Reopening High Streets Safely

HM Government logo          European Union - EU Regional Development Fund logo

The borough of Epsom and Ewell has a vibrant retail economy which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

From 15 June 2020, all retailers were able to reopen to the public provided they can follow the Government’s ‘Covid Secure’ guidelines. It is the intention for shops and businesses to remain open unless there is a local lockdown prompted by a change in coronavirus (Covid-19) infection rates. If this happens, there will be significant local publicity and communication to inform businesses about what they need to do.

This webpage contains useful links, guidance and ideas to help you reopen safely.  It is also a place where you will be able to find links and information relating to the ‘We are open’ campaign which is running across the borough, supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

Updates will be shared through the council’s monthly business newsletter. If you do not already receive a copy and would like to do so in the future, you can become part of our mailing list.

Important information you need to know

General retail business information

QR Posters

Hospitality, close contact services and leisure businesses are legally required to enforce the rule of 6 including NHS QR code posters and contact logs. If you don't, you could face a possible fine of £1000 up to £4000. For more information, please read this press release on the government website.

Types of venues who will be legally obliged to display a QR poster are:

  1. Hospitality – bars, restaurants, hotels, cafes
  2. Tourism and Leisure – museums, galleries, gyms, leisure centres
  3. Local authority buildings
  4. Places of worship
  5. Close contact services
  6. Where an event is taking place in a physical location

Use the government service to create a QR code for display in your venue

Guides and handbooks

The NHS has a comprehensive page of information and resources to support visitors at your business or organisation. These resources can be shared by email, hosted on your website or displayed at your venue. 

The government has produced guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. There are 12 guides which cover a range of different types of work. You may have to refer to more than one guide.

Following the Prime Minister's update on 23 June, the guidance in these documents was updated. Click here to see update only

You can also read more information about staying alert and safe (social distancing) after 4 July

5 Steps to Working Safely

The Government have created a practical action plan to help businesses reopen based on five simple steps.  These are:

  1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
  2. Develop cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures
  3. Help people to work from home (where possible)
  4. Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible
  5. Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk

Please follow this link to a page on GOV UK which sets these steps out in more detail. 

Businesses should display a poster to show that they’ve taken all five steps into account – please follow this link to download the poster.

The Government have also released specific advice for shops and branches to help them reopen. You can find that advice by following this link.

Queue Management

Businesses are responsible for the queueing arrangements outside of their shops. Within the ‘Working Safely during coronavirus (COVID19)’ guidance, the Government state that business owners should be prepared to manage the queues outside their premises. This is to ensure that they do not cause a risk to individuals or to other businesses.

As well as physically indicating where queue lines should form (for example with posters on windows), these ideas may be helpful:

  • Work with your neighbouring businesses on staggered opening and closing times. This may help to spread out demand
  • Explore how customers can safely queue inside your shops, maintaining social distancing but reducing the need for queues to form on the street
  • Consider opening slightly earlier or later to help customers shop with you throughout the day
  • Provide a member of staff to manage the queue

Guide for safe shopping

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health have produced a short guide for the public on how to keep themselves safe while they shop. 

The guide can be downloaded by following this link. It may be useful to read to know what the public are being encouraged to do as they return to the high streets and shopping areas.

New guidance finder (online search tool)

To help employers reopen their businesses safely, the Government have launched a new tool to identify the most relevant guidance for your business. The guidance highlighted will help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce. Use this guidance finder to get tailored information about the measures you need to take to reopen your business safely.

Guidance for food businesses

At the time of this page was published, food and hospitality businesses are still closed. It is expected that they will reopen in July 2020. When they do, this page will be updated as appropriate.

Takeaways and businesses offering food delivery services are currently open.

The following information is useful for all businesses who are currently operating, and for owners of businesses who will be reopened soon to be aware of.

When you are preparing to restart your food service business, you need to contact the council to let us know of your intentions. You can do this by emailing

You should also be checking for any pests (especially if your business has been closed for some time).  If you find any, the council can help you to get rid of them – please see our Pest Control page for more details.

It would be wise to check that your usual registered waste carrier is operating as normal.  If they are not, our team may be able to assist – please see our Business Bins (Food Waste) page for more details.

General guidance on funding

The Covid-19 pandemic has left many businesses in need of financial support to ensure that they can continue trading. 

We have curated a number of links which may be useful and help you to receive grants or support to which you’re entitled.

General guidance on staying safe

There is a wealth of information available about how you can keep yourself, your staff and your customers safe.

The following links bring together a section of that information from the Government as well as the Health and Safety Executive. 

Epsom and Ewell are open

The council, together with a number of partners including the Epsom Business Improvement District, are running a high profile campaign to support the safe reopening of our high streets and shopping areas. This was announced with a short news story: Task Force to support safe, welcoming retail reopening

Printed material to support this campaign will include posters for high streets, shopping areas and other spaces throughout the borough. The campaign aims to support small and medium sized businesses as they reopen and create consumer confidence that our retail areas are safe, welcoming places to visit.

The campaign is being financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund and HM Government.

You can download these posters to use in your own premises 

If you would like to support the social media campaign, please feel free to download and share the below social media assets. Using the #OpenInEpsom, #OpenInEwell or #OpenInStoneleigh hashtags will help your messages to become part of the overall campaign and get the message to more people.

Or feel free to use any of the following themed graphics:

Test and Trace action cards

The NHS (along with support from the Joint Biosecurity Centre) have published a revised set of Test and Trace ‘action cards’. These cards aim to provide signposting of clear guidance about community protection actions for a range of common scenarios.

For more information, including previously published materials, please visit the Public Health England website.

App it to Zap it - Surrey County Council Campaign materials