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Coronavirus support for businesses – Guidance for Manufacturers

This dedicated COVID-19 manufacturing guidance page has been created to serve as a one-stop shop for all things manufacturing. Here you will find guidance for operating amidst the pandemic, additional resources, calls to action from government and industry, as well as the latest government guidelines.

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This page was updated on 28 May 2020.

Should a manufacturer stay open?

On April 8, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma clarified in his letter to the industry that there is no restriction on manufacturing continuing during the COVID-19 outbreak. On May 10th, the Prime Minister also reiterated that anyone who could not work from home for example those in the manufacturing and construction sector were encouraged to now go to work. To support manufacturers work safely during the pandemic, the government released new guidance on the 11 May. See the guidance here

However, manufacturers should take the below into consideration:

  1. If your business has customer demand for product (the factory is not manufacturing for stock), then it should remain open.
  2. If there is no demand, production should stop
  3. If there is limited demand, manufacturers can consider bringing forward the annual maintenance shutdown periods to ensure manufacturing at full capacity once the outbreak is over

Guidance for manufacturers who are operational

Businesses must carry out an appropriate Covid-19 risk assessment, just as with other H&S related topics. This must be done in consultation with unions or workers. You should share the risk assessment with your employees. More information on risk assessments can be found through the government's "Working Safely during coronavirus" guidance. Here, employers can also download a notice to display they have complied with the guidance in the workplace. Centre for Assessment's (CfA) specialist health & safety coaches have developed a Covid-19 Back to Work Risk Assessment Template and accompanying guidance document, which are free to download on the CfA website.

Government guidance does not supersede any legal obligations relating to H&S, employment or equalities. Businesses must continue to comply with existing obligations including those relating to individuals with vulnerable characteristics.

General advice

Cleaning and Hygiene practices

Staff health and Statutory Sick Pay (SPP)

Shift and working patterns

Factory layout


Which lines should be kept running?

Contractual considerations




Strive and Thrive - Supply Chain Resilience

Join us for a series of sessions, helping your business innovate, adapt and prepare for a new trading environment.

Date: 28th May 2020
Format: Workshops
Location: Zoom - Webinar
Time: 2:00pm - 3:30pm


Additional Resources

Working safely during (COVID-19) Working safely during (COVID-19)

New government guidance for factories, plants and warehouses

Siemens #TechTalks Siemens #TechTalks

Free webinar series to help you maximise uptime, save energy and manage your systems remotely

Guidance for businesses Guidance for businesses

New High-Volume Manufacturers of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Blog Blog

How to emerge from lockdown as positively as possible

Make UK Make UK

Access Make UK's team of HR experts with free HR advice for 1 hour.


Coronavirus: How to run a factory during a pandemic

Manufacturing Business Directory Manufacturing Business Directory

Source alternative suppliers in the North West region

Covid-19 Manufacturing Monitor Covid-19 Manufacturing Monitor

Fortnightly report providing an accurate and timely barometer of the impact Covid-19 has had on the UK’s manufacturing sector.

Read more

Calls to Action

How can you help?

How can you help?

Offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support from your business

Demand for PPE equipment

Demand for PPE equipment

If you currently manufacture or can adapt your operations to manufacture PPE, please contact us to let us know

Call to clothing manufacturers

Call to clothing manufacturers

Manufacturers called to produce medical scrubs and gowns in bulk

COVID-19 Manufacturing Fund

COVID-19 Manufacturing Fund

Help to support the production and supply of parts for critical medical equipment

Latest Government Guidance 

  • Exporting personal protective equipment during coronavirus (COVID-19): Goods exported from the European Union after midnight on Monday 25 May 2020 will no longer require an export authorisation. Read more here (28th May).
  • Funding and manufacturing boost for UK vaccine programme. Read more here (17th May).
  • Guidance for industry and manufactures: COVID-19 tests and testing kits. Read more here (13th May). 
  • Guidance for people who work in or run factories, plants and warehouses during the Coronavirus. Read more here (11th May).
  • New reagent available to support global diagnostic testing of coronavirus (COVID-19). Read more here. (6th May). 
  • Government has added a link to a new dedicated Yellow Card coronavirus website for reporting any incidents involving medical equipment relating to COVID-19 treatment (5th May). Read more here
  • Notification of contingent liability: Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System Project. Read more here (29th April). 
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE): export control process. Updated to reflect new EU regulation and added to list of other territories. Read more here (26th April).
  • Exceptional GMP flexibilities for medicines manufacturers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Read more here (22nd April).
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): ventilator supply specification - (14th April).
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): personal protective equipment (PPE) hub. View here (10th April).
  • Government sets out plan for national effort on PPE - Press Release (10th April). 
  • Notice to exporters 2020/10: processing licence applications during coronavirus (COVID-19). Read more here (9th April).
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): how laboratories can support the testing programme. Read more here (9th April).  
  • Offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support from your business. Read more here.
  • Help the government increase coronavirus (COVID-19) testing capacity. Read more here (8th April).
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter to the manufacturing sector from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma. Read here (8th April).
  • Advice for employers on social distancing during coronavirus (COVID-19) - Manufacturing and processing businesses. Read more here (7th April).
  • Guidance for manufacturers and Good Practice (GxP) laboratories on exceptional flexibilities for maintenance and calibration during the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. Read more here (7th April).
  • Technical Specifications for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). View here (6th April).
  • Forms for organisations that can manufacture and supply testing consumables, equipment and laboratory PPE as part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) response can be found here (3rd April).
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE): export control process. Guidance can be seen here (2nd April).
  • COVID-19: Call for rapid sanitising technology for ambulances. More information here (2nd April).
  • Specification for Rapidly Manufactured CPAP System to be used during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Read more here  (29th March).
  • Government to ease regulations to ensure hand sanitiser and personal protective equipment reaches NHS staff quickly, read more here (28th March).
  • Specification for ventilators to be used in UK hospitals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Read more here (26th March).
  • Guidance for Manufacturers Specials licence holders on ‘packing down’ medicines during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Read more here (25th March).
  • How to place a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test kit on the market. Read more here (25th March).
  •  All guidance to Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on coronavirus (COVID-19), including Clinical trials, Inspections, Medical devices, Medicines and COVID-19, Medicines regulation can be found here (19th March).


More information is available on the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Support website. For more personalised advice call us on: 0161 237 4128 or email us at: 


The information provided is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance. GC Business Growth Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information and professional guidance should be sought on all aspects of business planning and responses to the coronavirus. Use of this guide and toolkit are entirely at the risk of the user. Any hyperlinks from this document are to external resources not connected to the GC Business Growth Hub and The Growth Company is not responsible for the content within any hyperlinked site.

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