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Coronavirus: food vendors and deliveries

The way we eat at restaurants and deliver food has changed. We want to help businesses be prepared for changes.


Apply for a pavement licence

If your business serves food and drink, check if you're eligible for a fast track pavement licence to add seating outside.

Find out if your business is eligible and apply on our pavement licences page.


Reopening your restaurant, cafe or pub

If you are opening your restaurant, cafe or pub, you must read government guidelines carefully to make sure you keep your business as safe as possible for your customers and your staff.

It's really important that safety guidance is followed and you will need to carry out a risk assessment. You will probably need to make adjustments to your site to ensure social distancing can be maintained and do necessary steps to reduce the risk of transmission.

Please make sure you read the government guidance on working safely during coronavirus so you can be fully informed of the changes you may need to make.

UK Hospitality has put together some guidance for hospitality businesses that you may find useful.


Food deliveries

We understand that businesses and customers may look to change the way in which they deliver and order food during this time.

The following advice is for those businesses and customers that are looking to make provision for takeaways and deliveries. Scientific advice is that it is very unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through food, but, if you are changing how you are used to operating then you should think through the hazards and ensure that you have control measures in place.

There is guidance for food business on coronavirus published by Public Health England. 

Register to deliver food

A business will only be in a position to deliver food if they are registered as a food business with a Local

Safe delivery

All foods must be delivered to customers in a way that ensures that it does not become unsafe or unfit to
eat. Foods that need refrigerating must be kept cool while they are being transported. This may need to be
packed in an insulated box with a coolant gel or in a cool bag.

If you are transporting hot food, it should be kept hot. This may need to be packed in an insulated box. It is recommended to keep distances short and times limited to within 30 minutes.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have provided advice for business: Food safety for food delivery


There is a wealth of advice for businesses on allergen management on the FSA website.


All food businesses that are registered are awarded a Food Hygiene Rating score.

Contact-free delivery

Limiting contact when delivering orders will help keep everyone healthy, so businesses could consider leaving deliveries at the door of the customer, rather than handing it over to them. Knock on the door step back at least 1 metre and wait nearby for the customer to collect it.

Take payments over the phone or internet rather than taking a cash payment.

Infection control

Businesses have responsibilities to ensure food handlers are fit for work under the food hygiene regulations and in addition have a general duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of persons in your employment and members of the public. Relevant staff must be provided with clear instructions on any infection control policy in place and any person showing signs of infection and who is employed in a food business and likely to come into contact with food, is to report the illness or symptoms immediately and, if possible, their causes, to the food business operator.



If you have been asked to self-isolate, you can order food for delivery by phone or online.

If you are receiving deliveries while self-isolating, you must let the restaurant or delivery driver know you are self-isolating so a safe delivery can be carried out and items can be left outside the door.

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