Skip to content

We use cookies to make the site simpler. By continuing to use this site and closing this message you agree to our use of cookies.Find out more about cookies

Close alert

Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice

Reopening Dorset high streets

As the coronavirus emergency restrictions gradually lift, businesses in Dorset will be facing new challenges and opportunities as to how they operate. We want to make the process of reopening as easy as possible for local businesses by offering advice and guidance:

Get in touch

If you have a question regarding regulatory matters affecting your business and reopening Dorset high streets safely please complete our online form.

Sign up to our business e-newsletter to get the latest updates and advice:

Sign up now

Latest Government announcement 

On Tuesday 23 June, it was announced that pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines, from Saturday 4 July. Some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres.

Following a review, the Prime Minister has also set out that where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’. This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigations which reduce the risk of transmission.

Venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys and spas will need to remain closed for now. The Government is continuing to work with these sectors to help them to become COVID Secure and reopen as soon as possible.

See full details on what can open from 4 July.

What can open

From Saturday 4 July most retail businesses have been able to reopen, if the government’s 5 tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines. These businesses have, with the support of local authorities, been working to prepare to reopen in a safe manner, drawing on the guidelines that have been made available.

Please note that there are still restrictions on some personal services such as nail bars and tattoo parlours. See full details of the businesses that must remain closed.

Ensuring customers and staff are safe

Government guidance is available with specific sections on shops and branches and food take-away outlets.Guidance on opening hair salons and similar salons and spas after the lockdown has been produced by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. This provides detail on cleaning considerations, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing requirements.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have provided guidance to assist with the process of you risk assessing your business and putting reasonable steps in place to help ensure customer and staff are kept safe.

Examples of measures that have been put in place in retail and public premises which have been allowed to open include:

  • ensuring a distance of two metres between customers and staff
  • use of plastic screens
  • controlling numbers at any one time within the shop
  • queue control outside of shops and other premises

We are making changes to some high streets to help address the need for more space outside businesses.


When any buildings reopen after lockdown, it is essential that water systems are not put back into use without considering the risks of Legionnaires’ disease.

There is an increased risk of waterborne pathogens such as Legionella bacteria being present as a consequence of the conditions that lockdown may have created. These references provide guidance:

Contact us

Further questions contact our Food, Safety and Port Health team.

We have the authority to deal with the health and safety issues arising from coronavirus in certain premises including shops, hotels, restaurants and pubs for example. For some businesses the Health and Safety Executive or other agencies are the appropriate body to contact instead. You can check by visiting the Health and Safety Executive website

Getting a licence or changing a licence to trade differently

See our licencing guidance.

Providing takeaway food and drink

See our separate food delivery and takeaway Coronavirus guidance.


There is now no reason to restrict customer toilet access, before opening toilets a business needs to carry out a risk assessment and put measures in place to reduce risks, including appropriate cleaning.

Dealing with waste from businesses

Whether your business is open or closed there is the duty to ensure that waste is disposed of properly by a licensed waste carriers. There have been some instances of business that have closed their doors without due consideration to waste that has remained on the premises during the period of lockdown or their waste contractor was unable to collect. 

If food waste has been left then there may be a build-up of insect activity in the premises or vermin activity if not secured properly in lidded containers. You may need to bring in pest control contractors to eliminate or control this. Our website has information on pest control. If you don’t currently have or are looking to change your waste contractor, our Commercial Waste Team may be able to help.

Downloadable posters

Download and print these posters to use in your shop.

Your feedback

This form is to report content that is wrong, or any issues or feedback you have about the web page.

Contact us if you want to get in touch about a council service instead.

All fields are required.

Leave your email address so that we can provide a response.

This helps us direct your feedback to the appropriate council.

General data protection regulation (GDPR)

We will only use the personal information supplied by you in accordance with GDPR. By giving us this information you are consenting to such use as set out in our privacy notice.