Coronavirus and operating your business safely

As the threat from COVID-19 continues to affect our day to day lives, it is more important than ever that businesses operate safely and follow the latest Government guidance. Every business in East Herts needs to play their part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Businesses must ensure that their workplace is COVID-secure to protect employees and other people on site. They must carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce.

Information on which businesses and venues may open can be found on the website.

Businesses may have many questions about how to operate safely. Below is a list of useful information and guidance for business operators.

More information can be found on Hertfordshire County Councils website.

A person operating a business in contravention of the Government’s regulations will be committing an offence and may receive a fixed penalty notice as a result. East Herts Council’s Environmental Health team with support from Hertfordshire Trading Standards will monitor compliance with these regulations. 

If after reading this, you have further questions, please email them to

If you are diversifying your business activity during this time, for example; operating a new food delivery service, selling online for the first time or perhaps manufacturing new products, advice is available on the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership website.

If you're looking to donate PPE, information and guidance is available on the Hertfordshire County Council website.

You may be able to apply for a temporary pavement licence if your business is considering having outdoor furniture, such as a stall or tables and chairs, or planning to extend an area of outside space that you already have a licence for.

Find out more on our Pavement Licensing page.

There are legal limits on the number of people allowed to gather socially at any one time. When meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than 6 outdoors. 

You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with in any indoor setting.

The ‘COVID-secure’ regulations require that hospitality venues take all reasonable steps to ensure the ‘rule of 6’ is upheld and that bookings for indoor settings are only taken for members of the same household or support bubble. For information on how to take these reasonable steps see the range of guides to help ensure your work place is COVID-secure on the website.

For information on the new social distancing rules and a list of exemptions see the information on meeting others safely on the website

Continued opening up of the economy is reliant on NHS Test and Trace being used to minimise transmission of the virus. In order to ensure that businesses are able to remain open you must:

  • Ask 1 member of every party who visits your premises to provide their contact details to assist NHS Test and Trace. Refuse entry to those who refuse to provide contact details.
  • Have a system in place to ensure that you can collect that information from your customers and visitors, and provide this data to NHS Test and Trace, if it is requested.  See the next bullet point below.
  • Rather than create your own system, you can choose to display an official NHS QR code poster so that customers and visitors can ‘check-in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details. You can create an Official NHS QR poster online on the website.
  • Keep a record of all staff working on your premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details.

Guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace can be found on the website.

It is required by law that businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 11pm and 5am. Last orders must have been placed before 10pm. This includes takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm provided they are not allowing customers on the premises.

For the latest guidance on how to ensure your work place is COVID-secure see the website.

From the 1 October Environmental Health will be operating, as part of a County-wide operation, a local Track and Trace scheme. If you have tested positive, but the National NHS Track & Trace service have failed to contact you by telephone, your details will be passed to Environmental Health to investigate further. This work will help identify contacts that may need to self-isolate and help stop further spread COVID-19 through the community. All officers undertaking this work will have identification with them. 

Guidance on the Test and Trace service in the work pace can be found on the website.  

Information on what to do if you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace can be found on the NHS website

The new NHS COVID-19 app, now available to download for free in England and Wales, is the fastest way to see if you're at risk from coronavirus. You can download the NHS COVID-19 app on the NHS website

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Anyone with concerns about a the way a business is operating or who runs a business and would like further support, should complete the brief online form below.

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For the purposes of current data protection laws the information you supply the Council as part of your application will be used for the purposes of dealing with your request and retained as per our published corporate data protection privacy policy which can be found on the East Herts District Council Data Protection page (this link opens in a new window).

From time to time this information may be shared with other Council departments and / or outside partners to process your request as effectively as possible. Please confirm you have read the above privacy notice