New COVID-19 guidelines - Please read our latest COVID-19 advice.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) business advice

Page Updated: 30 November 2020

This is an unprecedented and challenging time for our residents, visitors and businesses. At this stage Experience West Sussex Partnership continues to advise and recommend that anyone in the area regularly keeps up-to-date on the latest government advice and how the government response may affect you. If you would like to raise any specific queries, please email getinvolved@experiencewestsussex.com.

Latest Government update

26 November 2020: Local restriction tiers by area

23 November 2020: COVID-19 Winter Plan

31 October 2020: Second national lockdown announced

14 October 2020: Three Tier COVID alert system

24 September 2020: Winter economy plan announcement

18 September 2020: Venues required to enforce rule of six, NHS QR code posters and contact logs

 

New national restrictions from 2 December 2020

The current national restriction rules are still in place until 2 December and must be followed until they expire. The Prime Minister confirmed that the national restrictions in England will end on 2 December and that the country will move back into a regional tiered approach. West Sussex is currently in Tier 2 – High Alert. Please find a full list of local restrictions by tiers here.

For more information about each Tier and the guidance, please click on the links below:

Tier 1 – Medium Alert

Tier 2 – High Alert

Tier 3 – Very High Alert

From (and including) 2 December, most businesses and venues will be allowed to open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. The guidance sets out the restrictions that certain businesses and venues in England are required to follow. Please read the updated guidance here.

The guidance on the restrictions that will be applicable in each tier has been published. Please see the key guidance from each area below. The new rules will come into effect from the beginning of Wednesday 2 December 2020:

 

Tier 1: Medium alert 
In tier 1:

  • People must not socialise in groups larger than 6 people, indoors or outdoors, other than where a legal exemption applies.
  • Businesses and venues can remain open, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.
  • Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • Provide table service only, for premises that serve alcohol
    • Close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, on transport services and in motorway service areas are exempt)
    • Stop taking orders after 10pm
  • Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.
  • Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm.
  • Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
  • Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.

People who live in a tier 1 area and travel to an area in a higher tier should follow the rules for that area while they are there. Travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas should be avoided other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through a tier 3 area as part of a longer journey is permitted.

 

Tier 2: High alert 
In tier 2:

  • People must not socialise with anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
  • People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space.
  • Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.
  • Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
  • Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • Provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol
    • Close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)
    • Stop taking orders after 10pm
  • Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.
  • Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm.
  • Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
  • Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.
  • People can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.
  • People who live in a tier 2 area, must continue to follow tier 2 rules when travel to a tier 1 area. Travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas should be avoided other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey is permitted.

 

Tier 3: Very High alert 
In tier 3:

  • People must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody they do not live with, or who is not in their support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues.
  • People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility.
  • Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training.
  • Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes:
    • play centres and areas, cinemas, theatres and concert halls, trampolining parks, soft play, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, amusement arcades, adult gaming centres, laser quests and escape rooms, snooker halls
  • Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (although indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes indoor attractions within:
    • zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves, aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions, model villages, museums, galleries and sculpture parks, botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses, theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs, visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes, landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms.
  • Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close.
  • There should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators.
  • Large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.
  • Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place.
  • Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. See full guidance for exceptions.
  • People can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.

Travel to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays should be avoided, other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through other areas as part of a longer journey is permitted. See the full guidance for the exemptions from gathering limits in all tiers

 

Protect your visitors and staff

Certain West Sussex venues and businesses are legally required to display NHS QR code posters from 24 September.

We are therefore encouraging ALL businesses and organisations with a physical location open to the public to create official NHS QR code posters to display at their venue entrances to help support contact tracing.

NHS COVID-19 app users will be able to scan the poster as they enter a venue. This means that if people visit your venue and later test positive for coronavirus, other app users who were there at the same time may be sent an alert, if local public health teams think this is necessary. The app notification will not mention the name of your venue, it will just let app users know that they may have come into contact with coronavirus and provide them with public health advice.

It is a legal requirement from Friday 18 September for certain businesses to collect NHS Test and Trace data.

You should create and display a QR code if you are a business, or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public. If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location.

To create your NHS QR code poster, you will need:

  • the address details for each of your venues
  • your email address
  • an email address and contact phone number for each of your locations (for example, contact details of a store manager if that’s not you)

Create your NHS QR code poster here.

 

Winter Economy Plan

The Chancellor has also outlined the government’s plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months (winter economy plan). These include:

  • New job support scheme
  • Self-employment scheme extended
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme extended
  • VAT reduction extended

For full details, please click here.

 

The priority actions for businesses to take are:

  1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment. Share it with all your staff. Find out how to do a risk assessment here.
  2. Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot. Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently.
  3. Ask your customers to wear face coverings where required to do so by law. That is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own by clicking here.
  4. Make sure everyone is social distancing. Make it easy for everyone to do so by putting up signs or introducing a one-way system that your customers can follow. Enable people in the same party who do not live together to remain a safe distance apart.
  5. Increase ventilation by keeping doors and windows open where possible and running ventilation systems at all times.
  6. Take part in NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days. From 18 September, this will be enforced in law. Some exemptions apply. Check ‘Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace’ for details.
  7. Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member (or someone in their household) or a customer has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should be isolating.

 

The guidance also clarifies that COVID secure venues can continue to host people up to their social distancing capacity but that no one can visit in a group of more than 6 (except for the exemptions and where the household (including bubble) is greater than 6).

 

Frequently asked questions – what you can and can’t do:

The frequently asked questions have also been updated to support the new guidance, some points of relevance for tourism include:

  • People can still go on holiday in England, the distance travelled will not be restricted but they should not go on holiday with people outside their household (including bubble) in a group larger than 6 people
  • The guidance for someone who becomes unwell on holiday has not changed.

 

Further updates for businesses:

  • Businesses in England required to close due to local lockdowns or targeted restrictions will now be able to receive grants worth up to £1,500 for every three weeks that they are closed.
  • The Government has introduced a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain, a £2 billion fund to create 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24. Find out if your business can apply.
  • The advice for food businesses has been updated with revised language in relation to self-isolation. The guidance encourages employers to enable workers to follow any advice to self-isolate and to support them when in isolation.

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees. Please follow this link to find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

To ensure that you always have the most up-to-date guidance,  please bookmark the appropriate links and regularly check for updates:

Visitor Economy

Hotels and other guest accommodation

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

Heritage Locations

Offices and contact centres

UK Hospitality Protocols

Helpful resources

NHS advice

Financial advice

Mental Health advice

Legal Aid advice 

Business support webinars

Government business support webinars

Government webinars on supporting staff and self-employed

HMRC webinars: helping employers support employees

CIPD – HR resources and webinars

ACAS webinars

Sector related links

Visit Britain / Visit England

Helping the tourism industry recover from COVID-19 – VisitBritain paper

New industry standard in development in response to COVID-19 – VisitBritain

UK Hospitality

UK Inbound

Association of Independent Museums

Association of Leading Visitor Attractions

Confederation of British Industry

Federation of small businesses

Regional links

West Sussex County Council

Business West Sussex

Sussex Chamber of Commerce