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Making your workplace COVID secure

Guidance on making your workplace COVID secure and how to make sure your business can operate safely.

Remember: if you, or a member of staff, feels unwell with any Coronavirus symptoms (or a member of the household is unwell with symptoms), you must follow government guidance to stay at home and arrange to have a test. See What to do if you think you have coronavirus.

COVID-19 Business Toolkit

Our Icon for pdf COVID-19 Business Toolkit (PDF, 1.2mb)  will help guide you through the main considerations for operating your business safely. It includes links to useful documents such as a risk assessment template.

Businesses that are open

All businesses except for nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques, sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars are open. In line with Level 2 (High) restrictions across County Durham, the following businesses and venues must close from 10.00pm to 5.00am each day except to deliver food or drinks or provide drive-through services. Take-away is not permitted during this time period.

  • cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes, including those located inside other premises (workplace canteens are not included if there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace)
  • bowling alleys
  • amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities (this does not include gyms and fitness studios)
  • funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • bingo halls
  • casinos
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • concert halls

Cinemas, theatres or concert halls can stay open beyond 10.00pm to conclude a performance that has begun before 10.00pm, but they must close once the performance has concluded.

See information on Local restrictions for County Durham.

QR code posters

Venues in hospitality, the tourism and leisure industry, close contact services and local authority facilities now have a legal requirement to maintain records of customer contact details and display an official NHS QR code poster. Find out more information about the posters at Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.  

Other measures

The government has advised other measures that shops should consider, including:

  • placing a poster in your windows to demonstrate awareness of the guidance and commitment to safety measures - Staying COVID-19 Secure in 2020 (poster)
  • storing returned items for 72 hours before putting them back out on the shop floor
  • placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public such as beds or sofas
  • frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines and betting terminals

Guidance and further information



Retail sector


  • Business Durham has produced a COVID-19 Business Support Brochure to highlight the support currently available for businesses from them and their partners across the North East.
  • HSE has produced guidance to help you work safely (be Covid-secure) and manage the risk associated with running your business at this time. It includes practical measures you can take, for example putting in place social distancing measures, staggering shifts, providing additional handwashing facilities and how to talk with workers to help them stay safe. HSE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information and advice.
  • North East Growth Hub has guidance for businesses and employers including a toolkit with the latest advice, guidance and support available - financial support available, guidance for staff, employers and businesses and how to care for staff, suppliers and customers. North East Growth Hub: COVID-10 (Coronavirus) Toolkit.

Downloadable posters and resources

Contact us
Better Business for All
03000 261 016
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