COVID-19 Support for your business

Social distancing advice for customers, staff and deliveries/services

Social distancing advice for customers, staff and deliveries/services


For customers

  • Use social media/website to let your customers know how you are addressing any health and safety concerns and update them on any changes you have already made or will be making to become COVID Secure. For example, days you are open, opening hours, queuing, new ways of delivering, serving customers, product ranges etc.
  • Control how people enter the premises to ensure that the 2 metre rule can be observed for both customers and employees. Limiting the number of customers in your premises at any one time may help you to safely maintain a 2 metre distance between individuals.
  • Manage queue control outside of your premises so that the 2 metre rule is observed by those waiting.
  • Make sure you speak to neighbouring businesses to agree a way to manage queues.
  • Review your venues layout and remove any unnecessary obstructions.
  • It may be possible to introduce a one-way system around the inside of the premises to mitigate social distance breaches.
  • Use floor markings inside the premises to help keep customers 2 metres apart, particularly at counters and tills. Floor stickers, tape or chalk will help support your customers to know how far apart they need to stand.
  • Use signage throughout your venue to remind customers to follow the rules, such as wearing a mask and checking in via the NHS COVID-19 app.
  • Take payment by card or via contactless payment – try to avoid cash payments
  • Customers must not be allowed to congregate or loiter inside or outside the premises. Ask them to leave as soon as their purchase is complete.
  • Close off or remove seating, both inside and outside.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect all hand contact points in the premises such as door handles and counters.
  • Offer hand sanitiser to customers as they enter
  • Changing rooms in clothing stores must stay closed
  • Do toilets need to be open? If yes, ensure they are cleaned regularly and minimise customer touch points e.g. door handles

For staff

  • Carry out a risk assessment to make sure that you have effective controls in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19. This must cover staff, customers and others affected by your business. If you have five or more employees, you must record your risk assessment.
  • Consider any staff who may be at greater risk of infection or as classed as vulnerable. Speak with them to agree a work plan. 
  • All customer facing staff must now wear a face covering while working (unless they are exempt). You must ensure that you have an adequate supply of PPE readily available for staff. For an additional layer of protection, use screens at serving areas or till points
  • Encourage staff to regularly wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. It is important to have adequate supplies of soap, hand sanitiser and paper towels for drying hands.
  • Enable staff to work at a 2 meter distance wherever possible. If you cannot follow social distancing rules for a work activity, you should consider stopping the activity to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Use back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible.
  • Stagger arrival and departure times.
  • Reduce the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering'.
  • Make sure staff communal areas e.g. break areas/staff rooms are suitable for social distancing, and that shared kitchen equipment and utensils are managed safely.
  • Staff showing coronavirus symptoms must not come into work. Encourage staff to book a swab test with the NHS to confirm whether or not they have COVID-19. It is now illegal for employers to force or allow staff to come to work when they should be self-isolating, and those who do will be liable for fines of up to £10,000.

For deliveries/services

  • Deliveries to store should be arranged for outside busy periods. Please be mindful of local residents and potential noise nuisance when arranging your deliveries.
  • Be clear about where deliveries can park.
  • Drivers should avoid contact with other staff where possible and must maintain a 2 metre distance.
  • Encourage delivery drivers to use a hand sanitiser upon collection, if it is not possible for them to access the hand wash basin. 
  • Make sure your cleaning services and/or commercial waste management contract is in place and you are aware of their COVID-19 policies.
  • Use electronic prepayment where possible to avoid drivers collecting cash (food and beverage deliveries).
  • If you are delivering to customers leave food/packages on the customers’ doorstep and move back 2 metres until the customer collects.