Reopening and adapting your business

West Lancashire Borough Council would like to help local businesses to ensure that there is an understanding of the requirements that must be in place before reopening.

Businesses are responsible for carrying out and implementing any changes to make your premises safe. To help with this we have created a helpful checklist for businesses to help you put measures in place to keep both your employees and your customers safe.

If you have any questions or you would like further support or advice on re-opening your business or community facilities please email our Environment Health Team.

The Government have released a helpful online tool to help businesses carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce

Hospitality and Leisure Sector

On 22 September the Government announced the below national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in England. 

These measures apply to the whole of England – but as West Lancashire is currently an area under local lockdown, there may be different rules. Please visit the North West of England: local restrictions (external link) for more information.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What has changed – 22 September

  • 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 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September).
  • In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.
  • Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume on site (from 24 September).
  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally (from 24 September).
  • Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID Secure (from 28 September):
    • A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
    • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
    • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

NHS Test and Trace

Organisations in certain sectors should collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors on their premises to support NHS Test and Trace. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your organisation, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.

Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue

If you do not already have a track and trace app to monitor people who visit your business you can use the Create a coronavirus NHS QR code service to create a QR code for display in your venue.
Create Coronavirus NHS QR Code Here (external link)

To create a coronavirus NHS QR code you will need your email address and the address of your business. You’ll receive your QR code poster by email soon after you have submitted your information and ask visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using their NHS COVID-19 app.

Reduced Rate of VAT

The government made an announcement on 8 July 2020 allowing VAT registered businesses to apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to:

  • hospitality
  • hotel and holiday accommodation
  • admissions to certain attractions

Initially, the temporary reduced rate will apply to supplies that are made between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021 but it was announced on September 24 that this was would remain in place until 31 March 2021. For more information please visit VAT: reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions (external link).

Community Centre and Multi-purpose Community Facilities

The Government have released guidance to assist those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities on safely re-opening multi-purpose buildings.

Community centres, village halls, and other multi-use community facilities support a wide range of local activity. However, their communal nature also makes them places that are vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

'We're good to go' VisitEngland - UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark

The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark means businesses across the sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place.

The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the sector and to obtain the mark businesses must complete a self-assessment through their online platform (external link) including a check-list confirming they have put the necessary processes in place, before receiving certification and the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark for display in their premises and online.

Enterprise Nation - Free Business Recovery Advice

A new online platform providing free advice to small and medium sized businesses to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and to prepare for long-term recovery has been launched.

Enterprise Nation is providing free access to the platform, until 31st December 2020, to enable small and medium sized businesses in need of advice and support to connect with business advisers offering to help.

For more information and to sign up please visit Enterprise Nation (external link).

Digital Boost - Free Digital Advice

The new Digital Boost (external link) platform has been created to provide much-needed digital support for small organisations. The platform is founded by Founders4Schools and BCG Digital Ventures, with support from DCMS and one-to-one digital support from expert volunteers to small businesses and charities free of charge to help them improve their digital capability to grow and prosper.

Legionella risks during the coronavirus outbreak

Employers, the self-employed and people in control of premises, such as landlords, have a duty to identify and control risks associated with legionella. If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease.

The Health and Safety Executive website (external link) has some helpful advice on how to identify and control risks associated with legionella.

Edge Hill University - SME Crisis Recovery from Covid-19 – Support Sessions

In recognition of the unprecedented challenges that Lancashire’s businesses are facing, the team at Edge Hill University’s Productivity and Innovation Centre have developed a free-to-use SME Dynamic Recovery Framework created to help businesses deal with the current challenging time through practical tools and support.

The Dynamic Recovery Framework helps SMEs determine adjustments needed, pinpoint specific priorities and activities, provide a clear understanding of the steps to achieve change and the tools to carry out the required activities. Please visit SME Crisis Recovery from Covid-19 – Support Sessions

Lancashire Skills Swap Service

Lancashire Enterprise Partnership's Skills and Employment Hub has launched the Lancashire Skills Swap service to support the local business community during the coronavirus pandemic. This unique service is dedicated to helping businesses who are looking for staff or volunteers, want to train their staff or want to offer people with knowledge and expertise to work for another business.

Businesses can access this support by visiting the Lancashire Skills Swap page (external link) and registering their details.

The Lancashire Skills Swap is part of the wider #AskForHelp campaign led by Boost (external link), Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub which is offering advice, information and support to Lancashire's business community.


Boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, has created a service dedicated to helping businesses manage the impact of the crisis and plan their recovery.

As businesses reset, plan their return from lockdown and focus on recovery, Boost are here to help you #BoostYourRecovery. This Hub is updated regularly and features content around finance, employment, operations and sales.

If you need advice on how to plan your recovery, Boost is here to help. Call 0800 488 0057 or visit BoostYourRecovery (external link) for more information.

Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. The advice and support provided by the Growth Hub is fully-funded for Lancashire businesses.