Government guidance on reopening retail and other businesses

Salford and Greater Manchester have been placed into the ‘Very High' Local COVID-19 alert level

This means from 0.01 on Friday 23 October:

  • Pubs and bars in Greater Manchester must close. They can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant - which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.
  • In addition, the following businesses will not be allowed to open: casinos, bingo halls, betting shops, adult gaming centres and soft play areas.
  • Office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter.
  • Residents must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they are part of their household or support bubble. This includes private homes and indoors in places such as restaurants.

In addition:

  • Residents should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make and are advised not to travel into or out of an area if it has been categorised as a very high alert level area.
  • Residents should also avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, except if necessary for work, education or caring responsibilities, this includes staying in second homes.

There is more information on the government website

There is also new advice that people who are clinically extremely vulnerable must follow

More details for pubs, bars and other businesses selling alcohol:

A pub, bar or other business involving the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises must cease to carry on that business, unless:  

  • the alcohol is only served for consumption on the premises as part of a ‘table meal’
  • the food and drink is ordered by, and served to, a customer who is seated on the premises
  • the business owner takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated while consuming the food or drink on the premises 

A ‘table meal’ is:

  • a meal that you’d expect to serve as the main midday or main evening meal (or as a main course at either such meal)
  • a meal eaten by a person seated at a table, (or at a counter/ or other structure functioning as a table where people are seated)

The following legal requirements remain in place for businesses:

  • Businesses and venues must continue to ensure they follow government Covid-19 rules, including restrictions on table service and group bookings 
  • Businesses and venues must continue to take all reasonable steps to ensure customers do not socialise with anybody they do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with), either inside the venue or in any outdoor area.
  • Where businesses and venues are permitted to open, the 10pm curfew continues to apply. Only a cinema, theatre or concert hall may operate at or after 10pm in order to conclude a performance which began before that time
  • Businesses and venues selling food 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-thru’.
  • Businesses and venues must continue to collect customer, visitor and staff data in line with government requirements relevant to the business
  • Face coverings are mandatory (enforceable by law) for customers in public indoor settings. You can read up to date guidance for the wearing of face coverings for customers and staff in certain indoor settings
  • Businesses must ensure if their workers are required to self-isolate, they do not work outside their designated place of self-isolation
  • Businesses such as restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas, should have NHS QR code posters displayed in their entrances. The NHS COVID-19 app is an important way for NHS Test and Trace in England to contact multiple people with advice if coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venues.
  • Businesses must display a sign making it clear customers must wear a face covering.
  • Customers who have downloaded the new NHS Covid-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in, instead of filling out a check-in book or a system specific to a business.
  • Businesses can use national QR code display materials.

Businesses and venues that do not comply with these restrictions may face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution, or in some cases closure.

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, businesses and venues will continue to have legal restrictions on how they can operate, to help minimise the spread of the virus.

The council can take action if businesses don’t meet these legal requirements, such as fixed penalty notices, prohibition notices, prosecution and an unlimited fine. So it’s important businesses understand what they need to do with their workplace or venue.

Sector specific guidance is available ‘to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic’. There are guides for:

  • Construction and other outdoor work
  • Factories, plants and warehouses
  • Labs and research facilities
  • Offices and contact centres
  • Other people’s homes
  • Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
  • Shops and branches
  • Vehicles

The guides are on the GOV.UK website.

Guidance for different business sectors

Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways is available on the GOV.UK website.

Guidance for close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers is available on the GOV.UK website.

We have provided some guidance for retail businesses on measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease. The Greater Manchester Regulatory Centre of Excellence has also published some useful guidance, including for example, managing queues outside of premises.

The Food Standards Agency have published guidance to assist food businesses with ‘reopening and adapting your food business during covid-19’. It provides guidance to farming and agriculture businesses, food manufacturers, restaurants and takeaways.

If you have changed your business model to include food delivery, the delivery of alcohol or the provision of late night refreshment (the supply of hot food and drink between 11pm to 5am) or are thinking of doing so, please review our guidance page to ensure that your business remains compliant with the law.

If you are a hospitality business (such as pub, wine bar, restaurant or café) you may be looking at opportunities to place tables and chairs outside your business or increase existing outdoor provision on a temporary basis. To do so you will need to apply for a temporary pavement licence.


If after reading the guidance, you are not sure how your business must operate to comply with the law, or you wish to report non-compliance with the restrictions in Salford, you can email

If your business is affected by the restrictions, you can find details of support available on our coronavirus pages.

Next steps

The government has published its COVID-19 recovery strategy, setting out a roadmap to easing restrictions. 

Details of upcoming Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy webinars can be found on Eventbrite. 

This page was last updated on 22 October 2020

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