Last updated: 06/11/2020

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.

Some of our offices are currently closed and people are working from home. Please email the Business Regulatory Support Hub at businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk. 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

All of the following must have systems in place to collect test and trace data:

  • hospitality, leisure and tourism
  • close contact services
  • local authority run services

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:

The NHS Covid-19 App

The NHS COVID-19 app was launched on 24 September and is a vital part of the NHS Test and Trace service.  Businesses need to ensure that they have the NHS QR code posters visible on entry. These include:

  • pubs
  • restaurants
  • hairdressers
  • cinemas
This is so that customers who have downloaded the app  can use their smartphones to easily check-in. The NHS have prepared some resources and how to guides on how to use the  NHS COVID-19 app.
If you don’t currently have NHS QR code posters you can create QR codes and downloaded via a website to display as posters in premises.

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

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 businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk.

Face coverings

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

Food Businesses

Many established food businesses have diversified into food delivery, takeaway or online sales. This is in order to continue operating during COVID-19. There has also been an increase in people cooking from home and selling food locally or online.

Remember you need to register your food business with your Local Authority and also update them on any significant changes to your business. You can register online here and please contact us by email to update of any significant operational changes to businesscompliance@cornwall.gov.uk

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

Businesses may start to operate a takeaway service and also offer alcohol with those meals. If so, they should check their premisises licence permits ‘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 are offering support and guidance to established and new businesses to help address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Food Standards Agency have prepared advice on food safety for community cooking and food banks, including guidance on how to safely redistribute surplus food: Hygiene and allergy advice for individuals and groups preparing meals to share in their community.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have also produced guidance:

Non-compliance

Please contact the Council's support team via email at covid19@cornwall.gov.uk 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 that is not being used for one of the following purposes:
    To provide accommodation for any person, who:
    • is unable to return to their main residence;
    • uses that accommodation as their main residence;
    • needs accommodation while moving house;
    • needs accommodation to attend a funeral;
    • is isolating themselves from others as required by law;
    • is an elite athlete, the coach of an elite athlete, or (in the case of an elite athlete who is a child), the parent of an elite athlete, and needs accommodation for the purposes of training or competition,
    • needs accommodation for the purposes of their work,
    • for any child who requires accommodation for the purposes of education,
    • for the purposes of a women’s refuge or a vulnerable person’s refuge,
    • accommodation or support services for the homeless,
    • who was staying in that accommodation immediately before these Regulations came into force,
    • to host blood donation sessions,
  • 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. You can use our online form or email us at covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.

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 people understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. This guidance is for:

  • employers
  • employees
  • the self-employed 

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. These have come from hotels and other accommodation providers. They are seeking clarification as to their rights and obligations in relation to forced cancellations. Our Trading Standards team have released the following advice:

We have also received enquiries from members of the public concerning the cancellation of holidays. As a result of this 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 may have experienced problems in trying to get successful claims on their business insurance. The Financial Conduct Authority are aware of the issue and are providing regular updates on the progress of their legal test case. Please see their website for more information.

Legionella: Are you controlling the risks?

Cornwall Council's Environmental Health Team is issuing a safety reminder. Many buildings, offices and leisure facilities are shut down due to the pandemic. However, water systems and leisure facilities still need to be well maintained. This is 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 the following guidance: 

Our Environmental Health Team are able to support with managing legionella within your workplace.

Licensing

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

Wedding Cancellations

Our Trading Standards Team have prepared the following advice:

This has been produced in conjunction with the Ceremonies and Registration teams.

Pensions

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

Further advice and support