Covid-19Posted on 13.05.2020

Government guidance for takeaway and food delivery services

The government has issued new guidance for businesses that are currently open, including restaurants offering takeaway or delivery. The new guidelines provide comprehensive details on the measures you should take to operate safely under Covid-19, and cover 5 key areas. 

We have summarised them here for you, but we suggest that you take the time to read the guidance in full. The new guidance is broken down according to type of workplace rather than sector, with eight sets of guidelines in total, so it is important to understand that you may need to look at several publications according to your particular circumstances. You’ll find a link at the bottom of the blog. 


In summary, the 5 key points are: 

All reasonable steps should be taken by employers to help people work from home. But for those who cannot work from home and whose workplace has not been told to close, the government's message is clear: you should go to work. Staff should speak to their employer about when their workplace will open.

This guidance operates within current health and safety employment and equalities legislation and employers will need to carry out COVID-19 risk assessments in consultation with their staff, to establish what guidelines to put in place. If possible, employers should share the results with staff as well as publish the results of their risk assessments on their website.

The government has also produced a downloadable notice in the guidelines, which you should display in your restaurant to show staff, customers and other visitors that you have followed this risk assessment guidance.

Please download here.

Employers should re-design workspaces to maintain 2 metre distances between people by staggering start times, creating one way walk-throughs, opening more entrances and exits, or changing seating layouts in break rooms.

Employers should look into putting barriers in shared spaces, creating workplace shift patterns or fixed teams minimising the number of people in contact with one another, or ensure that colleagues are facing away from each other. You can read about how face coverings can support managing transmission risk below.

Workplaces should be cleaned more frequently, paying close attention to high-contact objects like door handles and keyboards. Employers should provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers at entry and exit points.

Managing risk of transmission: Face coverings 

COVID-19 can be spread directly by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces by touch and subsequently from touching the face. That is why hand hygiene is so important in controlling the infection and along with social distancing, they remain the 2 key ways of minimising risk of spread of COVID-19.

Evidence shows a face covering can help in reducing the spread of droplets and therefore potentially infecting others, and could help to reduce the spread of infection as lockdown measures start to be lifted. 

Wearing a face covering is optional and is not required by law, including in the workplace. If you choose to wear one, it is important to use it properly and wash your hands before putting it on and taking it off.

You should support your staff in using face coverings safely. This means telling them:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it
  • When wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands
  • Change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it, and continue to wash your hands regularly
  • Change and wash your face covering every day
  • If the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste
  • Practise social distancing (2 metres) wherever possible

Please note: The government will not be supplying face coverings as at home items and fabrics readily available on the market can be used, but it is important to wash them after every use. You can make face-coverings at home and you’ll find guidance on how to do this and further guidance on how to use them safely on GOV.UK.

Read the full guidelines