Coronavirus (COVID‑19) Safety Measures

This guidance can help you carry out your risk assessment to make sure you keep employees and other people on site safe when opening during coronavirus (COVID‑19). The decision to return to the workplace must be made in meaningful consultation with workers. This should include a discussion of the timing and phasing of any return and any risk mitigations.

You should also consider the security implications of any decisions and control measures you intend to put in place, as any revisions could present new or altered security risks that may require mitigation.

If you decide that your workers should come into their place of work then you need to reflect that in the COVID-19 risk assessment and confirm the actions taken to manage the risks of transmission in line with this guidance. It is vital employers engage with workers to make sure they feel safe returning to work and are not being forced into an unsafe workplace.

Businesses must follow all instructions from authorities in the event of new local restrictions.

The Public Health England report Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19 shows that some groups of people may be at higher risk of infection or suffering from adverse effects if infected. You should consider this in your risk assessment.


The higher-risk groups include those who:

  • are older males

  • have a high body mass index (BMI)

  • have health conditions such as diabetes

  • are from some Black, Asian or minority ethnicity (BAME) backgrounds

 This is considered in the risk assessment.

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment has been implemented and recorded. The process involved employees for extra insight.

The risk assessment is shared with entire workforce and is displayed prominently in the workplace.

Working on site

To keep employees safe:

  • make sure on-site employees can spot symptoms

  • tell workers with symptoms to quarantine immediately

  • explain new procedure and provide training where necessary

  • consider the protected characteristics of your employees when making decisions, and to prevent discrimination


You should have individual discussions with your workers where reasonable, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and therefore may be returning to the workplace, to consider any uncertainties they have about precautions in place to make the workplace safer.

NHS Test and Trace

There is a higher risk of transmitting COVID‑19 in premises where customers and visitors spend more time together in one place and potentially come into close contact with other people outside their household.

To manage this risk, establishments should collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors:

Temporary record of staff shift patterns for 21 days are available to NHS Test and Trace if requested.

The following information should be collected by the venue, where possible:

  • staff

    • the names of staff who work at the premises

    • a contact phone number for each member of staff

    • the dates and times that staff are at work

  • customers and visitors

    • the name of the customer or visitor. If there is more than one person, then you can record the name of the ‘lead member’ of the group and the number of people in the group

    • a contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or for the lead member of a group of people

    • date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time

    • if a customer will interact with only one member of staff, the name of the assigned staff member should be recorded alongside the name of the customer – floor section


if you already collect this information for ordinary business purposes, you should make staff, customers and visitors aware that their contact information may now also be shared with NHS Test and Trace.

You do not have to inform every customer individually. You might, for example, display a notice at your premises or on your website setting out what the data will be used for and the circumstances in which it might be accessed by NHS Test and Trace. 

If a customer or visitor informs you that they do not want their details shared for the purposes of NHS Test and Trace, they can choose to opt out, and if they do so you should not share their information used for booking purposes with NHS Test and Trace.

Records which are made and kept for other business purposes do not need to be disposed of after 21 days. The requirement to dispose of the data relates to a record that is created solely for the purpose of NHS Test and Trace. All collected data, however, must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation and should not be kept for longer than is necessary.

How to ensure social distancing on site as much as possible

  • stay 2 metres apart from other employees and customers (or 1 metre with risk mitigation where 2 metres is not viable)

  • wash hands and clean surfaces more regularly

  • put up signs and use floor tape to remind people to keep social distance

  • keep the number of employees on site to a minimum

  • wash your hands and clothes after helping someone in an emergency

  • make sure you have enough appropriately trained staff to keep people safe (for example, weekend security on the door)

  • limit access to the kitchen

  • limit contact between the kitchen workers and other employees (also when on breaks)

  • have one person at a time getting things from the pantry, fridge and freezer

  • minimise contact with other employees when handing over food

  • ask employees to change into work uniforms on site (providing changing areas where social distancing is possible)

  • space out client chairs

  • advise workers to wear visors/face coverings when working within 2 metres of clients (everyone working in close proximity for an extended period of time must wear a visor/face mask)

  • move seating in waiting areas to encourage social distancing

  • have fixed teams to minimise exposure

  • provide training for workers on new ways of working


Entrances and exits

  • stagger arrival and departure times for staff and guests

  • mark a one-way flow where possible

  • provide hand washing facilities or hand sanitiser

  • make sure it’s safe to queue and not in the way of traffic (for example, you can route the queues behind permanent physical structures such as street furniture, bike racks or bollards, or put up barriers)


Moving around the site

  • close off areas that are not essential

  • review layouts and processes to allow employees to work further apart from each other, for example by assigning employees to specific areas of the restaurant or sections of the bar or counter

  • ask staff to store personal items separately, if possible

  • control the use of corridors and similar areas, for example with markings on the floor

  • have floor markings where people queue (for example, toilets)

  • stagger break times and, if possible, have breaks outdoors

  • make sure the smallest possible number of people share equipment and workstations

  • use 2 metre floor markings outside the venue to organise queues

  • have a one-way flow through the venue where possible

  • minimise contact when customers are paying (for example, by using contactless)


Managing service of food and drink

  • maintain social distancing (2 metres apart, or 1 metre with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) from customers when taking orders from customers

  • minimise customers’ self-service of food, cutlery and condiments to reduce risk of transmission

  • encourage contactless payments where possible and adjust the location of card readers to follow social distancing guidelines

  • provide only disposable condiments or cleaning non-disposable condiment containers after each use

  • reducing the number of surfaces touched by both staff and customers, e.g. menus

  • minimise contact between front-of-house workers and customers at points of service where appropriate


If someone has symptoms follow the specific instructions for cleaning after a case of COVID‑19.

To minimise the risk of the virus spreading you should:

  • clean the site before you reopen

  • clean work areas, surfaces and equipment frequently between use with your usual cleaning products

  • clean busy areas more often and more thoroughly

  • restrict the use of items that are touched often

  • provide more bins and empty them more often

  • carefully consider whether the cleaning and disinfecting products you plan to use are appropriate (such as when working on historic surfaces and heritage sites), and if not, consider alternative approaches such as using temporary non-damaging covers over the sensitive surfaces and cleaning those, or not allowing visitors in the sensitive areas



  • use signs and posters with instructions for employees to wash their hands for 20 seconds as often as possible, to avoid touching their faces and to catch coughs and sneezes in tissues

  • remind employees regularly to wash their hands, especially if they handle goods and merchandise

  • provide hand sanitiser throughout the site and in washrooms

  • provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitiser where people handle goods and merchandise

  • make sure toilets are kept clean at all times

  • provide paper towels or electric dryers

  • make sure all water systems, for example showers and sinks, are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimise the risk of legionella and other diseases


Handling goods, equipment, merchandise and vehicles

  • make sure workers handling goods and merchandise know to wash their hands more often

  • provide more handwashing facilities and hand sanitisers

  • have a process for cleaning goods and merchandise coming into the workplace or onsite

  • clean things like reusable delivery boxes regularly

  • sanitise all equipment after use

  • frequently clean anything that’s touched regularly (such as buckets, site equipment, door handles, pump handles and printers)

  • clean the parts of shared equipment you touch after each use, for example, tills

  • make sure you have adequate disposal arrangements


Additional Information regarding Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

  • You should follow government guidance on cleaning food preparation and service areas at all times.

  • When open;

  • wedge doors open, where appropriate, to reduce touchpoints (not fire doors)

  • clean laminated menus or dispose of paper menus after each use

  • provide only disposable condiments or clean non-disposable condiment containers after each use

  • ask workers to wash their hands before handling plates regularly throughout the shift

  • keep your kitchen area as clean as possible - follow government guidance on cleaning food preparation and service areas

  • have bins for collecting used towels and napkins

  • clean the parts of shared equipment you touch after each use

  • handle laundry in a way that prevents contaminating surrounding surfaces, raising dust or dispersing the virus

Protecting customers and visitors on site

  • work out the maximum number of customers that can reasonably follow social distancing guidelines (where they can stay 2 metres apart from other customers or 1 metre with risk mitigation where 2 metres is not viable)

  • inform customers and visitors of guidance about visiting the premises before they arrive (for example, by providing information on your website, booking forms, or over the phone)

  • use signs and provide clear information to your customers and visitors when they arrive

  • encourage customers to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities when they enter the premises

  • remind customers accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times

  • adjust seating and tables to maintain social distancing guidelines

  • ensure that customers of the same household or support bubble can be seated together indoors

  • ensure that customers of up to two households or support bubbles can be seated together indoors with social distancing

  • ensure that customers of the same households or support bubble can be seated or stood together outdoors

  • ensure that customers of up to two households or support bubbles or a group of six people from any number of households can be seated or stood together outside with social distancing

  • reduce the need for customers to queue, but where this is unavoidable, discourage customers from queueing indoors and use outside spaces for queueing where available and safe

  • manage queues to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals, other businesses or additional security risks

  • consider the needs of people’s protected characteristics, (such as age or disability when modifying the premise)

  • encourage clients to arrive at their appointment time and not too early or late to avoid congestion

  • ask clients screening questions before their appointment for close contact services (if they have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or loss of smell or taste they should reschedule their appointment)

  • encourage customers in hotel to wear face coverings in communal areas



Indoor gatherings should only be occurring in groups of up to 2 households (including support bubbles). When counting the number of households in a group, a support bubble is considered to be 1 household.

Face Coverings

It is not mandatory for workers in pubs, restaurants or takeaways to wear face coverings where they are not part of usual health and safety measures. However, businesses should consider recommending their use where other mitigations are not in place, for example screens or visors, and where it does not hinder workers, for example, speaking to or supporting customers. Where businesses recommend the use of face coverings, they must be used safely.  This means telling workers:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and before and after removing it

  • when wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands

  • change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it

  • continue to wash your hands regularly

  • change and wash your face covering daily

  • if the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions; if it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste

Live Music Performances

From 15 August, venues may host socially distanced indoor and outdoor performances. Venues should take account of the performing arts guidance in organising performances. All venues should ensure that steps are taken to mitigate the increased risk of virus transmission associated with aerosol production from raised voices, such as when speaking loudly or singing loudly, particularly in confined and poorly ventilated spaces. This includes, but is not limited to, lowering the volume of background music, and refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, particularly if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult. Evidence on the most effective steps that can be taken to limit the transmission of the virus continues to be regularly reviewed. This guidance may be updated in the future in response to changing scientific understanding.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  • 1.   Determining the viability of entertainment and maximum audience numbers consistent with social distancing outside and within venues and other safety considerations.

  • 2.   Preventing entertainment, such as broadcasts, that is likely to encourage audience behaviours increasing transmission risk. For example, loud background music, communal dancing, group singing or chanting.

  • 3.   Reconfiguring indoor entertainment spaces to ensure customers are seated rather than standing. For example, repurposing dance floors for customer seating.

  • 4.   Communicating clearly to customers the arrangements for entertainment and clearly supervising with additional staff if appropriate.

Additional mitigations, such as extended social distancing, were previously required for singing, wind and brass given concerns that these were potentially higher risk activities. DCMS commissioned further scientific studies to be carried out to develop the scientific evidence on these activities, which has allowed us to reconsider appropriate mitigations. Both professionals and non-professionals can now engage in singing, wind and brass in line with this guidance. People should continue to socially distance from those they do not live with wherever possible. Venues, performers and audiences should ensure 2m distancing applies wherever possible.

However, these studies have indicated that it is the cumulative aerosol transmission from both those performing in and attending events that is likely to create risk. We are continuing to develop more detailed understanding of how to mitigate this potential aggregate risk, but in that context, organisations should therefore consider:

  • Maintaining social distancing wherever possible. Non-professionals should not engage in activities that may lead to social distancing being compromised.

  • Limiting the number of performers as far as possible (with non-professionals being restricted by rules on meeting people outside your home, with planned activity needing to be aligned with the guidance under the sub-heading on gatherings in Covid-19 secure venues).

  • Limiting the number of audience members, noting that capacity should be maintained at a level that allows social distancing to be maintained

  • Limiting the duration of social interaction opportunities ie rehearsals or performances as far as possible

  • Taking steps to improve ventilation as far as possible and whenever possible, both through the use of mechanical systems and opening windows and doors

  • Taking steps to encourage audiences to support the overall safety of the event, including discouraging activities which can create aerosol (such as shouting, chanting and singing along), seating individuals rather than allowing them to stand (to help maintain social distancing) and the other mitigations outlined in this guidance

  • Continue to take the other vital steps outlined in this guidance, including preventing unwell people from attending, maintaining cleanliness, supporting contact tracing and other mitigating measures.

By considering and adopting these measures cumulatively, the overall risk of the event will be reduced.

Businesses and venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host groups larger than 30. This is also the case for events in public outdoor spaces that are organised by businesses, charitable or political organisations, and public bodies, provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance and including completion of a risk assessment.