COVID-19: Guidance for reopening your business

Guidance for reopening your business

The Council is now working to get the borough back on its feet and our aim is to protect lives and protect livelihoods. Helping businesses to operate safely is essential to this so we are making sure you have the right information and support to hand.

Check the businesses that have been allowed to reopen on the Government website and keep up to date with the Government’s latest rules for businesses announced on Tuesday 22 September 2020.

New rules for hospitality businesses

From Thursday 24 September, all hospitality businesses including pubs, restaurants and cafes will need to operate a table service only and will have to follow curfew rules, closing by 10pm every evening. Takeaways must also close their doors by 10pm but are allowed to continue to offer delivery beyond this time.

NHS Test and Trace

From Thursday 24 September all hospitality and leisure businesses will be legally required to display a NHS QR code at the entrance and other businesses are also encouraged to display the codes. This is to allow customers to scan with the NHS Test and Trace app to record that they have been in the venue. You can create the unique QR code for your site online.

Whilst it is a legal requirement to display the QR code, people are not required to use it, so businesses will still need to take visitors’ details down when they come in if they don’t have access to the code.

Please note you will have to create a QR code for each site if you own multiple venues as each code is unique. Those that don’t comply with the new rules could be fined.

More about NHS Test and Trace

Rule of six

Groups of no more than six people can meet and socialise indoors or outdoors, at home or in public venues such as pubs, restaurants, or shops. Venues following Covid-secure guidelines can host more than six people in total, but should not allow groups of more than six or separate groups to mix. There are some exceptions such as schools, places of work, weddings and funerals. Those who fail to stick to this rule could face a fine of £200 for a first offence.

Visit the Government website to find out more about the Rule of six to tackle coronavirus

Compulsory face coverings

Face masks or coverings are now compulsory in indoor public spaces in England, including retail and leisure venues, taxis and public transport Staff in all retail and hospitality businesses must wear masks and patrons are also required to do so except when eating and drinking. Anyone who fails to comply with the rule could face a £200 fine for a first offence.

Further details on rules and guidance for wearing face coverings are outlined on the Government website.

Print and display in your premises

COVID-19 poster for business - Wear a mask in premises

Hospitality business helpline

As lockdown restrictions ease, we understand hospitality businesses may need more guidance as they reopen and navigate new ways of operating. If you have a specific Covid-19 related query and can’t find the information you need on our website, we have set up a dedicated hospitality business helpline to offer further support.

Call 020 7361 2161, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and you’ll be connected to the right service to answer your query. We are here to support you and our local economy.

This line is purely for matters directly related to Covid-19. For standard service queries, you can find direct contact information on the relevant services webpages.


Kensington and Chelsea’s Covid-19 Summer Trading Policy

June 2020

Our Summer Trading Principles

  • As part of the Council’s priorities to protect lives and protect livelihoods, we will support the recovery of businesses in the retail, hospitality and cultural sector as lockdown restrictions are eased, helping them to operate as safely and effectively as possible.
  • We recognise that July to September will be a crucial period for the retail and hospitality sector. 
  • We will work to allow more use of outdoor space for businesses, managing space for pedestrians, and making application processes as easy as possible. Our approach to licensing has been adapted and we are willing to innovate.
  • We want to ensure that pedestrians can use pavements safely, in a way that complies with social distancing requirements.
  • Our Street Ambassadors will support these aims.
  • As advice and circumstances change, we will take an agile approach.
  • We will implement temporary, low cost and reversible highways interventions and respond, learn and adapt.
  • We are focusing on clusters of activity in and around key High Streets and Hubs. Further details on this will be published soon.

Summary of proposals

How we will help businesses

Tables and chairs

Applying for a Pavement Licence

A Pavement Licence is a new, temporary licence that allows businesses to place tables and chairs and other street furniture on pavements and closed roads so that pedestrians can walk safely without being obstructed.

The Pavement Licence costs £100 and is available until 30 September 2021. For more information and how to apply visit the Apply for a pavement licence page.

Applying for a Seasonal Highways License

A Seasonal Highways Licence is a new, temporary Licence that allows businesses to place tables and chairs and other street furniture in up to two parking bays adjacent to their business (or equivalent areas where there is single yellow line).

The Seasonal Highways Licence costs £100 and is available until 31 October 2020. For more information and how to apply visit apply for a Seasonal Highways Licence.

Increasing the footprint

Some premises may want to place their tables and chairs further out onto the kerb or extend laterally in front of their premises and possibly adjacent to their premises, which you can do with the consent of the adjoining owner. In such cases, Street Ambassadors will work with you to ensure that they are not causing a dangerous obstruction. This is likely to mean that there should be 2.5m clear footway width for pedestrians to use, or as much as 3.5m on our busiest shopping streets. We need to avoid excessive encroachment onto the pavement, where walking on our streets becomes difficult, and the streets become unattractive to use. 

Temporary pavement widening

We’re exploring whether at some locations, where there is sufficient carriageway width, to place tables and chairs in a newly created section of “pavement” that is taken from the carriageway.

Converting parking bays to tables and chairs areas

Where premises have parking bays in front of them, and where traffic volumes aren’t high, we can consider suspending parking bays for use by cafes. Most premises are about one parking bay wide – some are bigger. We would consider granting up to two adjacent parking spaces if there is sufficient room, unless the adjacent premises also wishes to place tables and chairs in one of those spaces.

Supply of alcohol for customers who are in an outside area

We will make our processes as simple and quick as possible within the parameters of the Licensing Act legislation. You can apply online to vary your existing licence or request a new one. Visit our Licensing pages for more information.

If you wish to sell alcohol to customers in an outside area, then you will need to have the relevant authorisation issued by the Council to permit those sales for example Tables and Chairs licensing. If you already hold a premises licence that authorises the sale of alcohol off the premises, then you will be able to supply alcohol to these customers.

Subject to the Business and Planning Bill being enacted on or before the 4 July 2020 all premises authorised for on sales of alcohol will automatically be entitled to sell alcohol off the premises, with operating hours coinciding with the ‘on sale’ hours. The proposed Bill also allows for current conditions that would affect off sales. For example all off sales must be made in sealed containers, to be disregarded. Please be aware that if you allow off sales to become a serious problem at or near your premises, the Bill currently allows for a ‘summary’ review to be applied for to remove the off sales ability. Operators must prepare a statement detailing whether the off sales are in addition to the on sales already permitted, or that the conditions relating to off sales are to be disregarded in compliance with the Bill. The statement must be kept at the premises under the control of the premises licence holder or the nominated person.

You can email our Licensing Team at:, or telephone on tel: 020 7341 5152 if you require further advice. 

If you don’t have a premises licence and are therefore not permitted to sell alcohol, you will either need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) or a new premises licence. For any queries you may have about licensing and opening up your outside space, please call 020 7341 5152.

How you can help us

Deliveries and waste collectionTo balance the amenity of local areas and to ensure that we minimise traffic, we are asking businesses to consolidate deliveries, freight and waste collection arrangements. This will help keep noise disruption to a minimum, keep congestion down and improve air quality.

We need to ensure that we think carefully and act considerately when resuming trading so we don’t lose sight of our combined ambitions regarding the environment and climate change commitments.

Proposals on toiletsWe have reviewed the Government COVID guidance and can see no reason why existing toilet facilities inside licensed premises can’t be used by customers. On this basis, we don’t plan to provide additional facilities at this time. However, should the situation change then we are open to considering the provision of additional temporary toilets for patrons of businesses. In this circumstance, additional temporary toilets could be provided but please be aware that there would be a cost for landowners, or businesses, to enable this to happen. Additionally, businesses would be expected to provide marshalling of queues and to promote social distancing measures.

Marshalling and social distancing measuresThere may be a need for additional marshalling to take place in areas where businesses are reopening. This will help to ensure that people remain within the Government guidance on social distancing and help with security. We will ask landowners and businesses to provide a safe means for their customers to enjoy their trade through the application of appropriate signage or through marshalling, or even both. We are here to support businesses with this where we can, and can provide pavement stencils and signage, just get in touch with us

Emergency and specialist non-hospitality servicesWe expect landowners and businesses to put in place measures to allow continued access for emergency services as well as certain deliveries to non-hospitality businesses.

A summer checklist; being considerate of our neighboursWe’re open to all suggestions about how we can improve our measures to support our hospitality, retail and leisure sector to return to trading. However, we also need to make sure that we strike a balance between maintaining public health and safety during this next phase of the pandemic, with the reopening of businesses and the rights of residents.

  1. We’ll look sympathetically on applications for tables and chairs to be used outside premises but we will prioritise businesses that already use them, and carefully consider the impact any new proposals might have on those living nearby or other businesses. We’re aware we must avoid a situation where all businesses become allowed to trade on the streets as this would quickly become unsustainable. The Council remains committed to addressing cumulative impact and this is particularly important when social distancing measures remain in place.
  2. Whilst parking may be removed in certain locations, we recognise that these schemes cannot take up all kerbside parking in an area. Parking wherever possible will be maintained.
  3. It’s important that the areas that customers can use must be clearly defined both on a pre-agreed plan and on the street. Any proposals must allow space for access to any adjoining premises or separate parts of the same building with sufficient space for social distancing.
  4. Premises must keep the area used for trading and adjacent areas free from waste during trading. At the end of trading, they must sweep and wash this area to ensure that our streets are left in a presentable state for other users.
  5. At the end time for the use of tables and chairs, they must be brought inside the premises. If this isn’t possible, they must be folded and placed in nominated parking bays, located away from noise-sensitive properties. Tables and chairs will have to be stored securely so that they can’t be moved or used overnight.
  6. We are asking businesses taking advantage of the temporary use of outside space to provide, or manage themselves, the necessary marshalling, social distancing measures and toilet facilities.
  7. Premises must check and confirm that their use of the outside area is covered by appropriate insurance, including public liability insurance to the same extent as would be the case for their normal operation.
  8. If we receive sustained complaints from residents which we believe are justified, on either public health or nuisance grounds, we will have to review these measures.
  9. The Council will expect businesses to have up to date insurance liability. 

Queuing and social distancing advice

For businesses that are reviewing queuing arrangements, and taking account of government guidance and advice on social distancing measures, the below provides useful information. Key points to consider:

  • A collaborative approach between neighbouring shops, offices and other organisations will be required to ensure a safe and well managed environment.
  • Consideration should be given to the nature of the area, the immediate streetscape, and neighbouring premises including residential, retail, businesses, schools, health establishments and transport hubs, amongst others.
  • We would expect businesses to continually review their position as the situation develops and as people adapt to the new measures being implemented.
  • A queue management plan and full risk assessment of all elements should be undertaken, using Government guidance.

External queuing space

  • Each premises should review its business operation, hours of opening, anticipated footfall and dwell time to make an assessment about the queuing space they would aim to create.
  • Measure the queuing space by firstly delineating 2.5m* of pavement for public access and reviewing how much remaining width there is outside the premises. Divide this space into spaces to allow for social distancing within the queue.
  • Individual premises will need to assess what space is available to implement appropriate queuing within their curtilage.
  • Ensure 2.5m* width of pavement is free for pedestrian access at all times. If the pavement is less than 3m wide then there may be insufficient space to safely manage a queue.
  • Queue spaces should not be positioned near live traffic where possible. When this is unavoidable, they should be positioned away from the kerb edge.
  • If additional pavement space is required to create a safe queue, businesses must liaise with neighbouring premises to ensure that their plans are fully co-ordinated and proposed queues do not overlap.
  • A staffing or stewarding plan should be implemented for the queue space to ensure sufficient resource is allocated to manage and monitor the queue space.
  • Consideration needs to be given to existing street furniture in the vicinity, as well as bus stops or waste collection routes. Plans must ensure that a pinch point for public access isn’t created.
  • Street clutter can impact on queues and social distancing. “A” Boards and other similar structures should not be placed on forecourts or pavements.
  • Where appropriate, consider whether it is possible to successfully operate external tables and chairs (whether licensed or on private forecourts) and a queue simultaneously. Similar consideration should be given to forecourt trading.
  • If required, utilise floor markings to show waiting points in the queue, this should only be used for social distancing purposes and no advertising will be allowed. If you need advice about what you can use on the public highway please contact
  • Consider utilising window displays to place markers at height. (You can find examples of posters that can be printed off on this page.)
  • Unless otherwise agreed by the Council, the use of signage should be limited to communicate COVID-19 related information only, namely social distancing measures and queuing procedures.
  • Footway markings should be no more than 40 sq. cm in area.
  • It is never acceptable to allow queues to form in the live traffic lane of a road.
  • Where there is a desire to create additional space by using the road, liaison with all neighbouring premises within the same street or sub-section is required to coordinate plans before approaching the Council with proposals for a traffic management solution. There will be very limited locations where this would be considered suitable.
  • Any such requests should be emailed to for consideration.

 * On busier shopping streets, there should be at least 3.5m of pavement free for pedestrians at all times.

Entry and exit points

  • Review the entry and exits to the premises. Consider if it is possible to introduce a one-way system to minimise cross flow of people at entrances. Where possible, allocate different doors for entry and exit.
  • Take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including those with accessibility requirements.
  • Deploy staff at each door to monitor numbers within the store at any given time and manage the entry and exit of people to ensure social distancing is managed.
  • If it is not possible to allocate separate doors for entry and exit, consider marking a line on the floor or signage within the premises to separate entry and exit by a 2m distance.
  • Ensure emergency exits remain accessible at all times.
Other considerations
  • Have a qualified first aider in the vicinity to administer basic first aid should someonefaint in a queue.
  • Monitor for begging and take action to ensure this behaviour does not establish itself. If a problem persists or a person becomes aggressive, call 999.
  • Keep an eye out for individuals loitering nearby or other suspicious activity such as pick pocketing.
  • Review opening hours when considering how to manage deliveries to deconflict where possible.
  • Consider support that may be required for those with hidden disabilities such as deafness, dementia and visual impairments when following instructions and queueing.
  • All employers must carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment which should take into account internal management of the premises, staff and visitor welfare as well as external plans.
  • The Health and Safety Executive has publishedguidance on how to manage risk and risk assessment at work along with specific advice to help control the risk of coronavirus in workplaces.

COVID-19 Posters for businesses to display 

COVID-19 poster for businesses - Closed

COVID-19 poster for businesses - Delivery Collection

COVID-19 poster for businesses - Entry

COVID-19 poster for businesses - Spacing


Health and safety measures All premises that have been vacant, particularly food businesses, will need to conduct a deep clean prior to opening. This includes checking the shelf life of all raw materials and products such as food, alcohol, medicines, and toiletries.

You should also check that all equipment is clean and operational and check for pest activity. Businesses that have been closed or operating with reduced staffing levels are at increased risk of legionella and other bacteria in your buildings’ water system so it is important to assess this before reopening. You can find out more information on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

The Food Standards Agency has created a checklist to support food businesses to reopen safely after having been closed for an extended period of time during lockdown. You can ensure your businesses is ready to operate with the checklist on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website.

If you have specific queries you can email: or call 020 7361 3002.