Street trading

CORONARVIRUS (COVID-19) Advice and guidance on how to keep your staff and customers safe

Last updated 31st March 2020

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020

Central government have implemented measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.  Pubs and restaurants have been forced to close in the emergency period.

The above 2020 Regulations prohibit people leaving their homes without reasonable excuse, and ban public gatherings of more than 2 people.  We all need to act now to stop the virus spreading. 

Food services offering a pick-up service may remain operational if they can comply with the government guidance.  It is imperative takeaway services adhere to Public Health guidelines including social distancing for staff and customers with regular and thorough cleansing and hand washing.  Traders continuing to operate must ensure workers and customers maintain social distancing rules at all times, and adopt business practices to stop the spread of coronavirus to save lives.

To assist and reduce people visiting, gathering or waiting at your premises, we recommend:

  • you reduce customers visiting your premises by taking telephone, social media and online orders using card payments with agreed collection times and door step delivery services,
  • you display clear signage on and around trading area enforcing customers queue at 2 metre distance, stand 2 metres from your serving area, and wait in their cars until the order is ready.

You can find specific guidance for food business relating to COVID-19 here.

The Food Standards Agency has also provided food business guidance.

Local authorities are responsible for enforcing regulations and monitoring compliance levels.   Council, Trading Standards, and Police Officers are working to ensure safe practice and will address businesses not meeting the new restrictions.  Businesses failing to comply can receive fines, be forced to close, and/or be subject to prosecution for breaches.  You must assess and adjust your trading so it accords with the guidance, if you cannot comply with the current restrictions (staff and customers), you must not continue to trade during the emergency period.

Food handlers, service staff and delivery personnel must not work if they have any symptoms of illness that will compromise food safety or cause the spread of infection.  If staff become unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they must be sent home immediately and advised to follow current NHS advice. 

You need to consider all aspects under your business risk assessment and take steps to ensure your workplace is a safe environment at which to trade.  If you are unable to operate in accordance with the current government restrictions, you cannot continue to trade in the emergency period. 

We trust this clarifies the position at this difficult time.  If you require further guidance, please contact Environmental Health for food safety matters or Licensing for street trading matters by calling 01252 622122 or emailing or

Takeaways and restaurants offering a pick-up service

For these services:

  • no orders should be taken in person on the premises - this should be communicated to customers by appropriate means such as signage
  • businesses should therefore only take orders online or by telephone
  • customers could have staggered collection times - customers should be discouraged from entering the premises until their order is ready
  • customers arriving without having already placed an order should be encouraged to leave the premises to place their order by telephone or online, and to return at a designated time for collection
  • customers whose orders are ready should enter one at a time to collect orders and make payments
  • businesses should discourage crowding outside the premises. Where possible, use queue management systems to maintain the 2 metres separation

Social distancing

The advice on social distancing measures applies to everyone. You need to minimise opportunities for the virus to spread by maintaining a minimum distance of 2 metres between individuals. This advice applies to both inside the food business and in the external public areas where customers may need to queue. People should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds and more frequently than normal.

The practical implementation of this advice will depend on the local circumstances. This may be best evaluated by the store manager, however a few general indicators may be relevant to the majority of retail outlets:

  • use additional signage to ask customers not to enter the premises if they have symptoms
  • regulate entry so that the premises do not become overcrowded
  • use floor markings inside the commercial spaces to facilitate compliance with the social distancing advice of 2 metres, particularly in the most crowded areas, such as serving counters and tills
  • use vertical signage to direct customers into lanes if feasible to facilitate movement within the premises while maintaining 2 metre distance
  • make regular announcements to remind customers to follow social distancing advice and clean their hands regularly
  • place plexiglass barriers at service areas, tills and counters if feasible, as an additional element of protection for workers and customers
  • encourage the use of contactless payments where possible, without disadvantaging older or vulnerable customers
  • provide additional pop-up handwashing stations or facilities if possible, providing soap, water and hand sanitiser.


Street Trading is the selling or offering for sale of any article in the street. This includes food such as burgers, kebabs, doughnuts etc. or other things such as household items. All streets in Hart are designated as Consent Streets. This means that any person who wishes to sell items from a trailer or stall in a street must first obtain a Street Trading Consent from Hart District Council.​ If you’re planning to sell food, you’ll need a valid Food Safety Certificate. The council will inspect your vehicle or stall to make sure it meets hygiene standards.

How we manage the licensing of streets within the district for trading purposes is set out in our Street Trading Policy.

We consulted on our draft Street Trading Policy from 3 August to 26 October 2018. It sets out the council’s position in respect of the administration of applications for street trading consents and the monitoring of such consents following grant. 

You may not need a Street Trading Consent if you are:

  • Trading as a Pedlar under licence issued by a Police Authority
  • A market trader operating at a licensed market venue
  • A news vendor selling only newspapers and periodicals
  • Trading on private land you may not need a consent if the pitch is not visible from a public highway. To confirm the situation you are advised to contact the Licensing Team (01252 622122).  The landowner may need planning permission and you are advised check with Planning.

The applicable licence fees which can be paid online:

12 Months £510
3 Months £130  (seasonal consent, only one issued per calendar year)


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