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How to Safely Reopen Your Business Premises (A Checklist)

How to Safely Reopen Your Business Premises (A Checklist)
How to Safely Reopen Your Business Premises (A Checklist)

Millions of British businesses have been closed for much of 2020. Whether working from home, limiting customer access, or being shut altogether, the roadmap to exit lockdown restrictions is excellent news that many companies are beginning to reopen their doors.

However, it can be daunting to know which safety protocols you need to implement to ensure your grand opening date goes to plan.

In this guide, the Clearway team has collated a checklist of all the vital factors to consider and help you prepare for a successful year ahead.

1. Employee Safety

Keeping our workforces protected is critical. If you’re planning to reopen soon, it’s a perfect opportunity to collaborate with your personnel and ensure everybody is updated with any changes you need to make to your workspace.

Assess:Actions Required:Completed?
Decontaminations and deep cleans – has your business premises been out of use for some time?

Is there any potential for contaminants to be present in the building?

Schedule a professional deep clean or antiviral fogging treatment to ensure all internal spaces are safe to return to and in good order.Yes/No
Cleaning routines – do you have any shared working or communal facilities?Create enhanced cleaning regimes, focusing on high touch areas such as door handles, light switches and tills.

Purchase appropriate cleaning supplies and disinfectants.

Distribute a cleaning rota with assigned staff to ensure these are adhered to.

Public-facing roles – do your teams deal directly with members of the public?Consider installing safety barriers, or social distancing markers, such as:
  • One-way foot traffic signs.
  • Perspex screens or shields.
  • Waiting areas to avoid bottlenecks.
Do you need PPE to ensure your staff are adequately protected?PPE offers a wide range of ways to help staff stay safe – and the PPE you need depends on the nature of your business. Examples include:
  • Face coverings or shields.
  • Aprons and gloves (essential for cleaning).
  • Hand sanitiser and additional washing facilities.
  • Temperature scanning devices.
Can you support staff with regular testing?The NHS now offers free testing packs to everybody in the UK.

Order a sufficient supply to ensure that all staff can self-test twice weekly and set up an alert to reorder when supplies are running low.

Alternatively, if staff would prefer to manage their own testing, set up a system for the results to be communicated and recorded.

Colleague communications – do your teams know how things have changed and how you will protect them at work?Hold virtual meetings or dialogues to advise on the protections to ensure all staff are happy to return.Yes/No


By having a range of cleaning schedules, appropriate PPE, regular testing, customer signage and transparent communications with your staff, they will be prepared to reopen without any lingering concerns about their wellbeing.

2. Customer Safety

When you’re confident that you have all the resources in place to allow employees to return to work safely, it’s time to consider the protections in place for your customers.

For some businesses, this may be as simple as having enhanced cleaning routines for incoming parts or components. For public-facing companies, such as retail outlets, a more hands-on approach is required.

Assess:Actions Required:Completed?
Do you have a QR code displayed on your entranceways and notices reminding customers that they must wear a face covering?Register for an NHS QR code for your business, enabling customers to log into the test and trace system.

Print signs advising customers of the need to wear a face-covering and any other policies.


Does your business have capacity limitations to ensure customers can visit and maintain social distancing?Set customer number limits, establish waiting areas or queuing systems, and appoint security personnel to manage incoming visitor numbers.Yes/No
Do you have any seating areas or rest facilities?Measure the distance between any seats and ensure there are at least two metres.

Some seats may need to be fenced off to ensure all customers can safely adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Are there multiple routes into or around your premises?Create one-way systems with signs to ensure all customers can follow the same route through your business. You could use concrete blocks to control the flow of traffic. Yes/No
Can staff serve your customers at a safe distance?Install security screens at checkouts or between tables to minimise potential contact between customers or between customers and employees.Yes/No
Are you required to offer services remotely or switch bar service to table service in hospitality businesses?If you need to offer services differently, for example, providing table service, you’ll need to think about how that will work.

You may need to swap paper menus for plastic ones that staff can disinfect between uses. 

Staff numbers may need to increase to offer good service, or you may decide to change the way your ordering system works, through a remote app, for example.



While these checklists aren’t exhaustive, by working through a premises risk assessment and ensuring you have put measures in place to protect your staff and customers, you will be in a great position to reopen.

If you need any assistance with safely reopening your business or organising deep-cleaning or increased security personnel to manage your new systems, please contact the team at Clearway. 

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