Support and advice for business

Updated 19 January 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for businesses. We want to support Plymouth businesses and have pulled together the information, guidance and resources available to help organisations apply for grants and deal with any COVID-19-related issues such as an outbreak within the workplace.

Businesses and venues

Businesses and venues which must close:

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to close can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks, animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
  • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s home
  • community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services.

Visit the GOV.UK website to see the businesses and venues that can remain open

Making your business COVID-19 secure

Businesses and organisations must comply with stricter rules to make their premises COVID-19 secure:

  • employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work
  • businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

Wearing face coverings

Staff in essential retail are now required to wear face coverings.

People who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as those with an underlying health condition, continue to be exempt from these new obligations.

Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services is now law.

Requirements to support Test and Trace

Many businesses and venues are required to display QR code posters that work with the NHS Test and Trace app.

The posters make it easier for firms to meet their legal duty to collect contact details of people using their premises so they can be contacted in the event of a coronavirus outbreak.

The posters need to be displayed at entrances and customers just have to scan the code with their smart phones to check in. The phone app and QR code poster create a digital record that they visited that venue at that time.

While many of these venues or premises will be closed during lockdown, some will be open.

Premises that need to collect data are:

  • hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors
  • facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres
  • places of worship, including use for events and other community activities.

It does not apply to those premises where a service is supplied and goods are taken off site immediately, e.g. a food and drink outlet providing a takeaway.

Businesses and venues should visit the Government website to create a QR code.

Safe workplaces

All businesses and workplaces should be COVID-19-secure and follow the guidelines set out by Government. The Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines cover 14 separate guides for different ways of working.

Outbreak management in the workplace

As part of the Plymouth’s Local Outbreak Management Plan, sector specific ‘action cards’ have been drawn up to clearly set out preventative measures and actions that need to take place if you suspect there is a potential outbreak in the workplace. 

We have two toolkits to help. These are located on the Visit Plymouth website and accessible below.

This toolkit contains guidance on how to prepare for cases of COVID-19 in your workplace. This includes steps to take now to be ready and steps to take if you are notified of a case(s) in order to prevent further transmission and manage any potential outbreak.

COVID-19 Outbreak Prevention and Management Toolkit

In the event that your business is affected by COVID-19, good communications will go a long way to support your staff, reassure customers and neighbours, and protect your reputation. This toolkit will help your business take the right steps to recovery. It complements the support that your local public health team will give you on operational matters.

COVID-19 Outbreak business communications toolkit

Invest Plymouth

Our Invest Plymouth website provides overall support and guidance to our businesses. It includes information on support available to businesses, including specific coronavirus guidance and advice for employers and sector specific guides.

Support and grants for businesses

Grants are currently available for businesses who were forced to close or have suffered a loss of income.

For more information on business grants from Plymouth City Council please visit the Invest Plymouth website.

All up-to-date information can be found on the GOV.UK website. 

Resurgam – economic recovery

Resurgam is Plymouth’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan and sets out our proposals for reducing the impact of COVID-19 and our plans to deliver a more equal, sustainable and prosperous city post-COVID-19.

Advice hotline

We are here to help.

If you have any issues, concerns or need advice on Coronavirus please email the Public Health Team at or call 01752 668000.

We are here to support and work with our residents and businesses. It is important that we all work together to keep our city safe.

Keep up to date 

We send a regular email newsletter covering Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and information for local businesses.