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Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Latest health advice and information on service disruptions.

Business safety advice

In its efforts to protect the public and our NHS, the government has passed new legislation making it a requirement for certain business to either close, or change the way they trade to reducing the spread and infection.

View the government's guidance for up to date advice of which businesses must remain closed.

View the government's guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Government FAQs: what you can and can't do. 

When reopening a building after a long period of closure it is important to ensure that the water systems have not allowed legionella bacteria to grow and thrive. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Guidance provides advice on what needs to be done. 

If you are a business in Gateshead and would like advice or clarification on how to trade and adapt under the current Covid-19 restrictions or implement social distancing within your workplace, then please contact us by email at:

Guidance for food businesses when reopening

View the Food Standards Agency's guidance to help food businesses reopen and adapt during COVID-19. 

Reopening checklist for food businesses during COVID-19 from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Social distancing guidance for businesses

View general information on social distancing from the government.

Retail and public premises which remain open must:

  • control entry of people into the shop, to ensure that the 2m rule can be observed for both customers and employees
  • maintain queue control outside of shops and other essential premises so that the 2m rule is observed by those waiting in the queue - customers must not be allowed to congregate or loiter
  • within the shop there must be 2m clearance between customers and employees

Food businesses may offer a takeaway service. To do this the following measures should be taken:

  • payment by direct electronic transfer or contactless tap and go (avoiding cash)
  • pre order over the phone and pick up at a specified time and location
  • customer waiting areas to be controlled, for example by demarcation of 2m square boxes
  • customers must not be allowed to congregate or loiter
  • frequent thorough cleaning and disinfection of all hand contact points in the waiting area


Gateshead Council ask that all businesses and residents help us slow the spread of infection and report any concerns they may have where businesses which should not be trading are doing so.

Gateshead Council Officers are working with Northumbria Police and other agencies and are authorised to take action against businesses which breach the requirements outlined within the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 and will do so in a proportionate manner.

Please contact us by email us at: to report any concerns.

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