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COVID-19 Information for Street Traders (Food)


Environmental Health have prepared this guidance to assist Street Traders (including fish vans, burger vans etc) during the COVID-19 Pandemic.


There is currently no evidence that food is a source of coronavirus (COVID-19) and it is very unlikely that it can be transmitted through the consumption of food, according to EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).

Street Traders provide a valuable service to the public especially to those people who find it difficult to access traditional shops. Although Street Traders do not provide a door to door service, by trading in the street where customers live, they do provide a similar service.

Therefore, as the owner of a mobile food premises, you must protect yourself and your customers from the COVID-19 virus when selling food by adhering to the following:


  • You must have hand washing facilities with soap and paper towels in the van. Make sure you have a supply of hot and cold water at all times and ensure frequent hand washing techniques in-line with current COVID-19 Guidance is followed.

Social Distancing

  • You must ensure a distance of 2 metres between yourself and the customer you are serving. You can achieve this by bagging the food then stepping back 2 metres while the customer collects the bag.
  • Customers must not congregate around the van and must keep to the 2 metres separation rule.  You should politely ensure customers do this.
  • You should also think about how you could provide a service to customers who may be socially shielding, for example contactless delivery and payment methods.


  • Contactless - If you have a mobile contactless payment system, then use that as your preferred method of payment.
  • Cash - Ensure customers place their money on a specific surface on the van whilst you stand back 2 metres. Instruct customer to stand back 2 metres to allow you to place their change on the same surface.

Other recommendations for transactions

  • Online - Ordering and accepting payment over the internet.
  • Deferring payment - Creating an account with the customer.
  • Delivering to order only.

Further considerations

You will know your business best and have solutions to keep trading and minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19.  You can feedback any ideas/solutions or contact this Service for advice by emailing

As far as we are aware, food retailers will not be stopped or prevented from street trading by the police or local authorities at this time.  This may change, and you should keep up to date with the current government advice.

You may also be in a position to assist some of your vulnerable customers if you feel that they are struggling in some way and need help.  This may be in many forms so be alert to their particular needs.


Guidance on social distancing can be found at this link

Guidance on COVID-19 can be found at this link

Information from Food Standards Scotland can be found at this link