This document is to help employers, employees and the self-employed in England understand how to work safely and protect their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping to the recommended social distancing guidance applicable at the time.

Public health is devolved in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; this guidance should be considered alongside local public health and safety requirements and legislation in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. For advice to businesses in other parts of the UK please see guidance set by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government, and the Welsh Government. Tourism is also a devolved competency; as such, this guidance is meant to complement any guidance in the Devolved Administrations, where relevant.

If you have any feedback for us, please email [email protected].

This guidance is designed to be relevant for people who work within the visitor economy; for example people who operate or run hotels and other types of accommodation (there is also a separate hotels and other guest accommodation guidance, indoor and outdoor visitor attractions guidance, and guidance for people who run or manage spaces for business or leisure events and conferences. There is also a separate guidance document on pubs and restaurants for food settings.

This document sets out guidance on how to work safely within the visitor economy while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19. It gives practical considerations of how guidance can be applied in the workplace which, in the case of the visitor economy, will be different for each premises or outlet. This guidance only relates to activities permitted by Her Majesty’s Government regulation.

Each business will need to translate this into the specific actions it needs to take, depending on the nature of their business, including the size and type of business, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated. A site by site approach is essential and COVID-19 risk assessment for premises will be unique. Therefore this guidance should be used to translate to whatever areas are relevant to your business and any measures that are taken should fit safely with any operational needs.

This guidance does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities and it is important that as a business or an employer you continue to comply with your existing obligations, including those relating to individuals with protected characteristics. It contains non-statutory guidance to take into account when complying with these existing obligations. When considering how to apply this guidance, take into account agency workers, contractors and other people, as well as your employees.

To help you decide which actions to take, you need to carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment, at a business and site level, just as you would for other health and safety related hazards. This risk assessment must be done in consultation with unions or workers.

We know many people are also keen to return to or contribute to volunteering. Organisations have a duty of care to volunteers to ensure as far as reasonably practicable they are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. This guidance around working safely during COVID-19 should ensure that volunteers are afforded the same level of protection to their health and safety as employees, the self-employed and customers.

In many instances in the visitor economy premises are let out to third party contractors and operators for specific usage. In such cases whilst the premises remain under the direct control of the owner, the actual event or function is under the control of the event planner/organiser.

The visitor economy is much broader than tourism and encompasses all staying and non-staying visitors and the activities and expenditure involved in supplying products and services for visitors by both the private and public sectors.

The visitor economy also encompasses a multitude of different working environments, from outdoor paid for attractions like theme parks to indoor attractions like stately homes or planetariums.

It also includes a variety of activities and events which take place at hotels, convention and exhibition centres and conference halls and meeting rooms.

This guidance is aimed at business owners, operators and workers in the following areas:

  • hotels and other guest accommodation (including self-catering accommodation, B&Bs, hostels, camping, holiday homes, caravan parks, boats and other types of accommodation including short-term letting). This guidance should be read in conjunction with the working safely in hotels and other accommodation guidance.
  • indoor and outdoor attractions (e.g. arcades, walking tours, theme parks, family entertainment centres, static funfairs, zoos, and aquariums). The events and entertainment guidance may also be useful for attractions that move around (e.g. roving funfair)s to be published shortly.
  • business events and consumer shows (e.g. events taking place in meetings, conference, convention and exhibition centres). Business conferences, events, exhibitions and trade fairs are not currently allowed to take place in England.

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 the working safely guidance, the safer travel guidance and other available sector guidance.

In this section

Objective: That all employers carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment.

COVID-19 is a public health emergency. Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19, and in particular businesses should consider the risks to their workers and customers. As an employer, you also have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19.

You must make sure that the risk assessment for your business addresses the risks of COVID-19, using this guidance to inform your decisions and control measures. A risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace. If you have fewer than 5 workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to write anything down as part of your risk assessment. Your risk assessment will help you decide whether you have done everything you need to. The Health and Safety Executive has guidance for business on how to manage risk and risk assessment at work along with specific advice to help control the risk of coronavirus in workplaces.

Employers have a duty to consult their people on health and safety. In a small business, you might choose to consult your workers directly. Larger businesses may consult through a health and safety representative, chosen by your employees or selected by a trade union. You can do this by listening and talking to them about the work and how you will manage risks from COVID-19. The people who do the work are often the best people to understand the risks in the workplace and will have a view on how to work safely. Involving them in making decisions shows that you take their health and safety seriously. You must consult with the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union or, if there isn’t one, a representative chosen by workers. As an employer, you cannot decide who the representative will be.

At its most effective, full involvement of your workers creates a culture where relationships between employers and workers are based on collaboration, trust and joint problem solving. As is normal practice, workers should be involved in assessing workplace risks and the development and review of workplace health and safety policies in partnership with the employer.

Employers and workers should always come together to resolve issues. If concerns still cannot be resolved, see below for further steps you can take.

How to raise a concern if you are an employee:

First, speak to your employer.

  • contact your employee representative, if your workplace has one
  • contact your trade union if you have one
  • contact HSE at:

HSE COVID-19 enquiries
Telephone: 0300 790 6787 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm)
Online: working safely enquiry form

1.1 Managing risk

Objective: To reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures, in order of priority

Operators in the visitor economy have a duty to reduce workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures. Employers must work with any other employers or contractors sharing the workplace so that everybody’s health and safety is protected. In the context of COVID-19 this means protecting the health and safety of your workers and customers by working through these steps in order:

  1. In every workplace, increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning.

  2. Businesses and workplaces should make every reasonable effort to enable working from home as a first option. Where working from home is not practical, workplaces should make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines set out by the government.

  3. 2m or 1m with risk mitigation (where 2m is not viable) are acceptable. You should consider and set out the mitigations you will introduce in your risk assessment.

  4. Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full, in relation to a particular activity, businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between their staff.

  5. Further mitigating actions include:

    – increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning, including disinfection of high footfall areas or common touchpoints with particular attention to toilets/restrooms.
    – keeping the activity time of any activity where social distancing cannot be maintained as short as possible
    – using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
    – using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible
    – reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others)
    – Using screens or barriers to separate people from each other.

  6. Finally, if people must work face-to-face for a sustained period with more than a small group of fixed partners, then you will need to assess whether the activity can safely go ahead. No one should be forced to work in an unsafe work environment.

  7. In your assessment you should have particular regard to whether the people doing the work are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

You should also consider the security implications of any changes you intend to make to your operations and practices in response to COVID-19, as any revisions may present new or altered security risks which may need mitigations.

The recommendations in the rest of this document are ones you should consider as you go through this process. You could also consider any advice that has been produced specifically for your sector, for example by trade associations or trades unions. UKHospitality has further information on many parts of the visitor economy that may help with this process, including hotels and other guest accommodation, restaurants, pubs and bars, amusement parks and holiday parks.

If you have not already done so, you should carry out an assessment of the risks posed by COVID-19 in your workplace as soon as possible. If you are currently operating, you are likely to have gone through a lot of this thinking already. We recommend that you use this document to identify any further improvements you should make.

You should consider the security implications of any changes you intend to make to your operations and practices in response to COVID-19, as any revisions may present new or altered security risks or issues with accessibility which may need mitigations. Sections 4 & 8 outline the key security considerations and advice.

Whilst the risk to health from COVID-19 is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, the threat of terrorism nonetheless remains substantial. It is essential that businesses and other organisations remain cognisant of these threats as they look to adjust their operations, ensuring that security measures are proactively adapted to support and complement other changes.

Where the enforcing authority, such as the HSE or your local authority, identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, they are empowered to take a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. For example, this would cover employers not taking appropriate action to ensure social distancing, where possible.

Failure to complete a risk assessment which takes account of COVID-19, or completing a risk assessment but failing to put in place sufficient measures to manage the risk of COVID-19, could constitute a breach of health and safety law. The actions the enforcing authority can take include the provision of specific advice to employers to support them to achieve the required standard, through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements. Serious breaches and failure to comply with enforcement notices can constitute a criminal offence, with serious fines and even imprisonment for up to two years. There is also a wider system of enforcement, which includes specific obligations and conditions for licensed premises.

Employers are expected to respond to any advice or notices issued by enforcing authorities rapidly and are required to do so within any timescales imposed by the enforcing authorities. The vast majority of employers are responsible and will join with the UK’s fight against COVID-19 by working with the Government and their sector bodies to protect their workers and the public. However, inspectors are carrying out compliance checks nationwide to ensure that employers are taking the necessary steps.

1.2 Sharing the results of your risk assessment

You must share the results of your risk assessment with your workforce. If possible, you should consider publishing the results on your website (and we would expect all businesses with over 50 workers to do so).

We would expect all businesses to demonstrate to their workers and customers that they have properly assessed their risk and taken appropriate measures to mitigate this. You should do this by displaying a notification in a prominent place in your business and on your website, if you have one.

Below you will find a notice you should display in your workplace to show you have followed this guidance.

There may also be other industry standards or marks that you can use to demonstrate to any visitors, guests and customers that you have thought carefully about risk.

In this section

2.1 Top level considerations for all parts of the visitor economy

Objective: To provide top level considerations for managing customers, visitors and contractors.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Assessing the number of customers, or crowd density, that can reasonably enable social distancing within any space. This will vary depending on layout or usage. This will require taking into account the total floorspace as well as pinch points and busy areas.

  2. For indoor and outdoor attractions, and business event venues, consider limiting the number of customers or adjusting the crowd density at any time. For example, by implementing timed ticketing or asking customers to book ahead where possible.

  3. Consider how customers and employees will move in congestion areas, for example doorways between adjacent indoor spaces and outdoor spaces.

  4. Reviewing how customers move through and around the venue (indoors and outdoors) and considering how you could adjust the flow of customers and employees to reduce congestion and contact; for example, queue management or one-way flow, where possible.

  5. Managing queues to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals or other businesses, for example by introducing queuing systems, using barriers and having staff direct customers. This may include using outside premises for queuing where available and safe, for example some car parks.

  6. Ensuring any changes to entry, exit and queue management take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including disabled customers.

  7. Encouraging customers to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter the premises to reduce the risk of transmission by touching products or surfaces.

  8. Reminding customers who are accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times and should follow social distancing guidelines.

  9. Working with your local authority and landlord to take into account the impact of your processes, including queues, on public spaces such as high streets and public car parks and fire escapes outside and within the public realm.

  10. Having clearly designated positions from which employees can provide assistance to customers whilst maintaining social distance.

  11. Working with neighbouring businesses and local authorities to consider how to stagger the number of people arriving throughout the day; for example, by staggering opening hours which could help reduce the demand on public transport at key times and avoid overcrowding.

  12. For any activities which involve passing objects around (e.g. in casinos or indoor attractions) the following should steps should be considered:

    – Putting in place picking up and dropping off collection points where possible, rather than passing goods hand to hand
    -Regular cleaning of these objects or replacement with new objects as and when needed
    - Encouraging increased handwashing and introducing more handwashing facilities for workers and customers or providing hand sanitiser where this is not practical.

  13. Where changing facilities and toilets are required, setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets, showers, lockers and changing rooms to ensure they are kept clean and clear of personal items, where possible safe ventilation is increased and that social distancing is achieved as much as possible.

  14. Where a premises delivers a mix of services, ensuring only those services that are permitted to be open are available. For example, a hairdresser should ensure that beauty or nail treatments are not offered; and a community or leisure centre should not host indoor sports or fitness activity.

Gatherings indoors should only be occurring in groups of up to 2 households (including your support bubble). It is against the law to gather in groups of up to more than 30 people, except for the limited circumstances as set out in law. In these specific cases, those operating venues should take additional steps to ensure the safety of the public and prevent large gatherings or mass events from taking place. At this time, venues should not permit indoor performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience.

Individual businesses or venues should consider the cumulative impact of many venues re-opening in a small area. This means working with local authorities, neighbouring businesses and travel operators to assess this risk and applying additional mitigations.

These could include:

  • Further lowering capacity - even if it is possible to safely seat a number of people inside a venue, it may not be safe for them all to travel or enter that venue.
  • Staggering entry times with other venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas.
  • Arranging one-way travel routes between transport hubs and venues.
  • Advising patrons to avoid particular forms of transport or routes and to avoid crowded areas when in transit to the venue.

Local authorities should avoid issuing licenses for events that could lead to larger gatherings forming and provide advice to businesses on how to manage events of this type. If appropriate, the Government has powers under schedule 22 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 to close venues hosting large gatherings or prohibit certain events (or types of event) from taking place.

Venues should not permit indoor performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience. This is important to mitigate the risks of aerosol transmission - from either the performer(s) or their audience. There will be further guidance setting out how performing arts activity can be managed safely in other settings, for instance rehearsing or broadcast without an audience. There is an additional risk of infection in environments where you or others are singing, chanting, shouting or conversing loudly. This applies even if others are at a distance to you. You should therefore avoid environments that require you to raise your voice to communicate with anyone outside your household. All venues should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other. This includes - but is not limited to - refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult. This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission - particularly from aerosol transmission. We will develop further guidance, based on scientific evidence, to enable these activities as soon as possible. You should take similar steps to prevent other close contact activities - such as communal dancing.

Reconfiguring entertainment spaces to enable customers to be seated rather than standing. For example, repurposing dance floors for customer seating.

Making customers aware of, and encouraging compliance with, limits on gatherings. For example, on arrival or at booking. Indoor gatherings are limited to members of any two households (or support bubbles); while outdoor gatherings are limited to members of any two households (or support bubbles), or a group of at most six people from any number of households.

The opening up of the economy following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks. Many businesses that take bookings already have systems for recording their customers and visitors – including restaurants, hotels, and hair salons. If you do not already do this, you should do so to help fight the virus. We will work with industry and relevant bodies to design this system in line with data protection legislation, and set out details shortly.

2.2 Providing and explaining available guidance

Objective: To provide links to relevant industry sources and specific resources for each part of the visitor economy

Consideration should be given to the sector specific guidance and resources highlighted below, where relevant.

The government will also published guidance on:

  • hotels and other guest accommodation
  • pubs and restaurants
  • wider guidance on events and entertainment

UKHospitality has a number of resources available on its website to aid reopening. Whilst it is not comprehensive, it can be used in conjunction with the links below to provide further information and resources for your risk assessment. This UKHospitality guidance is applicable to businesses UK-wide and adaptable to local circumstances.

Guidance referenced below from a trade body or association may include best practice documents, templates and more detailed sector specific advice on certain environments. Industry bodies may also be able to provide examples or templates to enable you to carry out an appropriate risk assessment.

2.2.1 Hotels and Accommodation

  • Please refer to the separate hotels and other guest accommodation guidance document. Whilst hotels and other guest accommodation will be able to reopen on 4 July, shared facilities (e.g. shared sleeping spaces such as dormitories, guest kitchens, and communal spaces such as TV rooms where social distancing cannot be managed within current government guidelines) should remain closed. Shared ablutionary facilities (showers and toilets) can remain open but should adhere to all government guidelines to minimise the risk of transmission.
  • UKHospitality will publish guidance which includes hotels and accommodation, pubs and restaurants.
  • Camping/ caravanning/ motorhomes and holiday parks - in addition to the UKHospitality guidance, which includes these sectors in more detail, associations such as the National Caravan CouncilBritish Holiday and Home Parks Association have resources on their websites with advice and further information.
  • British Marine has information on waterways and advice on areas such as hotel boats and holiday boat hire.
  • Self catering accommodation and short term lets - in addition to the hotels and other guest accommodation guidance and UKHospitality guidance, the Professional Association of Self Caterers; the B&B Association; the Short Term Accommodation Association and the Country Land and Business Association all have further information available on their websites
  • Bars, restaurants, cafes and catering: please refer to the pubs and restaurants guidance, which also has advice on catering. The British Beer and Pub Association can also provide further resources and information.

2.2.2 Indoor and outdoor attractions

  • UK Hospitality has developed guidance for amusement parks, attractions and family entertainment centres.
  • The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) is developing guidance for individual attractions amongst their members and sharing templates / best practice examples to enable risk assessments for indoor and outdoor attractions.
  • Other relevant guidance for museums has been drafted by the National Museum Directors Council
  • Some indoor and outdoor event venues - e.g. those being permitted to open include cinemas, bingo halls, social clubs, amusement arcades, theatres and concert halls (no live performances) will be covered by guidance that the government is currently developing. The following venues remain closed: nightclubs, casinos, bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks, indoor play areas including soft-play, spas, swimming pools and water parks.
  • BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) has resources and guidance available for zoos and aquariums.
  • Guidance on accessing green spaces

2.2.3 Business events

Business conferences, events, exhibitions and trade fairs are not currently allowed to take place in England. Organisers of such events may want to consider the following areas of preparation, ahead of any future reopening.

  • The Meetings Industry Association has produced guidance specifically for conferences and meetings venues, which is also wrapped into the wider UKHospitality guidance.
  • The Association of Event Organisers will publish guidance specifically for exhibition, trade fairs and consumer shows to reopen.
  • You should consider the relevant sections of workplace guidance as well as relevant guidance on pubs and restaurants and the UKHospitality guidance for catering requirements.
  • Events taking place in heritage attractions/buildings should (see point 2.2.4).
  • Outdoor events (e.g. including agriculture shows and festivals) are covered by events guidance.

2.2.4 Heritage attractions and buildings

DCMS and Historic England have drafted guidance on recommendations specifically for heritage or listed buildings. If part or all of your business includes heritage assets or listed buildings , please also refer to this for guidance to enable you to open and operate.

2.3 Overarching security considerations

Adapting to COVID-19 measures will inevitably result in changes to operating policies, processes and procedures of accommodation providers, indoor and outdoor attractions and business event centres and venues. Any changes should always be considered alongside security implications. If you have a security department or manager, they should be consulted to help ensure good security is maintained as far as possible and that there are no unintended security consequences as a result of changes. This should be achieved by conducting a security risk assessment.

Specific examples of where security implications may arise are: queueing, search and screening (where this has been directed by a wider government policy on security), maintaining vigilance for potential threats, and access controls. There may be others that your organisation will need to consider.

2.3.1 Queues and social distancing

Whilst dense crowding is unlikely if social distancing is operating correctly, the revised layout of spaces may present new security risks, particularly where multiple queues are created.

Considerations include:

  • Operators should try and organise queuing within existing protected areas; Operators should NOT remove any security features or useful street furniture items without considering protective security in the round.
  • If queuing is only possible outside of protected areas then consider and mitigate the vulnerabilities by: routing queues behind permanent physical structures (e.g. street furniture, bollards, trolley parks and bike racks) to provide a visual deterrent and delay; closing off vehicle access to shared spaces; adjusting servicing and delivery times; reducing the opportunities for vehicles (including potentially hostile vehicles) to interact with pedestrians; erecting robust barriers; introducing a reduced speed limit or traffic calming measures.
  • Operators should be careful to avoid giving credible, detailed information that could help a hostile entity identify an attractive target and carry out an attack. In particular, this should not be included in detailed risk assessments published on public websites under Section 1.2. Be mindful of messaging, both at the site and particularly on-line, which covers detailed information about queue locations and times, the number of people expected, and suggesting removal of security features such as street furniture, bollards etc.

2.3.2 Search and screening

  • Conduct of physical search and screening of staff, contractors and visitors may need adapting in order to adhere to social distancing measures.
  • To maintain effective security and deterrence, search and screening should still be conducted as appropriate and in line with the organisation’s policies.
  • Ensure security staff are and feel safe. For example, having access to hand-washing facilities, and that they are able and confident to raise any concerns.
  • The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has published guidance on adapting existing search and screening processes to take account of physical distancing. Details are also available from your local Police Counter Terrorism Security Advisor (CTSA), which are available online.

2.3.3. Staff, security officers and stewarding

It is vital for staff to remain vigilant and act on potential security threats including terrorism and wider criminality. It is advised to:

  • Continue to ensure that awareness of security threats is raised alongside safety and health risks through staff briefings.
  • Whilst stewards and security officers may be focused on managing people and queues for COVID-19 safety reasons, they should continue to remain vigilant for and report any suspicious activity as soon as possible.
  • Ideally consider providing separate stewarding to manage the social distancing and other safety aspects to enable your security staff to focus on their core responsibilities to keep the site safe from threats.
  • Ensure there is a good communication system in place to inform people of any incident. Carry out a short exercise or test to check procedures and equipment for this are working correctly.

2.3.4 Restricted entry points

  • Restricted access entry points, such as those facilitated by keypad, biometrics and/or pass should remain fully in operation. They should not be deactivated.
  • Pin pads and biometrics should be highlighted as “touch points” and cleaned regularly (note: generally, they are touched less than door handles)
  • Access control (staff) proximity cards will work up to 10cm from the reader. Staff can be informed that there is no need to physically touch the card on the reader.

In this section

Objective: People who can work from home should continue to do so. Employers should decide, in consultation with their employees, whether it is viable for them to continue working from home. Where it is decided that workers should come into their place of work then this will need to be reflected in the risk assessment and actions taken to manage the risks of transmission in line with this guidance. There is a recognition that for many workers in the visitor economy this will not be possible. Nobody should go to work if your business is closed under current government regulations except for certain specific exemptions.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Considering who is essential to be on the premises; for example, back of house workers should work from home if at all possible.

  2. Planning for the minimum number of people needed on site to operate safely and effectively.

  3. Monitoring the wellbeing of people who are working from home and helping them stay connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if the majority of their colleagues are on-site.

  4. Keeping in touch with off-site workers on their working arrangements including their welfare, mental and physical health and personal security.

  5. Providing equipment for people to work from home safely and effectively, for example, remote access to work systems.

3.1 Protecting people who are at higher risk

Objective: To protect clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.

Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals may be advised not to work outside the home if the prevalence of disease in the community is very high. Current advice can be found in the protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable guidance.

If clinically vulnerable individuals cannot work from home, they should be offered the option of the safest available on-site roles, enabling them to stay at the recommended distance away from others. If they have to spend time within this distance of others, you should carefully assess whether the activity should continue. If so, further mitigating actions should be taken to reduce the risk of transmission between individuals (see Section 3 for examples of actions that can be taken). As for any workplace risk you must take into account specific duties to those with protected characteristics, including, for example, expectant mothers who are, as always, entitled to suspension on full pay if suitable roles cannot be found. Particular attention should also be paid to people who live with clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Provide support for workers around mental health and wellbeing. This could include advice or telephone support.

  2. See current guidance for advice on who is in the clinically extremely vulnerable and clinically vulnerable groups.

3.2 People who need to self-isolate

Objective: To make sure individuals who are advised to stay at home to prevent the spread of infection under existing government guidance do not physically come to work. This includes individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 as well as those who live in a household or are in a support bubble with someone who has symptoms and those who are advised to self-isolate as part of the government’s test and trace programme in England.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Enabling workers to work from home while self-isolating if appropriate.

  2. See current guidance for employees and employers relating to statutory sick pay due to COVID-19.

  3. See current guidance for people who have symptoms and those who live with others who have symptoms.

3.3 Equality in the workplace

Objective: To make sure that nobody is discriminated against.

In applying this guidance, employers should be mindful of the particular needs of different groups of workers or individuals. For instance, employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled workers being put at a disadvantage compared to non-disabled people in the workplace.

It is breaking the law to discriminate, directly or indirectly, against anyone because of a protected characteristic such as age, ethnicity, sex or disability.

Employers also have particular responsibilities towards disabled workers and those who are new or expectant mothers.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Understanding and taking into account the particular circumstances of those with protected characteristics.

  2. Involving and communicating appropriately with workers whose protected characteristics might either expose them to a different degree of risk, or might make any steps you are thinking about inappropriate or challenging for them.

  3. Considering whether you need to put in place any particular measures or adjustments to take account of your duties under the equalities legislation.

  4. Making reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled workers being put at a disadvantage, and assessing the health and safety risks for new or expectant mothers.

  5. Understanding and responding to the concerns of those who consider themselves at increased risk.

  6. Making sure that the steps you take do not have an unjustifiable negative impact on some groups compared to others, for example, those with caring responsibilities or those with religious commitments.

In this section

Objective: To maintain social distancing wherever possible, including while arriving at and departing from work, while in work and when travelling between sites.

You should maintain social distancing in the workplace wherever possible.

Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full in relation to a particular activity, businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between their staff.

Mitigating actions include:

  • further increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning, including disinfecting of heavy footfall and frequent touch points, with particular attention to shared showers, changing rooms, and toilets/restrooms
  • provision of hand sanitiser in areas where poor access to hand washing
  • keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible
  • reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others)
  • Using screens or barriers to separate people from each other. These are particularly appropriate where an individual cannot maintain social distancing and is in contact with a high volume of people such as ticket office staff.

Social distancing applies to all parts of a premises business is conducted, not just the place where people spend most of their time, but also entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and similar settings. These are often the most challenging areas to maintain social distancing.

4.1 Coming to work and leaving work

Objective: To maintain social distancing wherever possible for workers, on arrival and departure and to enable handwashing upon arrival.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Staggering arrival and departure times at work to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace, taking account of the impact on those with protected characteristics.

  2. Providing additional parking or facilities such as bike-racks to help people walk, run or cycle to work where possible.

  3. Limiting passengers in corporate vehicles, for example, work minibuses. This could include leaving seats empty.

  4. Reducing congestion, for example, by having more entry points to the workplace in larger stores.

  5. Using markings and introducing one-way flow at entry and exit points, which are back of house or employee only and where appropriate, taking into account premises structure, style of operation and customer profile.

  6. Providing handwashing facilities (or hand sanitiser where not possible) for workers at entry and exit points.

  7. Providing alternatives to touch-based security devices such as keypads.

  8. Defining process alternatives for entry/exit points where appropriate, for example, deactivating pass readers at turnstiles in favour of showing a pass to security personnel at a distance.

4.2 Moving around buildings and stores

Objective: To maintain social distancing as far as possible while people travel through the workplace.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Reducing movement by discouraging non-essential trips within buildings and sites, for example restricting access to some areas, encouraging use of radios or telephones, where permitted. These items require cleaning between users if multi-use.

  2. Introducing more one-way flow through buildings. Providing floor markings, where appropriate, and signage should remind both workers and customers to follow to social distancing wherever possible.

  3. Reducing maximum occupancy for lifts, providing hand sanitiser for the operation of lifts and encouraging use of stairs wherever possible.

  4. Making sure that people with disabilities are able to access lifts while social distancing.

  5. Regulating use of high traffic areas including corridors, lifts, turnstiles and walkways to maintain social distancing and increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of these areas.

4.3 Workplaces and workstations

Objective: To maintain appropriate social distancing between individuals when they are at their workstations.

For people who work in one place, workstations should be reconfigured to allow them to maintain social distancing wherever possible.

Workstations should be assigned to an individual as much as possible. If they need to be shared, they should be shared by the smallest possible number of people whilst maintaining social distancing.

If it is not possible to keep workstations at the recommended distance apart then businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and if so take all mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Reviewing layouts to allow workers to work further apart from each other.

  2. Using floor tape or paint to mark areas, where appropriate, to help people keep their distance or using signage or other communication measures taking into account building characteristics, trading style and customer profile. .

  3. Avoiding people working face-to-face. For example, by working side-by-side or facing away from each other.

  4. Using screens to create a physical barrier between people.

  5. Using a consistent pairing system if people have to work in close proximity. For example, cleaning hotel rooms or servicing equipment at an indoor attraction

  6. Minimising contacts around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments, and encouraging online booking and pre-payment where appropriate.

  7. If using cash, encouraging increased handwashing and introducing more handwashing facilities for workers and customers or providing hand sanitiser where this is not practical.

  8. Rethinking demonstrations and promotions to minimise direct contact and to maintain social distancing.

4.4 Accidents, security and other incidents

Objective: To prioritise safety during incidents.

In an emergency, for example, an accident, provision of first aid, fire or break-in, people should not have to stay the recommended distance apart if it would be unsafe.

People involved in the provision of assistance to others should pay particular attention to sanitation measures immediately afterwards including washing hands.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Reviewing your incident and emergency procedures to ensure they reflect the social distancing principles as far as possible.

In this section

5.1 Before reopening

Objective: To make sure that any site or location that has been closed or partially operated is clean and ready to restart, including:

  • an assessment for all sites, or parts of sites, that have been closed, before restarting work
  • cleaning procedures and providing hand sanitiser, before restarting work

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Ensuring that ventilation systems are safe, including checking whether you need to service them or adjust them, for example, so that they do not automatically reduce ventilation levels due to lower than normal occupancy levels.

  2. Most air conditioning systems do not need adjustment, however where systems serve multiple buildings, or you are unsure, advice should be sought from your heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineers or advisers.

5.2 Keeping the workplace clean

Objective: To keep the workplace clean and prevent transmission by touching contaminated surfaces.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Frequent cleaning of work areas and equipment between uses, using your usual cleaning products.

  2. Frequent cleaning objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines, betting machines or staff handheld devices, and making sure there are adequate disposal arrangements for cleaning products.

  3. Clearing workspaces and removing waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift.

  4. Maintaining good ventilation in the work environment (for example, opening windows and doors frequently, where possible).

  5. If you are cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19, refer to the specific guidance.

5.3 Hygiene: handwashing, sanitation facilities and toilets

Objective: To help everyone keep good hygiene through the working day.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency, avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available.

  2. Providing regular reminders and signage to maintain hygiene standards.

  3. Providing hand sanitiser in multiple locations in addition to hand-washing facilities.

  4. Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for showers and toilets to ensure they are cleaned very frequently and social distancing is achieved as much as possible.

  5. Enhancing cleaning for busy areas and common touch points.

  6. Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets.

  7. Considering use of social distance marking for other common areas such as toilets, showers, lockers and changing rooms and in any other areas where queues typically form.

  8. Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection.

  9. Providing hand drying facilities – either paper towels or electrical driers.

  10. It is recommended that any ventilation or air conditioning system that normally runs with a recirculation mode should now be set up to run on full outside air where this is possible.

5.3.1 Toilets

Objective: To ensure that toilets are kept open and to ensure/promote good hygiene, social distancing, and cleanliness in toilet facilities

Public toilets, portable toilets and toilets inside premises should be kept open and carefully managed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Using signs and posters to build awareness of good hand-washing technique, the need to increase hand-washing frequency and to avoid touching your face, and to cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available.

  2. Consider the use of social distancing marking in areas where queues normally form, and the adoption of a limited entry approach, with one in, one out (whilst avoiding the creation of additional bottlenecks).

  3. To enable good hand hygiene consider making hand sanitiser available on entry to toilets where safe and practical, and ensure suitable hand-washing facilities including running water and liquid soap and suitable options for drying (either paper towels or hand driers) are available.

  4. Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets, with increased frequency of cleaning in line with usage. Use normal cleaning products, paying attention to frequently hand touched surfaces, and consider use of disposable cloths or paper roll to clean all hard surfaces.

  5. Keep the facilities well ventilated, for example by fixing doors open where appropriate.

  6. Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets and larger toilet blocks.

  7. Putting up a visible cleaning schedule can keep it up to date and visible.

  8. Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection.

5.4 Handling goods, merchandise and other materials

Objective: To reduce transmission through contact with objects that come in the store.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Encouraging increased handwashing and introducing more handwashing facilities for workers and customers or providing hand sanitiser where this is not practical.

  2. Putting in place picking-up and dropping-off collection points where possible, rather than passing goods hand-to-hand.

  3. Cleaning exterior and interior touchpoints in accordance to sector guidance, for example, theme park rides and attractions. Also considering the introduction of hand sanitiser stations immediately before and after customer use.

  4. Keeping returns separate from displayed merchandise / stock to reduce the likelihood of transmission through touch.

PPE protects the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. It also includes respiratory protective equipment, such as face masks.

Where you are already using PPE in your work activity to protect against non-COVID-19 risks, you should continue to do so.

At the start of this document we described the steps you should take to manage COVID-19 risk in the workplace. This includes working from home and staying at the recommended distance away from each other in the workplace if at all possible. When managing the risk of COVID-19, additional PPE beyond what you usually wear is not beneficial. This is because COVID-19 is a different type of risk to the risks you normally face in a workplace, and needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and fixed teams or partnering, not through the use of PPE.

The exception is clinical settings, like a hospital, or a small handful of other roles for which Public Health England advises use of PPE, for example, first responders and immigration enforcement officers. If you are in one of these groups you should refer to the advice at:

Workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 outside clinical settings or when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

Unless you are in a situation where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is very high, your risk assessment should reflect the fact that the role of PPE in providing additional protection is extremely limited. However, if your risk assessment does show that PPE is required, then you should provide this PPE free of charge to workers who need it. Any PPE provided should fit properly.

More information on PPE and face coverings.

In this section

7.1 Shift patterns and working groups

Objective: To change the way work is organised to create distinct groups and reduce the number of contacts each worker has.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. As far as possible, where workers are split into teams or shift groups, fixing these teams or shift groups so that where contact is unavoidable, this happens between the same people.

  2. Identifying areas where people have to directly pass things to each other and find ways to remove direct contact such as by using drop-off points or transfer zones.

  3. You should assist the Test and Trace service by keeping a temporary record of your staff shift patterns for 21 days and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.

7.2 Work-related travel

7.2.1 Cars, accommodation and visits

Objective: To avoid unnecessary work travel and keep people safe when they do need to travel between locations.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Avoid using public transport, and aim to walk, cycle, or drive instead. If using public transport is necessary, wearing a face covering is mandatory.

  2. Minimising the number of people outside a single household travelling together in any one vehicle, using fixed travel partners (e.g. always travelling with the same people), increasing ventilation when possible and avoiding sitting face-to-face.

  3. Cleaning shared vehicles between shifts or on handover.

  4. Where workers are required to stay away from their home, centrally logging the stay and confirming that any overnight accommodation meets social distancing guidelines.

7.2.2 Deliveries to other sites

Objective: To help workers delivering to other sites such as factories, logistics sites or customers’ premises to maintain social distancing and hygiene practices.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Putting in place procedures to minimise person-to-person contact during deliveries to other sites.

  2. Maintaining consistent pairing where two-person deliveries are required.

  3. Minimising contact during payments and exchange of documentation, for example by using electronic payment methods and electronically signed and exchanged documents.

7.3 Communications and training

7.3.1 Returning to work

Objective: To make sure all workers understand COVID-19 related safety procedures.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Providing clear, consistent and regular communication to improve understanding and consistency of ways of working.

  2. Engaging with worker and worker representatives through existing communication routes and worker representatives to explain and agree any changes in working arrangements.

  3. Developing communication and training materials for workers prior to returning to site, especially around new procedures for arrival at work.

7.3.2 Ongoing communications and signage

Objective: To make sure all workers are kept up to date with how safety measures are being implemented or updated.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Ongoing engagement with workers (including through trade unions or employee representative groups) to monitor and understand any unforeseen impacts of changes to working environments.

  2. Awareness and focus on the importance of mental health at times of uncertainty. The government has published guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19).

  3. Using simple, clear messaging to explain guidelines using images and clear language, with consideration of groups for which English may not be their first language and those with protected characteristics such as visual impairments

  4. Using visual communications, for example whiteboards or signage, to explain changes to production schedules, breakdowns or materials shortages to reduce the need for face-to-face communications.

  5. Communicating approaches and operational procedures to suppliers, customers or trade bodies to help their adoption and to share experience.

Objective: To maintain social distancing and avoid surface transmission when goods enter and leave the site, especially in high volume situations, for example, distribution centres or despatch areas.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Revising pick-up and drop-off collection points, procedures, signage and markings.

  2. Minimising unnecessary contact at gatehouse security, yard and warehouse. For example, non-contact deliveries where the nature of the product allows for use of electronic pre-booking.

  3. Considering methods to reduce frequency of deliveries, for example, by ordering larger quantities less often.

  4. Where possible and safe, having single workers load or unload vehicles.

  5. Where possible, using the same pairs of people for loads where more than one is needed.

  6. Enabling drivers to access welfare facilities when required, consistent with other guidance.

  7. Encouraging drivers to stay in their vehicles where this does not compromise their safety and existing safe working practice.

This document has been prepared by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) with input from members of the Visitor Economy Working Group; UKHospitality; VisitBritain; UKInbound; Association of Leading Visitor Attractions; Association of Event Organisers; the Meetings Industry Association, the Events Industry Board; Country Land and Business Association; trades unions and the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Hotels and other guest accommodation

Indoor and Outdoor attractions

Business Events

General guidance

Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) advice:

National Counter Terrorism Security Office advice