Guidance and information for employers and employees during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Businesses that MUST close

On 26 March 2020, legislation required certain businesses to close to ensure social distancing is maintained. However, some businesses and tradespeople are able to continue to work; a full list of both who should remain closed and who is allowed to operate can be found on GOV.UK.

There is a range of information for closed businesses on our coronavirus business advice pages.

Remember, the most important thing we can do is to stay alert, control the virus, and in doing so, save lives.

Employers should make all efforts to help people work from home where they can. If staff cannot work from home, they should travel to work if the business is allowed to open.

Businesses that remain open

We understand that businesses may look to change their business model and diversify in order to maintain their business during this time and that some employers, employees and members of the public may have concerns about how businesses can operate safely during this emergency period. 

The environmental health team and Cheltenham Borough Council can offer advice for specific enquiries. Please email envhealth@cheltenham.gov.uk or call 01242 264135.

Controlling risks from coronavirus (COVID-19)

Where work cannot be done at home, employers must take clear, practical steps to help protect workers and create safe places to work. Workplaces must follow current COVID-19 secure guidelines. 

As a business, the measures you need to take will depend on your industry, for example: shops running a collection service, takeaways, office accommodation, dog breeders and dog walkers, or ice cream vans and hand car washes. 

After carrying out a risk assessment, if it is clear you cannot control the risks presented by COVID-19 (i.e. operate your business safely) then you must cease trading

If you have more than 5 employees on site, you must document your COVID-19 risk assessment. The HSE have provided a template for you to use.

You should discuss the workplace risk assessment with your staff to identify the practical ways of managing the risks. 

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. 

These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work.

Enforcing of the rules

Most employers are going to great lengths to ensure social distancing wherever possible. 

Where businesses are not taking action to comply with the necessary public health measures, the council will work with the business to ensure compliance via advice, guidance and enforcement where necessary. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are the enforcement body for health and safety on construction sites and in factories. The council are working with them to deliver the same public message for businesses. 

Officers from our public protection team are contacting businesses to give advice on how to continue to operate safely. We are also responding to enquiries and complaints regarding these measures.

Advice for businesses

If you are a business and need more detailed information on trading safely, please contact us at envhealth@cheltenham.gov.uk.

Advice for employees and the public

If you are an employee or a member of the public and have any concerns about a business, please contact us in confidence at envhealth@cheltenham.gov.uk

We will accept anonymous concerns, although this could limit our ability to follow up any concerns formally. However, all concerns will be investigated.