As more shops and hospitality businesses begin to re-open, we’re working to help keep people safe and able to maintain physical distancing.

How to comply from October

We have new information for pubs, cafes, restaurants and licenced premises.

Face coverings are mandatory in shops and supermarkets

The government has made it mandatory to wear a face covering in all shops and supermarkets from Friday 24 July.

Anyone failing to comply with this could face being fined up to £100 by the police.

Shops and supermarkets will be expected to encourage customers to comply with the law and can refuse entry.

Some people are exempt from wearing a face covering. Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings.

It is not compulsory for shop or supermarket staff to wear face coverings, although employers should consider recommending their use where appropriate and where other measures are not in place. For example, there will be times when screens or visors are in use, or when a staff member is not in close proximity to people they do not normally meet.

Employers should continue to follow COVID-19 secure guidelines to reduce the proximity and duration of contact between employees.

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes:

  • young children under the age of 11
  • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering
  • There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering when asked:
  • If asked to do so by shop staff for the purpose of age identification
  • If speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication

More information about wearing a face covering in Brighton & Hove.

Government advice on face coverings.

New rules for customers

The BBC website has some useful information for customers going to pubs, cafes, restaurants and licenced premises

Hospitality and physical distancing measures

You can find out where we have implemented supportive measures for hospitality and retail across the city. Download a map to show pavement widenings, traffic regulation orders and road closures.

The visitor economy

Find government guidance for people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows.

This guidance should be read in conjunction with the further guides in the guidance on working safely during coronavirus manual.

The guidance should also be read in conjunction with advice about how to re-open your businesses safely, the safer travel guidance and other available sector guidance

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

Download guidance on keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services.

There is now additional advice available following outbreaks in Sussex.

This is for employers, employees and the self employed. 

Get Ready to Open

The VisitEngland website has practical guidance to help tourism businesses reopen.

The 'We're Good to Go' Industry Standard

You can now apply for a free UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to reassure your customers that your business adheres to government and public health guidance.

UK Hospitality Guidance

Find information on how to manage premises in Covid safe manner in England.

What we're doing to support businesses and how you can help

We’re introducing a range of measures to support our city businesses to reopen safely, including widening pavements, closing roads and installing signage, but we need your co-operation to make sure the steps we’re taking are to be successful.

As a business, you have a duty to take measures to protect staff and public safety and minimise the spread of Covid-19.

Read the government guidance on five steps to working safely.

You are responsible for taking all reasonable steps to ensure that everyone, including staff, customers and delivery personnel entering your premises are not exposed to Covid-19.

We advise that you and your staff comply with guidance around personal hygiene and ensure a one-metre distance is kept between anyone on your premises at all times.

Before opening, you must carry out a risk assessment to consider and control measures relating to Covid-19 and your operation.

These need to be specific to your operation but we advise they include:

  • how to implement physical distancing for customers and staff
  • whether card only payments are possible (resulting in less cash handling)
  • how to manage queues
  • access to adequate hand washing/drying or sanitising equipment
  • an enhanced personal hygiene and fitness to work policy

Read the government guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.

Manage physical distancing

To manage physical distancing in and around your premises, we advise you to limit the number of people entering your premises at any one time.

You should also introduce measures to ensure safe queuing systems which allow people to distance from each other and clearly mark out advised distances with tape.

We’ve produced a number of simple poster options to help. Please download and print whichever options work best for your business.

Infection control

The Covid-19 virus is highly contagious and sticks to surfaces such as packaging, counter top, money and skin. It can survive for up to three days.

It easily passes from one person to another through the air and a cough can transfer the virus on to surfaces.

To avoid contamination:

  • please make sure staff wash hands regularly using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth
  • wash and disinfect surfaces regularly.
  • provide gloves to help staff avoid touching surfaces with their hands.

It is essential that staff are able to wash their hands frequently.

  • ensure the area where the hand washing facilities are sited is clean and hygienic.
  • the hand drying must be a single use disposable towel eg paper towel or blue paper roll. This should be placed in a dispenser which is fitted to the wall.
  • liquid soap must be available at the wash hand basin. Make sure you have a plentiful supply.

Staff should wear a clean uniform which they ideally change into when they arrive at work and take off before leaving work or be provided with an apron.

Find more information on personal protective equipment for staff in the government guidance for people who work in shops.

Taking payments

The most effective way of keeping staff and customers safe when paying is to install a sneeze screen barrier.

An alternative may be to create an exclusion zone around the till area with a customer notice.

The safest way to take money is through contactless payments. If you are handling cash, we’d advise wearing gloves.

Premises with highway licenses

We’ve written to businesses with a license to put items outside to tell them about new measures to allow safe physical distancing.

We’re asking for them not to place items on the highway where it can be avoided and, where they are, to ensure they do not reduce pavement space that prevents passers-by from safe physical distancing.

Where roads are closed or footways have been widened, it may be possible to allow businesses to expand into these areas. We are asking businesses not to move into these new spaces without first contacting the highway enforcement team as they have been created to allow pedestrians to keep apart.

If you wish to expand any current outside seating areas or apply for a new area to allow your business to reopen you will need to complete a tables and chairs application form to apply for a highway license.

We have to consider the individual circumstances of each application and will look at allowing expanded outside areas where:

  • Extra space is needed for tables and chairs to allow for physical distancing
  • Security and safety have been considered
  • It will support a thriving economy
  • Areas of private land have already been considered

Expanded areas will not be approved where:

  • Tables and chairs would block pavements or roads for traffic and pedestrians
  • The proposed area is in a predominantly residential area
  • There would be an excessive impact on residents
  • Not enough space would be available for customers or pedestrians to keep a safe physical distance
  • Vertical drinking is allowed.

Details on how to apply can be found on our highway licensing page. Our standard conditions will apply to all licenses but we reserve the right to include additional conditions at any time.

Further advice and information