Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Advice to food businesses

Businesses which should not be open

First of all, check the full Government guidance for a full list of businesses and premises which must be closed.

We have duty to protect public health. We are working with agencies such as the HSE, trading standards and the police to keep people safe. Food businesses, their employees and their customers all have a social responsibility to adhere to social distancing and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Non-compliance of the law can result in the closure of the premises, a £60 fine and legal proceedings. We are following up complaints and carrying out spot checks on business to make sure they are complying with the law.

Guidance to help make sure you comply with the law

  • All staff, including delivery drivers and customers should be washing their hands regularly. Make sure basins are provided with warm running water, anti-bacterial, soap and paper towels
  • Staff must make sure they keep 2 metres between each other at all times. Think about reducing your menu so you can keep staffing levels low. If possible, have a designated area for each member of staff to maintain social distancing
  • If you or any of your staff develop a high temperature and/or persistent cough you must self-isolate for 7 days
  • Make sure you have a process to establish if a customer is self-isolating when they place their order
  • Your delivery bags and boxes must be easy to clean and disinfect throughout service
  • Your drivers must be insured and their vehicles must be clean, taxed and have an MOT
  • We recommend that you have a one in one out policy for customers in your takeaway
  • You should introduce cashless payment systems
  • Consider giving customers a time slot to pick up their orders up, or ask customers to wait outside, or in their own vehicles whilst their food is prepared. Contact them by mobile to let them know their order is ready, and maintain social distancing when they collect it

Other useful websites

There is detailed guidance on food delivery and takeaway on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health website.

The government’s GOV.UK website is also a good source of information for guidance on business closures and exemptions.

Maintaining good food hygiene practices, and sticking to your food safety management system is really important. If you don’t, you could get a low food hygiene score, and we could take enforcement action against you. This might damage your business and your reputation.

The Food Standards Agency website have information about how you can improve your food hygiene standards to maintain or improve your rating.