Support and advice for business

Updated 20 April 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

To reduce social contact, some businesses must remain closed or follow restrictions on how they provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to remain closed can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England.

From Monday 12 April, additional premises will be able to reopen – with the rules on social contact applying. Indoor settings must only be visited alone or with household groups, with outdoor settings limited to either six people or two households.

This includes non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers, beauty and nail salons; and indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and spas (but not including saunas and steam rooms, which are due to open at Step 3).

Overnight stays away from home in England will be permitted and self-contained accommodation can also reopen, though must only be used by members of the same household or support bubble.

Public buildings such as libraries and community centres will also reopen.

The majority of outdoor settings and attractions can also reopen, including outdoor hospitality, zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances events.

Hospitality venues will be able to open for outdoor service, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcohol, and no curfew. The requirement to eat and drink while seated will remain.

The next steps are Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May) and Step 4 (no earlier than 21 June), and you can find further guidance on reopening businesses and venues which explains which business will be permitted to open at each step of the roadmap.

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 retail are 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, our Prevention and Management toolkit identifies steps and actions that need to take place if you suspect there is a potential outbreak in the workplace. The communications toolkit can help you consider internal messaging to employees and external releases to stakeholders and customers.

These are also 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.