As part of this project, the HSE will be in touch with a number of local businesses to ensure they have everything they need to offer a safe COVID-secure environment. They will provide advice and guidance to help manage risk and to protect workers, customers and visitors.

Where the HSE feels the risk is not being appropriately managed, they will work with the business to improve this, only referring serious cases back to the council for follow up action. In the interests of everyone's safety, should a business fail to comply, further action may be taken, including prosecution.

Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Chichester Contract Services said: "Over the coming weeks, businesses may receive a phone call from the Health and Safety Executive to ensure they are COVID-secure and to provide additional advice and support. Businesses of any size or in any sector may receive a call, so we're keen to let businesses know that this is a legitimate project.

"Being COVID-secure is a legal duty for businesses to protect their workers and others from harm, and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus.

"From the very beginning of the crisis, our Health Protection team has been talking to businesses across our district to offer them support and information to make sure that they were ready to open for business when the restrictions were eased. We've been really impressed with how local businesses have responded so positively and proactively to making their premises safe for shoppers and workers.

"By making sure that businesses have the right measures in place to manage the risks, we will be able to protect the health of the local community as well as support the local and national UK economy.

"This project with the Health and Safety Executive will help identify where businesses may need further support, including advice of providing arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, and suitable cleaning regimes."

For the latest information and safer business guidance, please visit the the Government's website .