Reporting an outbreak - Action Cards for businesses

Covid-19 early outbreak management information

The Covid-19 early outbreak management information has been created to make sure people who run businesses or organisations know how to recognise an incident of Covid-19 and how to contain and report it, should an outbreak occur. Action Cards have been produced to help businesses and other organisations work effectively with their local public health teams when dealing with an outbreak. They have been produced in a collaborative effort, led by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) and Public Health England, with contributions from local authorities and other partners. See the first release of Action Cards.

Who are the Action Cards for?

Business owners and managers of any public or private sector community-based organisation where an outbreak could occur. This could be, for example, a factory, village hall, cafe or a place of worship.

What do the Action Cards do?

Action Cards provide guidance for when and how to identify an incident and report it to local public health teams. They include examples of the kind of actions that may be required in the event of an outbreak to raise awareness and encourage preparedness. The Action Cards cover a range of organisations and situations and provide specific advice on the issues each type of organisation may face. The cards complement and support existing local and sector specific guidance and they are not intended to replace existing advice, or the expertise of local public health professionals.To access more information on existing advice refer to the guidance below or search the titles on

When can we use them?

The first action cards cover high risk organisations, in line with the Government’s July opening guidance; personal care, food & drink, recreation & leisure and accommodation. Additional organisations will be added in due course. The cards are designed to be printed or downloaded to keep on-hand in your business or organisation.

Why do we need them?

Action Cards are intended to provide a foundation to build on as we learn more about COVID-19 and the measures that are most effective to prevent and contain it. They provide a common approach and a mechanism to enable ongoing learning and improvement. The cards will be regularly updated as we listen and learn from the experiences of local health professionals and others about the most effective ways of responding to an outbreak.