How to make outdoor smoking areas COVID-secure

last reviewed 1/11/2020

As a responsible business you are aware of the social distancing rules to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. But there are some areas where keeping people 2m apart, or even 1m a part can be challenging.

Smoking areas, for instance, are potentially used  by many people at one time and may require additional measures to keep people safe. For common areas like these, the HSE suggest additional measures.

In the UK some rules such as social distancing may be different in each of the devolved nations. However, HSE regulates in all of these countries. You should check the public health guidance for the country you are in:


Control measures in Smoking Area

Consider putting the following control measures in place for your outdoor smoking area:

      • Limit the number of people using the smoking area at any one time.
      • Use floor markings or barriers to maintain social distancing.
      • Choose an ashtray or cigarette bin which keeps people’s hands are kept away from used butts and litter.
      • Display signs reminding people to socially distance, wash hands and not touch their faces.
      • Provide hand-washing facilities or hand sanitiser near to frequently used areas.


For more advice on how to make your workplace COVID secure, visit