As high streets prepare to reopen for business from Monday (June 15), Cornwall Council is giving advice and support to retailers and towns on reopening safely following the further relaxation of the Government’s business closure lockdown restrictions.

This includes advice for businesses on how they can operate safely and support for towns to create high street environments where social distancing can be maintained.

All businesses are required to carry out a Coronavirus risk assessment before opening their doors to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

Advice in meeting this legal requirement is available at or from the Council’s Business Regulatory Support team.

Since the Government announced last month that all non-essential retailers, such as clothes shops, can reopen from next Monday, the Council has been working with towns across Cornwall to help shoppers and businesses to stay safe.

Cornwall Council’s ‘Social distancing within the highway’ toolkit provides guidance for towns on the measures we can support to help aid social distancing. This includes considering requests for temporary traffic restrictions and pedestrianised zones, as well as removing street furniture to help make space on pavements.

Examples include:

  • Falmouth – Falmouth Town Council and the Falmouth BID partnership are leading the way having produced a Positive Engagement Plan which sets out immediate actions, such as the production of business toolkits, branded signage and waymarking, establishing temporary traffic flow arrangements, road closures and enhanced pedestrian ways that will be in operation between 11am and 4pm; as well as looking to longer term aims including a digital upskilling business programme and how people travel to and experience the town.
  • Helston – acknowledging the difficulties for pedestrians being able to maintain social distancing, Helston Town Council is seeking support from businesses on a proposals including the temporary pedestrianisation of roads in the centre of town.
  • St Austell – Street signs have been put up in the town centre reminding people to observe social distancing
  • Launceston – Proposals to modify the street furniture layout to aid pedestrian flows and enable social distancing. Launceston Town Council, Cornwall Councillors and the Chamber of Commerce are also seeking to implement some temporary road closures.

The work is supported by a £152k grant awarded to the Council from the Government’s emergency active travel fund and £509k of support to towns for temporary public realm measures from the European Regional Development Fund’s Reopening High Street Fund.

Retailers can get more information on reopening from Cornwall Council’s Back in Business Recovery Guide which covers topics such as working safely and limiting the risk of Coronavirus, cleaning and disinfection, food safety and health and safety.

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for culture, economy and planning, said: “Many towns have worked quickly to identify the measures needed to meet the challenges presented by social distancing. I hope residents will be reassured when they see the effort made to ensure they can stay safe while shopping.

“We will support our towns to implement the measures that they feel will work best – town and parish councils and Cornwall Councillors working with their local business community are best placed to tell us what this looks like.

“We thank everyone for their efforts to limit the spread of Coronavirus and as we reopen our high streets we’d like to remind all shoppers and businesses to please remember to continue social distancing at all times.”

Temporary traffic restrictions may have an impact on bus services – routes may have to be altered where restrictions are in place. You can keep up to date with any changes at

All roadworks, road closures and diversions, traffic incidents and other disruptions affecting the road network are listed on Cormac’s website.

For further guidance on reopening a business safely, email or visit Cornwall Council’s business regulatory support website or leave a message on 0300 1234 212 (option 4).

Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and the hospitality sector are expected to be allowed to reopen in step 3 of the Government’s recovery plan which will not be before July 4.

Businesses in Cornwall can join free, question and answer webinars run by the Council in different sectors including on tourism and holiday accommodation on June 17, retail and market traders on June 17, hairdressing, beauty salons and tattoo businesses on June 24 and piercings studios on June 25.

Dates are to be announced on sessions for gyms and personal trainers, food businesses, self-catering providers, bed and breakfasts, hotels and visitor attractions.

More than 500 people have already joined or booked into the Back in Business Recovery series of webinars.

There are also recordings of previous webinars on office businesses, retail businesses, childcare settings excluding schools, food businesses, and retail businesses and market traders.