City & town centre support

Keeping our City & Town Centres safe:

Please read the new rules on what you can and cannot do on the GOV.UK website

We are here to support businesses in adapting to both the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic and are planning for economic renewal in Bath and North East Somerset for the coming weeks, months and years beyond 2021. 

This page is an overview of Government and council guidance to support your business. 

Government guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.

Government guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways. Find the government PDF dated June 23rd to help you understand how to work safely and keep your customers safe during this pandemic.

Government guidance for people who work as part of the vistor economy.

Practical actions for businesses to take based on 5 main steps. - Government's 5 steps to working safely.

Please read all the government guides relevant to your workplace.


Social distancing & Road Closures

To enable social distancing, the council will be temporarily closing some streets and widening pavements on others. York St, Cheap St, Westgate St, Saw Close and Upper Borough Walls will be closed to motor vehicles to create a pedestrian and cyclist zone. Milsom Street will also be closed to motor vehicles except for local buses. These measures will provide increased space for people to move around, observe social distancing rules and queue for access to shops.

To help pedestrians to safely social distance, pavements will be widened. Find out the locations that will be affected in this press release. 

Between 10am and 6pm, a tradesperson will not be given vehicular access. If the need for access during this time is unavoidable a request for a permit should be made at bathsocialdistancing please complete the appropriate application form from the documents list on the right of the linked page.

A visual guide and more information on road closures and what it means for your business and can be found on the Reopening Bath City Centre Leaflet

Further social distancing measures in Kingsmead Square and Avon St in Bath are set to close temporarily from July 3 to enable pedestrians and cyclists to social distance and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Full details of the access restrictions can be found at

Residents and businesses in Keynsham are being advised about a temporary closure of Keynsham High Street from July 13 to provide more space for social distancing. The road will be closed to vehicles every day between 9am and 5pm except for Dial-a-Ride access. Cyclists will be able to use the road in both directions at all times. The High Street bus stop will be relocated to Ashton Way. This road closure, which is supported by Keynsham Town Council, will come into force on Monday July 13 and remain in place for as long as social distancing is necessary. Read more here. 

A visual guide and more information on road closures and what it means for your business and can be found on the Keysham High Street Leaflet

The government has published guidance on how to safely operate in different workplaces and sectors during the pandemic, including how to effectively maintain social distancing in these settings. It is very important that businesses follow this guidance to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe. Important information can also be found in the Government social distancing guidance.


Queuing and managing customers

Government has set out some guidance on how to manage customers inside and outside your premises. Below are shortcuts taken from the larger government guidance for shops and branches.

Bath BID is leading on the allocation of queuing space across Bath city centre and has developed a set of floor stickers that they can install. If you would like a set outside your business, please contact or call 01225 430640.

Information about the placing of tables and chairs during the Covid-19 outbreak can be read on the Pavement Licence pages on the B&NES website. 

Businesses which do not have a tables and chairs permit should not be putting any out on the highway.  At present the Council is bound by the Highways Act 1980 to follow due process in permitting a licence for tables and chairs in pedestrianised areas. However, the Planning and Business Bill was published on 25 June 2020 which changes licensing legislation to make it easier to serve food and drink to customers outside.  It is anticipated that the Bill will receive Royal Assent (and become an Act) at the end of July.

Smokefree outside spaces

It is recommended that you consider creating a smokefree environment outside of your premises. Please visit the link below for a guidance sheet on why we are recommending that you advertise your premises as being smokefree. The majority of B&NES residents are non-smokers (88%) and so it’s important that we recognise this and ensure that all patrons are able to enjoy visiting establishments, whilst also being protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke, during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Smoke Free Guidance

You can also download these posters to promote your smokefree outside space - Black & White Poster Printout - Colour Poster Printout 

Download Government’s five steps to safer working together poster -Staying COVID-19 Secure in 2020

Below are some example posters you can display in your business to aid your staff and customers in understanding and adhering to the current guidance.  If you wish to be emailed the amendable versions, please contact

Business Closures
Customer Notice
Deliveries & Collections
Food Takeaways
For Your Safety
Maximum Customers
Protect Customers & Staff

Risk assessments and health & safety

Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19. As a business owner or manager you will also need to consider whether any social distancing changes made to your business operations have introduced other risks. The Health and Safety Executive has published guidance on carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment and talking with your workers about working safely during the outbreak.

The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) are leading the UK government response to coronavirus and the latest information and advice on the COVID-19 outbreak can be found here.

Food safety

You can find advice on a wide variety of topics that will also outline what is legally required of food businesses from the Food Standards Agency. A reopening checklist for food businesses during COVID-19 can be found here.  It must be noted that this checklist is a guide and isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ document and business owners must consider the risks and controls at their own business.

Key changes and public safety messaging from Bath & North East Somerset Council can also be found on the coronavirus latest advice pages.

If you can’t find an answer to any health & safety or any food safety questions you have, you can send an email to


If you choose to wear a face covering, it is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off.

Employers should support their workers in using face coverings safely if they choose to wear one. 

You can make face-coverings at home. Find guidance on how to wear and make a face-covering on GOV.UK


As lockdown restrictions ease, pressure on public transport will increase and social distancing measures mean that buses and trains can take just a fraction of the normal number of passengers.
To help you and your employees stay safe, the Government's travel advice is as follows:

  • Continue to work from home if you can and stay local as much as possible.
  • If you need to travel, consider walking and cycling or drive if you have to.
  • Only use public transport if you have no other travel options. This keeps services available for those that need it most.
  • Capacity is just 25% of normal levels on buses and 10% on trains due to social distancing, so avoid peak times if possible.
  • Leave extra time for your journey.
  • Keep your distance from other passengers, wear a face covering, clean your hands frequently and use contactless payment.

For the latest information on staying safe whilst travelling in the West of England, please visit the Travelwest site here.

Opportunities, training & redundancy support.

Achieve in B&NES provides a job and course search service for anybody wishing to enter the workplace or progress their career. There are several free and funded courses from local providers on offer.

Achieve in B&NES is a built network of local businesses as well as support services, who can confidently offer real jobs, opportunities in the routes to employment and support which meets the needs of the residents, both now and for a productive future. Their focus is to build an accessible network of support to help individuals reach their full potential and goals. Search for Opportunities.

Cool Ventures have a range of workshops and one-to-one sessions to cater for your individual needs. During this challenging and unprecedented time, we recognise that small businesses need help more than ever, Cool Venture’s experienced business advisers are available to discuss any business-related issue with you in a FREE confidential meeting.

Whether you would just like to talk to someone about the challenges your business is facing, navigate through the government support on offer or need help with marketing, finance, HR or planning for recovery post Covid-19, we have a team of experts on hand to listen and support you.

Simply book an advice session or get in touch to discuss your support needs.


Council Webinar: Reopening our High Streets

Bath & North East Somerst Council Leader Cllr Dine Romero hosted a webinar on reopening our high streets this Thursday 11 June. The webinar also featured contributions from Avon & Somerset Police, the Bath Business Improvement District and other senior council officers and members. You can view the recorded webinar here: -