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When can high street shops reopen?

The Government has set out a timeline for retail to reopen. Outdoor markets and car showrooms reopened on 1 June.

On Monday, 15 June, all other non-essential retail, including shops selling clothes, shoes, furniture, books, electronics and toys reopened alongside photography studios and indoor markets. Businesses will need to follow the Government's five main steps and the COVID-19 secure guidelines in order to reopen.

When can hospitality businesses reopen?

The Government has announced that the restriction will ease to allow restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, workplace canteens, hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments, campsites, and caravan parks to reopen on 4 July 2020. A full list of businesses has been released.

Businesses which will remain closed are:

  • Nightclubs
  • Casinos
  • Bowling alleys and Indoor skating rinks
  • Indoor play areas including soft-play
  • Spas
  • Nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons
  • Massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities
  • Swimming pools including water parks
  • Exhibition or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business or organisation who run the venue

European Regional Development Fund logoHow is the council supporting the high street?

We've been allocated £73,686 from the European Regional Development Fund to create a safe shopping environment for shoppers and businesses in our town centres. For more information about the fund and its criteria, see GOV.UK - Reopening High Streets Safely Fund guidance.

Our staff are working hard to ensure our larger town centres are safe to use while meeting the governments guidelines. We've been engaging with Town Councils and established town centre business groups on proposals for promoting high streets and supplementing the safety measures.

Initial emergency phase

Changes you can expect to see around the larger towns:

  • Signage to maintain social distancing - throughout our town centres, car parks and open spaces
  • Changes to some paths and walkways - you may see barriers indicating one-way systems and no entry points
  • Signs providing advice at gathering points - such as at bus stops/bus station/seating areas/bicycle parking and ticket vend machines
  • Space will be created on footpaths to allow queuing outside shops - shops will have their own markings and instructions for their customers that you'll need to follow

There will be circulatory systems in our three largest towns:

  • In Tiverton, the Pannier Market area will have separate entry and exit points on all sides; next to Boots pedestrians are asked to keep left, and; at Westexe North a one-way system will be in operation to and from the shops
  • In Cullompton, from Station Road (Forge Way) car park, a one-way system will be in place to the shop beside Clarks Court, returning via Higher Mill Lane
  • In Crediton, from the High Street (St Saviours Way) car park, pedestrians are asked to keep left in Silbury Place enroute to the shops, and on their return

Can my business reopen safely?

COVID-19 secure guidelines

The Government has identified five main steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with current Health and Safety legislation.

The Government has published ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidelines to UK employers to help get businesses up and running, and operating safely.

Five steps to working safely

The five steps to working safely, which your business will need to follow in order to reopen, are:

  1. Carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment in line with HSE guidance. There's a few templates you can use, for example the HSE COVID-19 risk assessment template or Better Business for All (see below).
  2. Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures.
  3. Help people to work from home.
  4. Maintain social distancing where possible.
  5. Where social distancing is not possible, take measures to manage transmission risk.


BBfA logoThe Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership has used their knowledge and expertise to bring together resources from trusted organisations to help guide you through the main considerations for restarting your business safely. They've developed a toolkit, which is also available on the Heart of the South West Growth Hub Growth Hub website, along with useful documents including a risk assessment template and action plan, business checklists and useful guides to help you.

The toolkit has been well received by the business community with many positive comments from business leaders. What's more, the Federation of Small Businesses have said that it's the best they've seen, so do take a look at it.

What guidance is there for shops and food premises?

With face coverings becoming compulsory from 24 July in Shops and Supermarkets, visit GOV.UK - Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own to find out who needs to wear one, when and why.

When coming into Mid Devon’s towns, entering our shops and taking public transport please remember to wear your facemask.

Specific guidance is available for shops and retail branches.

For food premises, you'll need to meet the specific guidelines. The Food Standards Agency has prepared a useful checklist which you can download. 

With the announcement that pubs, cafes, and restaurants can reopen on 4 July, the Government has released Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways.

Shops Social Distancing PosterShowing your business is COVID-19 secure

We've created a template poster for your business to download and use to promote the necessary safety procedures for customers.

The Government has also produced a number of posters and social media images to show your business is COVID-19 secure. You can download these and display them in your windows to help build customer confidence.

What additional help is available?

Lots of useful resources are available for various workplaces. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has produced a number of webinars on how to make a workplace Coronavirus secure.

Discretionary Grants Scheme

In May 2020, the Government announced additional funding to target small businesses with high fixed property-related costs that weren't eligible for the previous grant schemes. For more information, see our New Discretionary Business Grants Funding Scheme page.

Other business news

All Government guidance, information and announcements can be found at GOV.UK - Coronavirus (COVID‑19).

Of particular note, is a page with guidance for employees, employers and businesses which is being updated regularly with the latest advice. The BEIS issues regular e-bulletins with business updates relating to the Coronavirus and other business news. See their website for further details.

If your business is experiencing any issues relating to COVID-19 which aren't being addressed through other support channels, please contact our Economic Development team in confidence to help shape future activities responding to the outbreak.

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