Shropshire Council

Information for businesses and the self-employed

We've been working closely with Telford and Wrekin Council, Public Health England (PHE), NHS England and local health and care partners to prepare and respond to Covid-19 (coronavirus).

You can find the latest joint statements on the coronavirus situation on our Newsroom.

We're using this time to work with local partners to review business continuity and outbreak response plans should things change.

Lateral flow testing for frontline and key workers who can't work from home

Frontline and key workers living in Shropshire who can't work from home are now able to take a lateral flow test (LFT). We know that up to one in three people who have coronavirus never show any symptoms, but that doesn't mean they're not infectious. Lateral flow tests are one of the tools being used to help us to detect and fight Covid-19.

  • The test is for people who don't have symptoms (are asymptomatic), and testing is recommended up to two times a week or once every four days
  • The test involves taking a swab from the nose or throat, and results are known within 20-30 minutes of taking the test

Testing is available at the following sites, and must be booked in advance.

  • Lantern
    Meadow Farm Drive, Harlescott, Shrewsbury, SY1 4NG
    Monday - Sunday from 8am - 8pm
  • Craven Arms Community Centre
    Newington Way, Craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 9PS
    Sunday - Friday from 8am - 8pm

A lateral flow test is for people without symptoms. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, book a test as soon as possible by calling 119 or online. Stay at home until you get your test result. Only leave your home to have a test. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.

New toolkit for reopening your business

We’ve produced a new toolkit for businesses offering advice about reopening as lockdown measures are eased. It’s designed to provide a quick and simple guide to a lot of the information and resources you need to help support your business during these challenging times.

You can take a look at the toolkit and more on our Business Support section.

Keeping a record of staff and visitors – what do I need to do?

Check if the information you're collecting about staff and visitors is being done correctly and securely using our guidance.

Update following the prime minister’s announcement on Sunday 11 May 2020

In order to respond to the questions from businesses and employees seeking clarity regarding the prime minister’s announcement on Sunday 11 May 2020, Shropshire Council’s priority during the coronavirus pandemic is to protect the public and save lives. As the prime minister has stated “…we will not be driven by mere hope or economic necessity. We are going to be driven by the science, the data and public health.”

We need to pause and consider the details that will emerge over the next few days. We will take stock of the government information and continue to support and enable businesses to operate in a safe way that protects both their employees and the public.

Further advice can be sought from advicecompliance@shropshire.gov.uk, and you can view our pages on the latest information for the public for details on social distancing and more.

Guidance for Shropshire businesses on how to report confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus/COVID-19 in the workplace

If one of your employees or colleagues test positive for COVID-19 or they start to have symptoms there are some actions you need to take. The main symptoms include:

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Who should I notify?

Colleagues in Public Health England and Shropshire Council are working very closely to ensure we can support all businesses during this pandemic.

It is important to:

  1. Report a suspected outbreak of COVID-19 in the workplace (where two or more persons linked to the workplace have symptoms of COVID-19) and confirmed cases (more than one person who has received a positive test result for COVID-19), to Public Health England by telephone to 0344 225 3560 (option 0, then option 2)
  2. At the same time you can also notify us via:
    Email: shropshirepublichealth@shropshire.gov.uk
    or by telephone 01743 251234. 9am-5pm 7 days a week
  3. A single suspected case of COVID-19 in the workplace does not need reporting to Public Health England, but please contact us using the details in the previous point so that we can provide further information and support to your organisation.
  4. You may need to submit a RIDDOR report:
    COVID-19 is a notifiable disease and there is a statutory duty under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) that employers must notify the enforcing authority about cases of, or deaths from, COVID-19 which are associated only with occupational exposure, that is, as a result of a person’s work.
    You can report applicable confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the HSE.
    The reporting is in addition to notifying us and PHE, as detailed above.

Government guidance for employers

The government has published specific guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely.

The new guidance covers eight workplace settings which are allowed to be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways.

Read the official press release and the full guidance on the gov.uk website.

There are also videos and webinars to help your business deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on the Gov.uk website.

Our support for businesses and employees

There is an online form available to apply for Covid-19-related business grants. For more information about eligibility and how to apply follow this link.

We have issued a letter to businesses from the leader of Shropshire Council detailing the steps we are taking to help, and will provide updates as the government issues further details.

Further support information is available on our Invest in Shropshire website.

Additional information on a wider range of available grants and funding can be found on the Idox Open 4 Business website, which is free to use until 31 October 2020.

The government have relaxed the rules for some benefits to help with the effect of coronavirus.  If you need to claim universal credit because of coronavirus there is useful information to help you on the Understanding Universal credit webpages.

A number of organisations have contacted us with concerns regarding continuity of supplier payments during the ongoing COVID-19 situation. We would like to reassure all suppliers that as long as invoices are submitted to us in the usual way we have business continuity arrangements in place which will allow us to process these as normal. The situation is being monitored closely and if this position changes we will send out a communication to that effect.

Take a look at our Environmental Health and Trading Standards sections for essential advice to all businesses regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. These pages provide essential information giving clarity to businesses on whether they are permitted to stay open. It includes other useful guidance on preventing the spread of the Covid 19 virus, including the keeping of records of staff and visitors/customers.

Advice for food businesses

The latest advice for food businesses on Covid-19 can be found on our Food safety pages. This includes information for takeaways, community groups and a general FAQ section.

Advice for farming and livestock businesses

The latest advice for farmers, dog groomers, livestock owners and other animal businesses on Covid-19 can be found in our animal health coronavirus section.

Guidance for pubs, bars, cafes and takeaways

From 6 January, a national lockdown applies in all of England. You can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home.

Hospitality venues are required to close, including cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs.

This is with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.

You may also find more of the government advice available here.

Poster resources for business

You can find a range of posters to assist with additional Coronavirus measures in the useful resources section

Links to further official advice and support