March 5, 2021

Sector Specific Guidelines

This guide will help you operate a safe workplace and help you plan for the reopening of your business in the future.

The UK government has released a roadmap out of the current lockdown for England, including dates for the reopening of businesses. With this guide, we want to provide you with a brief summary of the precautions you can take to reopen your business safely and the main dates of reopening.


For more detailed guidelines on how to open safely, you can refer to the government guidance per sector. For the official reopening dates, you can refer to the 'COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021' plan. Please consider that the dates showed in this article are purely indicative and may be postponed by the government.

Remember that if you are reopening and you are considering to extend your license or get a new one for your activity (e.g. pavement licences, personal licence for alcohol) you can apply through the Bromley council website.

People who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments

12 April* will see the opening of non-essential retail. Businesses in this category should follow these precautions:

  • Make sure your staff wear face coverings: unless they are exempt, all your staff must wear a face covering while in customer-facing areas to mitigate the risk of infection.
  • Discourage crowding: check how many people can be allowed in your store, whilst maintaining effective social distancing. You can manage both indoor and external queues using floor markings.
  • Ensure social distancing for your staff: if possible, use barriers to separate staff and customers, introduce back-to-back or side-to-side working and have staff work in the same team each day.
  • Train and communicate: update and train periodically your staff and keep you customers informed about safety measures and procedures adopted.

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors from 12 April*, whereas indoor hospitality will reopen on 17 May*. Businesses in this category should follow these precautions:

  • Up to six persons from separate households can share a table or two households may share a table: there is no restrictions on numbers at the table for two households. (A household includes legal bubble).
  • Keep groups apart:  Customers (from different groups) must be kept 2 meters apart.  
  • Mitigation: customers may come as close as 1 meter with mitigation. Mitigation is sitting side by side or back to back. Customers sitting closer than 1 meter need separating by physical barriers and screens between tables and guests. Remember it’s the people that must be 1 meter apart when customers are seated back to back, measure from the back of the chairs, when people are seated.  Where two separate groups of customers are seated at tables side by side, the distance between the tables must be a minimum of 1 meter.  Manage the number of customers in the venue according to social distancing
  • Keep groups apart: ensure there is enough space between tables, consider using barriers to separate groups and manage the number of customers in the venue according to social distancing.
  • Serve food and drinks safely: use table service to avoid situations where customers need to walk to collect food, beverages or cutlery. During the service, reduce contact between staff and customers as much as possible.
  • Ask every visitor aged 16 and over to check in to your venue using the NHS COVID-19 App or have a system in place to ensure that you can collect information from visitors who don't have the app. Find out more about the test and tracehere.
  • Enhance food hygiene and safety standards: you should improve both the hygiene standards (e.g. when handling food) as well as safety standards for employees and consumers (e.g. for takeaway, delivery, etc.). You can find the specific guidance on the Bromley Council website.
  • Lower music and reduce background noise: you should discourage shouting, singing and dancing in the venue, by making sure music and broadcasts are played at a low volume.

Accommodation, attractions, events, exhibition halls and conference centres

Accommodation venues, indoor venues and events will reopen on 17 May*. Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets will be able to reopen on 12 April*. Businesses in this category should follow these precautions:

  • Let customers know they can only visit in groups as permitted by law. Upon arrival, check who they are with and how many people are part of the group. Remind customers to interact only with their group.
  • Ask every visitor aged 16 and over to check in to your venue using the NHS COVID-19 App or have a system in place to ensure that you can collect information from visitors who don't have the app. Find out more about the test and trace here.
  • Encourage contactless payments: adopt online booking and pre-payment and encourage customers to use contactless payments.
  • Make food and drink service safer: adopt table service and, if not possible, minimise customer self-service of food and cutlery and minimise contact between staff and guests.
  • Understand how your activity interacts with the local area: try to reduce external queues on the street, check opening hours of other businesses to avoid conflict. You can also advise customers to avoid shared transports at busy times or alternative routes to avoid crowded areas.


Heritage locations

Some outdoor heritage sites will reopen on 12 April*, whereas indoor locations will reopen on 17 May*. Businesses in this category should follow these precautions:

  • Check visitors on arrival: who they are with and how many people are in the group. Use signs to remind visitors and customers to only interact with their own group.
  • Encourage contactless payments: adopt online booking and pre-payment and encourage customers to use contactless payments.
  • Allow only activities that are permitted under current rules. Heritage buildings might be used for different activities, initiatives or events and each one is likely to be different. For this, you can check the specific government guidance.

Casinosbowling alleys and indoor play

Indoor entertainment will reopen on 17 May*. Businesses in this category should follow these precautions:

  • Keep activity time short: for activities where social distancing cannot be easily maintained, try to keep the activity time as short as possible.
  • Ask every visitor aged 16 and over to check in to your venue using the NHS COVID-19 App or have a system in place to ensure that you can collect information from visitors who don't have the app. Find out more about the test and trace here.
  • Adopt back-to-back or side-to-side working rather than face-to-face: try to reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams' or 'partnering'.
  • Keep people apart: use barriers to separate people from each other during  activities.

Close contact services

On 12 April*, personal care premises, such as hairdressers and nail salons, will be allowed to reopen. Businesses in this category should follow these precautions:

  • Combine visors with masks: employees must wear both visor/goggles and a Type II face mask to keep clients safe. You should provide your employees with training on how to wear face masks and visors safely.
  • Keep clients apart: decide how many people can stay in the space while remaining socially distant. Rearrange waiting areas so that clients can stay apart. Use floor markings to manage queues.
  • Ask every visitor aged 16 and over to check in to your venue using the NHS COVID-19 App or have a system in place to ensure that you can collect information from visitors who don't have the app. Find out more about the test and trace here.
  • Help your staff maintain social distancing: use barriers between workstations, adopt back-to-back or side-to-side working and have staff work in the same team each day.

Performing arts

Performing arts will be able to resume on 17 May*, with limitations. Businesses in this category should follow these precautions:

  • Encourage the audience to support the safety of the event: discourage activities that can create an aerosol (e.g. shouting, chanting and singing along), seat individuals rather than allowing them to stand to help maintain social distancing.
  • Encourage outdoor events: you can refer tooutdoor events guidance.
  • Limit the number of people in the audience: audiences must be socially distanced and capacity may need to be reduced to ensure social distancing at all times.

Sports and leisure providersplaygrounds and outdoor gyms

Outdoor sports facilities will be allowed to reopen on 29 March*. Some indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms, will also reopen on the same date. Organised indoor adult sport will resume on 17 May*. Businesses in this category should follow these precautions:

  • Engage with returning visiting instructors and volunteers: work with instructors and volunteers to understand the number of facilities they visit and set up a monitoring system.
  • Define measures to minimise risk in changing rooms: try to minimise risk ensuring social distancing and increasing cleaning. Tell customers they must not mix with people outside their groups and encourage them to minimise time spent in facilities.
  • Owners of playgrounds should consider putting in place measures to support social distancing, such as signs to remind users of the need for and adherence to social distancing.


Places of worship

Places of worship can open to leisure visitors on 17 May*. Places of worship should follow these precautions:

  • Lower capacity: reduce the capacity of the building according to how many people can be allowed inside maintaining social distancing.
  • Adopt pre-booking: arrange pre-bookings so that, at particularly busy times, the maximum capacity is not exceeded.
  • Advising visitors for alternative routes: advise visitors to avoid certain transports and routes to avoid crowded areas when travelling to the venue.


Community centres, village halls and other community facilities

12 April* will see the opening of public buildings, including libraries and community centres. Community centres should follow these precautions:

  • Adopt multiple exit and entry points: introduce a one-way flow in and out of the premises, with appropriate floor markings and signage. Take into account the need to make adjustments for those who need them, such as people with disabilities.
  • Ask every visitor aged 16 and over to check in to your venue using the NHS COVID-19 App or have a system in place to ensure that you can collect information from visitors who don't have the app. Find out more about the test and trace here.
  • Manage groups carefully: manage the arrival and departure times of different group to reduce the pressure at exits and entrances. Control their movements to reduce the risk of congestion. You might want to introduce queuing systems specifically for groups.

*Subject to possible review from the government

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