Reopen safely

Timetable for reopening safely - updated 9 April 2021

The key dates for reopening are:

  • 29 March 
  • 12 April  
  • no earlier than 17 May
  • no earlier than 21 June

These dates are subject to change.

Find reopening guidance for city businesses and services, including:

  • food, drink and retail
  • personal services, like tattoo artists and massage therapists
  • events and entertainment venues
  • holiday accommodation
  • attractions, sports and leisure
  • transport
  • support for you

The government has set out a step-by-step plan to ease restrictions. The plan, described as a ‘roadmap,’ is a guide to what could reopen under each date.

    Before moving on to the next step, the government will assess the coronavirus data available at the time.

    The assessment will be based on:

    • the vaccine programme continuing successfully
    • evidence that shows vaccines are effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
    • infection rates not risking a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
    • the risks not being fundamentally changed by new variants of the virus

    As restrictions are lifted, it is important that everyone continues to practise good hygiene, mask-wearing and physical distancing to minimise transmission.

    NHS Test and Trace will continue to be used as social and economic restrictions are eased. It will also help identify local outbreaks and new variants of the virus. 

    You can find a one line summary of the latest restrictions from VisitBrighton.

    Keep safe once you reopen

    Inside the workplace

    Find advice on cleaning and disinfection for businesses from GOV.UK. Including general cleaning principles for the pandemic and what else you need to do after someone with Covid, or symptoms of Covid, has left the area.

    You can watch and share this video guide to hand washing from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

    Find guidance about how to work safely in different types of businesses from GOV.UK, including:

    • close contact services, like hairdressers, tattoo shops and massage therapists
    • construction
    • hotels and other guest accommodation
    • offices and contact centres
    • other people's homes
    • restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services
    • vehicles, like couriers, mobile workers and lorry drivers
    • and others

    All businesses must put controls in place and make sure staff and customers keep a space of at least 2 metres between each person.

    Find a complete guide to making your workplace Covid-secure from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). The guide includes:

    • risk assessments
    • physical distancing
    • cleaning, hygiene and handwashing
    • ventilation and air conditioning
    • talking to workers and providing information
    • working from home
    • vulnerable workers

    Find out more about how to ventilate indoor spaces to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    Find guidance on how and when to use personal protective equipment (PPE) in health and social care settings and non-health and social care settings from GOV.UK.

    Find information about face coverings and whether they're classed as PPE from the HSE.

    Covid-19 resources for the food and hospitality industry

    Get practical Covid safety resources including, posters, checklists and guidance.

    Workplace breaks and travel to work

    To help stop Covid spreading, make sure you:

    • wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser when arriving at work and at the beginning and end of breaks
    • wear a face covering when moving around the workplace
    • go outside to take a break, where possible
    • eat and drink in the fresh air, if possible and avoid sharing cups and cutlery
    • keep at least 2 metres apart from other people and try not to get together with too many different people or groups in a day
    • avoid sharing a car to get to and from work - if you have no alternative, keep lifts as short as possible, open windows, stay apart and wear a mask

    Symptom-free testing

    Symptom-free testing helps to quickly identify people who have the virus but have no symptoms, who could be passing it on to others without knowing.

    Regular testing is a vital part of the government’s roadmap to easing restrictions. Find out about all of the options for testing employees from GOV.UK.

    If you are an employer with staff that travel regularly across UK borders you must take reasonable steps to facilitate your employees to take tests. Find out about the employer testing duty.

    From early April, registered businesses with more than 10 employees, that cannot provide testing in the workplace, will be able to order free rapid lateral flow tests for their employees to collect from their workplace and use at home twice a week.

    Businesses must register by 11.59 on 12 April 2021. If your business is closed or you cannot provide tests now, you can still register and order tests in the future. You will need a company registration number to apply.

    The workplace collect scheme will be available for free for businesses for a limited period of time.

    Symptom-free community testing is also available for your employees in pharmacies and dedicated testing sites across Sussex. Find out how to book a test.

    Find out more about how to get symptom-free Covid tests in Brighton & Hove.

    Test and Trace

    Venues in the hospitality, tourism and leisure and close contact sectors must also have a system in place to request and record contact details of customers, visitors and staff to support the NHS Test and Trace system.

    This requirement applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises. The work businesses are doing to support Test and Trace is helping to break the chain of transmission.

    Find out how to maintain records set up a system.

    Get more information on what to do if someone you employ is contacted by NHS Test and Trace.


    The NHS is offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus and those who work closest with them.

    Find out more about the vaccination programme in Sussex and when you're likely to get your vaccination.

    Contact us

    If you would like more information and advice about Covid safety for your business, send an email to