As many businesses in the hospitality sector prepare to reopen this weekend, North Devon Council wants to make sure they know it is there to help.

With many of the district's pubs, restaurants, accommodation providers and others reopening their doors this week, the council is letting businesses know that they are available to provide a wealth of information and guidance on reopening safely, with council officers on hand to give advice on food health and safety, social distancing, licensing, noise control, litter and waste issues. 

To help local businesses manage any issues arising from the latest lockdown easing measures, the council has set up dedicated webpages for reopening businesses. The council urges business owners to read the guidance to ensure they are following the regulations and reopening their business safely and lawfully. Included in the webpages (www.northdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus/reopening-your-business) is the following guidance and information:

  • a link to the Government’s COVID guidance for working safely during coronavirus. These guidelines set out the ways in which businesses should operate to maintain the safety of their staff and customers 
  • advice for trade waste customers on restarting collections (businesses should contact the council before reopening to advise of their requirements) 
  • licensing information for entertainment and alcohol licence holders, including advice for businesses making use of the Devon County Council's informal temporary licences whilst not interfering with social distancing 
  • links to government advice for businesses that allow the consumption of alcohol and food outside their premises. This includes government guidance that there shouldn’t be any live music and businesses have been told to avoid playing music/broadcasting anything that will result in people raising their voice/singing/chanting as it increases the risk of transmission of coronavirus
  • downloadable posters for businesses to display in their premises; including a social distancing poster, a keep left sign, and a 'COVID Safe' poster
  • a webinar Q and A session between council officers from a range of services and a number of local businesses  
  • a link to sector-specific guidance from the government and other organisations to help businesses with practical considerations such as water system checks and opening toilets in line with government guidance  

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden says: "We are absolutely thrilled that so many of our wonderful hospitality businesses are reopening in the coming days and weeks and we want to be the first to welcome them back. We'd like to remind our businesses that we are here to help them through their reopening so please use the information at your disposal and contact us if you require advice or support. It's really important that businesses understand their responsibilities and work with us to minimise any risks. By working together we can reopen our businesses safely and successfully to the benefit of our local economy and the residents and visitors who support it." 

Businesses that have any specific concerns or questions not answered on the website can email North Devon Council's Economic Development officers on economicdevelopment@northdevon.gov.uk.