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Reopening your business safely

SWT is committed to supporting businesses and traders as they begin to reopen following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

We are doing everything we can to ensure that appropriate messaging, safety measures and guidance are in place so businesses from shops to pubs and restaurants can begin trading again and customers can visit with confidence.

We will continue working to tailor our response to any needs identified as we move forwards towards economic recovery.

The following guidance should be of help but in all cases individual businesses are reminded to adhere to COVID Secure guidelines and patrons should take personal precautions regarding social distancing and hygiene.

We are continuing to support shop-keepers, traders and businesses across the district to re-open safely and ensure that customers can visit with confidence.

We have implemented a range of measures to keep shoppers and staff safe including signage, posters, banners and social media messaging reminding people about the importance of social distancing and hand washing.

Officers are out monitoring the situation in our high streets and shopping centres using feedback and footfall trackers to help inform ongoing initiatives.

We can also help with specific queries and offer advice to traders and business at

Full Government guidance on re-opening high streets safely can be found on Opening certain businesses and venues in England from 4 July 2020.

Retailers in High Streets are asked to download our Opening High Street Toolkit to support safety measures in their stores.  

Our Opening High Street Toolkit includes practical guidance measures to keep staff and customers safe in your premises.

You will also be able to download a number of key messaging posters to display in your window, please see see the bottom of the page.

We are working to support pubs, restaurants, cafes and takeaways across the district with their preparations to reopen from 4 July.

Our officers are currently implementing temporary changes to licensing laws to allow more premises to sell and serve alcohol and food for consumption off the premises, making social distancing easier.

This is in response to Government measures which have been introduced to simplify the process for outdoor seating, including reducing the consultation period for applications from 28 calendar days to 5 working days, and setting a lower application fee for a pavement cafe licence.

Full details of the new legislation can be found on Pavement licences draft guidance

The application process for new Pavement Café Licenses will be up and running shortly. In the meantime any business wishing to apply for a new Pavement Café licence should submit an expression of interest to

Businesses that have expressed an interest will be sent full details and links to the application form and guidance. An officer from Somerset West and Taunton Council may also contact you to discuss your plans.

The temporary closure of East Street, Taunton, to all vehicles except cycles and the removal of on-street parking at The Parade in Minehead have been implemented to enable social distancing and encourage walking and cycling in support of the safe reopening of our high streets.

They are two of several changes introduced across the county as part of work being carried out by the Active Travel Group which includes representatives from Somerset West and Taunton Council, Somerset County Council, Mendip District Council, Sedgemoor District Council, South Somerset District Council, Avon and Somerset Police and Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP).

The measures were implemented using emergency funding from the Government’s Active Travel Fund. Additional funding is expected to be announced soon, presenting further opportunities to positively support the safe movement of pedestrians and cyclists, encourage social distancing and help ease crowding outside shops during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Active Travel Group is committed to working with communities to introduce the changes and wants people to have their say using a new interactive online mapping tool where they can flag up areas where changes could make a positive difference.

Comments will be reviewed, and temporary measures may be put in place or adjusted where appropriate.

The website is being provided by ‘Commonplace’ for a six-month trial period and can be can be accessed on Somerset Covid active travel.

For advice on the actions you need to take to reopen safely, please view our advice on actions to reopening safely document.

Full Government guidance for Pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and takeaways.

Letters sent to businesses April 2021

COVID-19 Guidance for Business

Businesses are advised to keep updated on the latest information and advice to inform their responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Here are the links for advice and guidance.

Guidance to employers and businesses about COVID-19

Support for those affected by COVID-19

Supporting Business Loads Enterprise Finance Guarantee

10 point checklist for covid-19 recovery stages

High streets task force

Nabma guide to market halls and social distancing

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Reopening High Streets Safely Fund guidance

Heart of the south west growth hub covid-19 support for business

Working Safely during Corona Virus Update dated 17 May 2021

Guidance for Close contact services - nail salons, beauty salons, hair salons, barbers, massage centres, tattoo and piercing parlours.

Tourism and hospitality webinar series

Join in a series of online question and answer sessions aimed at helping businesses re-open or adjust as we look ahead to the next stage in the Government’s COVID-19 roadmap out of lockdown. 

Covid-19 and the next steps in the roadmap webinars

Useful documents

Managing streets public spaces in 2020-21

Reopening high streets safely fund guidance

High street restart and recovery County and SWT

Traffic signs to support social distancing