The Government has set out new measures to protect high street shops and other companies from aggressive rent collection and closure (updated 25 April).

High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government have introduced temporary new measures to safeguard the UK high street against aggressive debt recovery actions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Any statutory demands and winding up petitions issued to commercial tenants to be temporarily voided and changes to be made to the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery, building on measures already introduced in the Coronavirus Act.

The Government have asked landlords and investors to work collaboratively with high street businesses unable to pay their bills during Covid-19 pandemic.

More information is at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-measures-to-protect-uk-high-street-from-aggressive-rent-collection-and-closure

Guidance for food businesses on Covid-19 (published 25 March 2020)

The Government announced new support measures for food businesses (25 March 2020).  Full details are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses

Social distancing

The advice on social distancing measures applies to everyone. You need to minimise opportunities for the virus to spread by maintaining a distance of 2 metres between individuals. This advice applies to both inside the food business and in the external public areas where customers may need to queue.

Top tips for retail outlets, takeaways and restaurants offering a pick up service and people going to pick up a food order are included below.

Top tips for retail outlets:

  • Use signage asking customers not to enter if they have symptoms
  • Regulate entry so that premises do not become overcrowded
  • Use floor markings near serving counters and tills so that customers maintain a 2-metre distance from each other
  • Use vertical signage to direct customers into lanes to facilitate movement within the premises while maintaining 2 metre distance from each other
  • Make regular announcements to remind customers to follow social distancing advice
  • Place a barrier in front of the tills and counters as additional protection for workers and customers
  • Encourage the use of contactless payments where possible, without disadvantaging older or vulnerable customers
  • Provide additional pop-up handwashing stations or facilities if possible, providing soap, water and hand sanitiser

Top tips for takeaways and restaurants offering a pick-up service:

  • Ask customers not to enter if they have symptoms and make clear that no orders will be taken in person on the premises - this should be communicated to customers by appropriate means such as signage
  • Businesses should only take orders online or by telephone
  • Customers arriving without having already placed an order should be encouraged to leave the premises to place their order by telephone or online, and to return at a designated time for collection
  • Businesses should discourage crowding outside the premises. Where possible, use queue management systems to maintain the 2 metres distance from each other
  • Customers should have staggered collection times and when orders are ready should enter one at a time to collect orders.
  • Customers should be discouraged from entering the premises until their order is ready
  • Place a barrier in front of tills and counters as additional protection for workers and customers
  • Encourage the use of contactless payments where possible, without disadvantaging older or vulnerable customers

Top tips if you are going to order and pick up a food order from takeaways and restaurants offering a pick-up service:

  • Order your food to be delivered online or by telephone, and if collecting food pick up at a designated time for collection
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds before leaving your house
  • Don't crowd outside the premises and maintain the 2 metres distance from other people
  • Don't enter the premises until your order is ready and enter one at a time to collect
  • Use online payment where possible or contactless payments at the premise
  • Don't leave your house to pick the order up in person if you have symptoms

The Government announced measures for food businesses around social distancing.  Full details are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses/guidance-for-food-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19