Coronavirus - Advice for businesses

We’re working hard to support our businesses during these difficult times by making sure you have access to the latest information and guidance. Keep checking this page for further updates.

Restrictions eased

Following the announcement on 20th August that Wigan Borough has been taken out of the Greater Manchester restrictions, the below businesses can now reopen in line with national guidance from Wednesday 26th August:

  • Casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas (including soft play areas), exhibition centres and conference halls, indoor performances, remaining close contact services (treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or makeup application), wedding receptions and celebrations for up to 30 people in the form of a sit down meal.

The following venues must remain closed:

Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheque, sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars.

Face coverings

Face coverings are now mandatory in many different types of business and enclosed public spaces.

What if someone refuses to wear a face covering?

Face coverings are not enforced by the Council and do not create obligations for businesses. However a business can refuse an individual entry if they refuse to wear a face covering.

The police have the formal enforcement powers and can issue a fine to an individual without an exemption, who is refusing to wear a face covering.

How to make sure your business is safe to re-open

All businesses have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on site at their premises. All businesses must:

If you do not carry out a risk assessment, the Council or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) can issue an enforcement notice.

Take a look at the following guidance from government, covering a range of different types of work and the steps necessary to keep people safe:

Social distancing

The government advises businesses to maintain a 2 metre distance between people, where possible, to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. However, people are now allowed to distance from 1 metre plus, as long as you do everything practical to manage the transmission risk.

If employers do not introduce social distancing or allow vulnerable workers (external link) to self-isolate for the period specified, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) may take a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks.

How to support NHS Test and Trace

Businesses will be expected to collect contact information from customers to support the NHS test and trace service.

It works by providing local authorities with an early warning if COVID-19 activity is on the rise so that we can take appropriate steps to contain the spread.

Customer logging toolkit and assets

Public Health England have created a customer logging toolkit (external link) to help businesses to communicate Test and Trace to their customers and visitors.

This toolkit provides businesses with useful messaging suggestions for a range of scenarios as well as other marketing materials such as posters and social media assets.

How will compliance be monitored?

Officers from regulatory services will monitor compliance with these regulations, and police support will be provided if appropriate.

We recognise the financial impact this is having on our businesses, however, we would urge businesses to comply with government measures to help keep our residents safe and avoid facing legal action.

Businesses that charge unfair prices

Shops that charge excessive prices to exploit the current situation should be warned they risk being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority for breaching competition law.

All prices must be clear and not misleading. We understand that some prices may have increased slightly due to difficulties in the supply chain because of recent events. We urge our retailers to behave responsibly throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

NHS Covid-19 QR Code

On the 24th September, the government’s NHS coronavirus contact tracing app launched in England. 

It is now a legal requirement for businesses to download NHS Test and Trace QR codes, which app users can scan to register that they have visited a venue.

Following the launch of the new COVID-19 app, customers and visitors will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak. See further guidance about the NHS COVID-19 app (external link).

See the full list of businesses that need to display a QR code:

  • Hospitality
    • Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members’ clubs
    • Cafes, including workplace canteens
    • Bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs
    • Public houses.
  • Leisure and tourism
    • Amusement arcades
    • Art fairs
    • Betting and bingo halls
    • Casinos
    • Clubs providing team sporting activities
    • Facilities for use by elite and professional sports people (including sports stadia)
    • Heritage locations and attractions open to the public (including castles, stately homes and other historic houses)
    • Hotels and other guest accommodation provided on a commercial basis, including in bed and breakfast accommodation, boats, campsites, caravans, chalets, guest houses, holiday parks, hostels, motels, pubs, sleeper trains and yurts
    • Indoor sport and leisure centres
    • Outdoor swimming pools and lidos
    • Museums and galleries
    • Music recording studios open for public hire or other public use
    • Public libraries.
  • Close contact services
    • Barbers
    • Beauticians (including those providing cosmetic, aesthetic and wellness treatments)
    • Dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers
    • Hairdressers
    • Nail bars and salons
    • Skin and body piercing services
    • Sports and massage therapists
    • Tattooists.
  • Local authority run services
    • Community centres
    • Youth and community centres
    • Village halls.

For more information, or for frequently asked questions, visit the NHS website (external link).

Further guidance


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