcohol for consumption on and off the premises’

If sale of alcohol is NOT permitted for consumption off the premises, you will not be lawfully allowed to deliver alcohol to be consumed away from your premises.

If it does permit consumption off the premises, please check your premises Licence to ascertain whether it contains specific conditions about this already.

Sale of hot food and hot drinks is not licensable except between 11pm and 5am.

For further advice download the document below.

Coronavirus pre-opening checklist

In order to prepare to re-open please download and follow the the checklist below.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your food business

Food businesses are facing many challenges at this time and we wish to support you with as much guidance as we can.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) are leading the UK Government response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Coronavirus re-opening checklist

In order to prepare to re-open please download and follow the the checklist below.

Adapting food manufacturing operations during COVID-19

The Food Standards Agency has provided guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely in the food sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The guidance provides a practical framework to identify what you need to do to continue, adapt, or restart your operations during the pandemic, including the hygiene processes and requirements you must follow to safely operate your food business.

You can access the guidance here

Advice and guidance

Up to date information and guidance for the public on the risk from coronavirus is available on the Government website 

If you employ people,  follow our food safety advice to help you and your workers prevent the spread of COVID-19

Legionella risks in vacant properties

With businesses closed because of Covid-19, there is an increase in the risk of legionella in water systems.

If you are a business owner or operator, a landlord or property manager, or you manage a water system, you need to be aware of the risks of legionella around stagnant water.

Generally, properties with hot and cold water systems should use them at least once a week to maintain a degree of water flow to minimise the chances of stagnation.

While a property is unoccupied you can start a flushing regime, or draining the system if it is going to remain unused over a long period of time. There is additional guidance on the HSE website

Other water systems to consider include leisure, sports and swimming and spa pool facilities. You can follow the procedures described in the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group Code of Practice

The European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases has also produced guidance on managing legionella in water systems during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Social Distancing

While social distancing is fundamentally a public health measure introduced to reduce the spread of infection, we recognise the concerns raised on social distancing within the workplace.Employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home. Where it is not be possible to work from home you can still travel for work purposes provided you are not showing coronavirus symptoms and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able, where possible, to follow Public Health Guidelines on social distancing (including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others), and good hygiene (washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds). 

Follow Government Guidance on how to keep your employees safe.

If you have concerns about how premises are currently managing social distancing, you can contact our Environmental Health team and we will investigate the matter further.

Please email us at providing details of the premises you are concerned about.

General Duties of Employers

  • ·Under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA), employers have a general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. This would extend to managing and controlling risks of infection from coronavirus in the workplace.
  • ·Section 3 of HSWA provides that employers and the self-employed have a duty to conduct their undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in their employment who may be affected are not exposed to risks to their health or safety. This would cover members of the public (customers) and contractors.
  • ·Section 4 of HSWA imposes a duty in relation to persons who have control of non-domestic premises to ensure that they are safe and without risks to health.
  • ·If an employer is following the relevant PHE guidance for their sector in terms of controlling the public health risks, generally they will be taking reasonably practicable precautions to control workplace risks.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website has the latest information and advice for businesses operating during the coronavirus pandemic.


Taxis are still permitted to operate during the current coronavirus pandemic. Details of taxi operation and licensing can be found here

Due to recent enquiries we have produced guidelines for operators who wish to install a protective screen. Please download the document below for details.

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