Last updated: 24/09/2020

Business advice and support relating to Covid-19

We understand that business owners will have many questions in these uncertain times. This page is for business owners with questions or concerns about regulatory matters. General advice from Cornwall Council can be found on the Information about Coronavirus (Covid-19) page.

Due to offices being closed and people working from home please email the Business Regulatory Support Hub at Our Hub advisors will contact you as soon as possible. 

Test and Trace

It is now mandatory for designated venues to have a system in place to request and record contact details of their:

  • customers
  • visitors and
  • staff

Hospitality, leisure and tourism, close contact services and local authority run services must all have systems in place to collect test and trace data. From the 24 September an official NHS QR poster must be displayed which customers may use to scan their data. If they are unable or unwilling to use this there must be an alternative system in place. Businesses are legally required to obtain this information.  They could be fined if they do not do so.

For full details of the:

  • information required
  • list of designated businesses
  • how to get the QR poster

Check out the Government guidance below:

Prepare for the NHS Covid-19 App

Businesses across England and Wales like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas are being urged to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.

The move comes ahead of a national launch of the NHS COVID-19 app across England and Wales on Thursday 24 September.

The government will be supporting businesses and venues to display the QR codes, which can be downloaded via a website to display as posters in premises.

The NHS have prepared some resources and how to guides.

View covid-19 app resources

Business Recovery

If you are uncertain about any of the rules your business needs to follow we are here to help you. You can contact us via email at

Face coverings

Government guidance relating to Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.

Food Businesses

Many businesses are offering takeaways to local residents. The council’s Business Regulatory Support service has developed take away and delivery guidance. This will answer most questions on how to make alterations to your business model in a safe and compliant manner.

Further information regarding food delivery and take away has been issued by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

If businesses start to operate a takeaway service, and also offer alcohol with those meals they should check their licences permit ‘off sales’. If they are delivering alcohol they must also check there are no conditions that prohibit this. Businesses cannot serve hot food and drinks after 11pm without a Late Night Refreshment Licence.

The Food Standards Agency have prepared the following advice for iindividuals or groups that are preparing meals to share within the community.

The Food Standards Agency have published guidance for businesses on how to safely redistribute surplus food in the community and avoid unnecessary food waste.

Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have produced a guide for food businesses operating under the COVID-19 lockdown.


Please contact the Council's support team via email at or using our online form if any of the following apply:

  • You have concerns over a business not complying with closure regulations.
  • You are aware of a holiday let business remaining open.
  • You are unsure if your business should be closed.

To report a business that you believe should be closed please contact the Council's Covid19 support team using our online form or by emailing us at


As the recovery from this pandemic begins, we want to be able to provide schools such with the best advice and support as possible. We want to be able to assist you in re-opening as quickly as possible, but most importantly as safely as possible for staff, students and visitors alike.

We have put together some guidance and service information to assist you in the transformation back into safe and healthy operation.

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. The  guidance is to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trading Standards

The Trading Standards team have been made aware of a number of Covid-19 related scams. More information on these scams and the support available can be found on the Cornwall Council website.

Holiday Accommodation Booking Cancellations

In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly the restrictions on non-essential travel and the mandatory closure of most business premises has prompted a number of enquiries from hotels and other accommodation providers seeking clarification as to their rights and obligations in relation to forced cancellations. Our Trading Standards team have released the following advice for businesses relating to booking cancellations.

We have also received enquiries from members of the public concerning the cancellation of holidays and as a result we are now offering this advice and guidance to anyone wondering where they stand.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a programme of work to investigate reports of businesses failing to respect cancellation rights during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Business interruption insurance during the coronavirus pandemic

We are aware that many local businesses are trying to claim on their insurance but are being asked to prove there was a case of Covid19 within 25 miles of their business. Our Trading Standards team have produced the following guidance to support them with their claim.

Licensed Distillers: Gin, Vodka and Rum

During the present emergency, if you’re a licensed distiller or gin manufacturer and you want to produce hand sanitiser you do not need to tell HMRC or get their approval. If you hold duty suspended ethanol in an excise warehouse, you can denature ethanol by either:

You do not need to tell HMRC, but you must keep a record both of the:

  • amounts of ethanol denatured
  • method used

The government has issued further guidance for producing hand sanitiser.

Further to HMRC’s announcement about alcohol used to make hand sanitisers, HSE have made a very similar ruling that manufacturers do not need to register alcohol based hand sanitisers under the biocidal product regulations.

Legionella are you controlling the risks?

Cornwall Council's Environmental Health Team is issuing a safety reminder that while many buildings, offices and leisure facilities are shut down due to the pandemic, that water systems and leisure facilities, such as spa pools, are still well maintained to prevent future health issues like Legionella outbreaks. This applies to all buildings irrespective of size and use, appropriate measures must be planned and implemented. The following guidance has been set out to support businesses control the risks of legionella.

ESGLI have published guidance for managing Legionella in building water systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Export health certificates

Where required we can still issue export health certificates.


The Institute of Licensing has provided updated guidance on the delivery of alcohol.

Approved venues

Licensed venues for weddings and ceremonies can access regular updates on the Cornwall council website. Any queries relating to switching dates should be via email at

Wedding Cancellations

Working alongside the Ceremonies and Registration teams, our Trading Standards Team have prepared the following advice regarding wedding cancellations due to Coronavirus.


The Pensions Regulator have issued guidance relating to pensions that you need to consider.

Further advice and support