Coronavirus Business Support

How to clean and disinfect your workplace

Here are some simple ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace

You can also find guidance regarding how to clean effectively can be found via the links below:


  • Using a disposable cloth, first clean surfaces with warm soapy water or detergent.
  • Increase routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces which include:
    • Fridge and freezer handles
    • Debit card pin pads
    • Door handles
    • Screens on self-service checkouts
    • Light switches
    • Trolley/basket handles. etc.
  • Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected regularly-at least every 2 hours.
  • Cleaning with soap and water reduces the number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.


  • You then need to use a disinfectant to clean the surface.
  • Antiviral disinfectants which have been tested to British Standard BS EN 14476:2019 should be used.
  • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.
  • If the above products are not available, then disinfect these surfaces with the products you normally use in your food business, e.g. sanitiser (evidence shows that similar viruses can be deactivated using commonly used disinfectants in the food industry)
  • Diluted household bleach is also known to kill similar viruses if appropriate for the surface:
    • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and use, e.g. gloves/ventilation. .
    • Guidance produced recommend a 1:50 dilution of household bleach products which usually have an initial concentration of 5% sodium hypochlorite.
  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for detergent and disinfectant products. Contact time is the time that the disinfectant/bleach solution must be in contact with the surface. It's important to follow instructions as wiping them off too soon might clean the surface without properly disinfecting it.

If someone has coronavirus symptoms at work:

If someone becomes unwell in the workplace with coronavirus symptoms, they should:

  • tell their employer immediately and go home
  • avoid touching anything
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow
  • use a separate bathroom from others, if possible

If the unwell person lives alone, they must self-isolate for 7 days. If they live with others and is the first to have symptoms, they must self-isolate for 7 days. Everyone else in their household must self-isolate for 14 days.

If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, the person with the new symptoms must self-isolate for 7 days. This is regardless of where they are in the 14-day isolation period.

You can get more advice or help:

If someone with coronavirus comes to work:

If someone with coronavirus comes to work, the workplace does not necessarily have to close, but they should follow cleaning advice.

See advice for cleaning workplaces on GOV.UK.

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