The High Streets have reopened and businesses are ready to welcome back visitors in a safe and responsible way.  

Businesses will have social distancing measures in place to ensure the safety of shoppers. Teams across the Council and TDA have worked together to help businesses restart safely using a tool kit they have developed.

Signage will be in place to support social distancing and to encourage people to use the town centres responsibly.

We are also encouraging shoppers to help support their local businesses and #ShopLocal.

The Reopening High Streets Safely Project has received funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

Support for Businesses

On the 22 September, the Prime Minister announced further national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in England. These measures could last up to six months.

Further measures that could impact your high street business include:

  • Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings (from 24 September except where exemptions apply).
  • Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law (from 24 September except where exemptions apply).
  • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September).
  • In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.
  • Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume indoors, on site (from 24 September).
  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally (from 24 September).
  • Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID Secure (from 28 September):
  • A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
  • 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

See all new national measures announced here

A new Facebook group has been set up for independent high street businesses in Torbay. The aim of the Facebook group is to work collaboratively to ensure the safe opening of the high streets, share best practice and feedback and to help streamline communications.

  Join the Torbay retailers Facebook group

We have appointed a part time Information Officer until January 2021, dedicated to helping high street businesses in Torbay open safely.

Although the Information Officer will be reaching out to businesses on a continuous basis, we encourage any businesses requiring advice or support to contact Information officer Alan Smith directly.

To ensure you’re ready to reopen your business safely, please see the guidance and advice from the Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership Covid-19 Toolkits:

Other considerations for reopening safely:

  • Updating your website with the detail of your reopening, your COVID-19 risk assessment and any details of queuing, timed entries, or measures that customers should be aware of.
  • Use your social media platforms and email database to share messaging direct to our customers to tell them what’s happening and keep them updated.
  • Have visible signage on your premises to say that you’re open and to communicate your safety measures and procedures.
  • Take advantage of the marketing support available to you through networks, groups and city initiatives to spread the word and encourage custom.
  • Consider joining up with other local reopening businesses to make an impact and create positive noise that you’re ready to welcome customers back.

Read more about the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund

Download and print our shop local safely signage below, and add your own in-store guidance for your customers:

Colin Crab A4 poster
Download Colin Crab A4 poster Word doc
Colin Crab A4 poster
Download Colin Crab A4 poster PDF
Olivia Octopus A4 poster
Download Olivia Octopus A4 poster PDF
Olivia Octopus A4 poster
Download Olivia Octopus A4 poster Word doc
Steven Seagull A4 poster
Download Steven Seagull A4 poster PDF
Steven Seagull A4 poster
Download Steven Seagull A4 poster Word doc

Advice for shoppers

Here are some things to remember when you are shopping on the high street:

  • Leave plenty of time for your journey, to allow for extra time for queuing.
  • Wear a face covering inside shops and retail premises.
  • Be conscious of busier times, like lunchtime or early afternoon.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds prior to your journey.
  • Where possible, use your card to pay for transactions.
  • Stay alert and follow social distancing measures.

Face coverings

In England, you must wear a face covering by law in the following settings:

  • public transport
  • indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • indoor shopping centres
  • banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)

You are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave.

You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

For more details read the government guidance on the use of face masks and coverings.