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Back to Business 

Your one-stop-shop for getting safely back to business. 

With the Government's gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, our focus has shifted towards getting the local economy back on track. We recognise that the need for continued social distancing, and enhanced hygiene measures, is challenging for many local businesses. Therefore, we have set up our Back to Business Hub to help you find the right support to go back to business safely.

Our hotline is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

Support for Businesses

Please click on the + signs below to expand the boxes for further information and support

Are you #open for business?


Find local businesses near me app

We have set up a new online application facility for people to find businesses that are open locally. The map-based app is available on our website, and people can search by location or postcode. The results show a listing of traders open for business in the district, along with their address, contact details, and websites (where applicable). The search radius can be personalised to cover local areas or the whole district.

Put your business on the map by completing our "Find local businesses near me app" form or contacting the Back to Business Hub (contact details above).

Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

BEIS also wants to celebrate businesses that have reopened. Please see link for more information: 

Sign up for alerts


The Government regularly updates its guidance and you will therefore need to keep up-to-date with any changes. Sign up for alerts on the GOV.UK website.

Businesses that can be open 


Check government guidance to see if your business can open. This page will be kept updated in line with any Government announcements on the easing of lockdown restrictions and other changes. 

You must not reopen if your business is closed under current government rules.  


Tell us if you think a business is still operating when it should not or is not complying with the current social distancing rules. Please complete our dedicated form.

Before your business opens: How to be COVID-Secure


From 24 September, the Government's COVID-secure workplace guidance will become a legal obligation

Risk Assessment

Before your business opens you must carry out a risk assessment and ensure that you have the correct measures in place so that you can open safely - for you, your staff and your customers. 

The government has set out guidance on how to get people safely back to work

The main steps within this guidance are:

  • Work from home if you can
  • Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Manage transmission risk
  • Reinforce cleaning processes

Industry Guides

The Government has published industry-specific guides to help you make your workplace COVID-secure. Depending on your business, you may need to use more than one guide as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. 

Online Tools

You can also use the Government's online tool to help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce - please see Reopen your business safely during coronavirus (COVID-19).

There is also an online tool to help you find out what support is available for your businesses, which is kept up-to-date with latest Government announcements - please see Find coronavirus finncial support for your business

Employee return-to-work tool

The Government has developed a tool to help employees in England easily assess if they can return to work. The tool guides employees through questions that may influence their ability to go back to work safely. Employers can share this tool with employees to aid discussion on how employees can return to work safely: Coronavirus Employee Risk Assessment

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

The HSE has published a range of coronavirus-related guidance and information, which you may find useful, including:

  • Cleaning your workplace: How to clean your workplace to reduce risk from coronavirus.
  • Social distancing: Social distancing means keeping people apart to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • First aid: Requirements in non-healthcare settings during the outbreak, as well as first aid cover and qualifications at this time. 


Video guide to re-opening non-essential businesses 

New national restrictions - September 2020


From Thursday 24 September, the Government is introducing restrictions to help contain the rising number of Coronavirus cases across the country. These include: 

  • Making the COVID-secure workplace guidance a legal obligation
  • Closing pubs, restaurants and bars at 10pm (except for takeaway deliveries)
  • Allowing only “table-only” service at pubs, restaurants and bars
  • Staff in retail and indoor hospitality having to wear masks (customers in indoor hospitality will have to wear masks except when seated at a table to eat or drink).
  • The £10,000 fines imposed on those who don't quarantine will now be applied to businesses and the penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking rule of six will double to £200
  • Reducing the exemptions to the “rule of six” 
  • Reducing the number of people able to attend a wedding from 30 to 15 - this change is from Monday 28 September (the number of people permitted to attend a funeral remains unchanged).  
  • Asking people to work from home if they can
  • Suspending the planned reopening of conferences, exhibitions and events on 01 October 

Please see the Prime Minister’s Statement to Parliament (22 September 2020). 

NHS Test and Trace


NHS Test and Trace

The easing of social and economic lockdown measures is being supported by NHS Test and Trace.

You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your organisation, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed.

From Friday 18 September, certain businesses will have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. Premises and venues across England where people meet socially including hospitality, close contact and leisure venues (i.e. pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas) must have a system in place by law to record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff, which must be kept for 21 days. There will be fixed penalties for businesses that  fail to comply. Businesses will now also be legally required to enforce the rule of six. 

Test and Trace App and QR codes

The Government has announced that the NHS coronavirus contact-tracing app will launch in England and Wales on 24 September. 

From Thursday 24 September, certain busineses will be legally required to display official NHS QR code posters, which app users can scan (check in) to register that they have visited a venue. This means if people visit your venue or place of business and later test positive for coronavirus, other app users who were there at the same time may be sent an alert, if local public health teams think this is necessary.

Benefits of the App 

  • Anonymity: the app notification will not mention the name of your venue, just that the app user has recently been to a venue where they have come into contact with coronavirus
  • Speed and Ease: the app is extremely quick and simple to user for both businesses and users as it’s a one click check in system with no “log-in” requirements
  • Data Management: the app is highly secure and data is automatically deleted after 21 days. Users can also delete their own check in data at any point
  • Cost: there is no cost to generate a QR code or for the user to download the app 

How to download your QR code 

  1. Enter your verification code into the website form – this will allow you to continue with registration
  2. Next enter your venue/business name and address and continue
  3. Once all your details have been entered and accepted, you will receive an email with the QR code poster
  4. Download and print the poster for display. If you do not have access to a printer, you can display your QR code poster at your venue using digital signage. For example, a TV screen or iPad. If you do not have these then contact your local library who can print it for you for. For more information go to Protect your visitors and staff
  5. Display your poster in a visible place – visitors will then be able to scan the poster to check in

Please visit for the latest information on the Test and Trace app. Here you will also find a list of common questions for more advice for businesses and organisations and downloadable resources.  

Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing guidance for employers

Some employers may want to introduce their own internal testing programmes outside of the NHS Test and Trace service. This Department for Health and Social Care guidance will help them ensure that their testing programmes are as reliable and effective as possible.  

Early Outbreak Management: Action Cards


COVID-19 early outbreak management information has been created to make sure that people who run businesses or organisations:

  • know how to recognise and report an incident of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • are aware of measures local health protection teams may advise in order to contain it

The information is contained within the Public Health England's ‘action cards’ that have been designed for specific situations where an outbreak could occur. This could be a restaurant or office, a construction site or a place of worship. The action cards are designed to be downloaded or printed and kept on hand in your business or organisation.

In accordance with the Government’s July opening guidance, the first batch of Action Cards released cover the following business and local community settings:

  • Commercial Workplace
  • Consumer Workplace
  • Education
  • Food & Drink
  • Industrial Workplaces
  • Institutions
  • Small and Large Gatherings Workplace
  • Residential Workplace
  • Travel

Additional settings will be added in due course.

Dover District Council Guides 


Reopening Guide and Checklist

Please see our reopening guide and checklist to help your business get back on its feet after a period of closure. 

These guides are currently being reviewed following the Government's announcement of further easing of lockdown restrictions on 23 June 2020.  

DDC Event Guidance 

Please see our Events Guidance for examples of some of the areas you may need to consider to support your event risk assessment.


We've created posters for you to download, print and put in the window of your business, to help people know what they should be doing to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and help you open safely.

Businesses are also advised to display a poster to confirm they have read and are folowing the Government's COVID-19 secure guidelines (please see sections below for further information):

Information and Support


With the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, information and advice from Government can change quickly. For all the latest Government information on COVID-19 and the measures the Government is taking, please visit the GOV.UK coronavirus pages. You can also sign up for alerts on the GOV.UK website.


The following three sections have been taken from our DDC Reopening Guide (updated 17 June)

  • Working Safely (includes risk assessments, managing queues, good hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, PPE, retail and signage)
  • Food Safety (includes chilled and cold room, stock control, allergens and pest control)
  • Health and Safety (includes legionella and fire safety)

Useful Information

Links to external sites

Contact Us


It is impossible to cover every scenario and all businesses are individual. If you have any specific questions please contact our Back to Business Hub:

  • Telephone: 01304 821199, Option 9 and ask to speak to the 'back to business hub' or
  • Email: 
  • Online: Back to Business Form 
  • Keep Me Posted: sign up for email alerts (select 'Covid-19 Business Updates' from the list of topics)

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