Coronavirus - If you are a resident and need support relating to COVID-19 please call our Help Hub on 01603 430431 — We are currently asking people to only come into our offices for essential visits by pre-appointment. Where possible, people should contact us by phone or email or through our website. For up-to-date information about our services and links to useful advice, see our Coronavirus page

Food, safety and licensing information

To reduce social contact, some businesses are required to close or have restrictions in place on how goods and services are provided. You can find a list of businesses which are permitted to remain open on the GOV.UK website.

Businesses providing animal welfare services should follow the guidance produced by the Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG). This includes grooming facilities, but only for the purposes of the animal’s welfare (and not for aesthetic purposes).

If there is a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus in your workplace, please use the Norfolk County Council flowchart which includes the contact details for the Norfolk Outbreak Management Team. A suspected case is anyone with a new continuous cough and/or high temperature and/or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell.

The Norfolk County Council business toolkit is a free resource available to businesses that includes downloadable posters and signage. Please make use of these to help remind and encourage your staff/customers to comply with the measures in place which help prevent the spread of coronavirus.  

Working safely

Guidance has been published to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance covers a range of different types of work. 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides advice on completing a risk assessment which includes free risk assessment templates that can be adapted for your business.

Reopening food businesses

Reopening your food business after a period of closure will require some extra checks alongside your ‘normal’ daily opening checks. These will help to make sure that your business can restart safely. You will need to maintain your basic hygiene standards and recognise the areas where greater attention will be required.

A re-opening checklist for food businesses produced by the Food Standards Agency is an easy to follow tool that allows you to record progress when restarting your food business.

A temporary pavement licence is a licence granted by the local authority which allows the licence-holder to place removable furniture over certain highways next to the premises in relation to which the application was made.

Mobile traders guidance

If you are a mobile food trader and meet the requirements needed to sell takeaway food, you can do so with the landowner’s permission whilst ensuring you are not causing a nuisance (e.g. odour, noise, waste). Trading on the highway, for example in a lay-by is also permitted provided you follow the guidelines issued by Highways.

While takeaway food outlets and traders may be allowed to operate during this time, businesses must ensure that they protect both staff and the public from coronavirus by following the government guidance.  

The guidance from government about staying alert and safe and maintaining social distancing rules is very clear. Please help by following the social distancing guidelines and encouraging your customers to do the same. 

If you cannot ensure social distancing by your customers, either in queues or when they are eating the takeaway food, for example on nearby benches or in open spaces, you must close your business. This is to protect against the spread of coronavirus. There are posters on the Norfolk County Council website, which may help you to provide information to your customers.

Relaxed planning restrictions for food deliveries

The Government have relaxed planning restrictions for pubs, restaurants and cafes at this time to help businesses adapt and support individuals who are staying at home as a result of coronavirus. This in effect means that we won’t investigate any potential breaches in planning during this period.

The Government has advised that it will introduce a time limited permitted development right through secondary legislation (negative SI) to allow the temporary change of use of a pub (A4 - drinking establishment) and a restaurant (A3 – restaurants and cafes) to a hot-food take away for a period of up to 12 months only.

Businesses will be required to tell us when the new use begins and ends. If alcohol is to be sold and delivered, this is a licensable activity and cannot take place unless an existing licence is in force which permits you to do so.

You must ensure that allergen information is provided to the customer regarding any food or drink provided at the point of ordering, and with the order itself. Separate, clean food-grade containers should be used for food in transit and ensure steps are taken to minimise the risk of cross-contamination; store raw and ready-to-eat foods separately and exercise good personal hygiene, including washing hands regularly.

High risk perishable food should be transported at a temperature of 8°C or below; hot ready-to-eat food should be transported in insulated containers to keep the food as hot as possible ensuring you limit the distance travelled. Ensure any frozen food does not defrost. Further information can be found on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health website.

Whilst we are providing this guidance during the current circumstances, please note that this is subject to change. This advice is provided only in the context of temporary arrangements and any permanent changes may require planning permission.

Food businesses can keep up to date with the latest government advice, including steps that must be taken to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.