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Coronavirus - businesses and premises closure guidance

The guidance relating to business and premises closures has been updated from May 13th.

The Government has issued information about what you can and can't do after July 4th:

The guidance relating to business and premises closures was updated from May 13th. 

For the most up to date information on business closures please go to

The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS. The strategy sets out a roadmap to easing existing measures in phases and as part of that, we are all advised to follow guidelines to stay alert and safe.

Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with guidance below. Online retail and click and collect services may continue.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite are advised to ensure that employees are able to follow the government’s guidelines on working safely.


The following businesses and premises must remain closed:

To reduce social contact, the government has required by law the businesses and venues in the left-hand column to close to members of the public. Legal exceptions, and guidance on their scope, are set out in the right-hand column.

When using or operating any exemptions to closures listed below, you should follow relevant social distancing guidance.

Food and drink Exceptions
Restaurants and public houses, wine bars or other food and drink establishments including within hotels and members’ clubs, such as dining rooms Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational. This can be a new activity supported by the new permitted development rights in England. This covers the provision of hot or cold food that has been prepared for consumers for collection or delivery to be consumed, reheated or cooked by consumers off the premises.

Room service in hotels and accommodation.
Cafés and canteens Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational (and as above).

Cafés and canteens at hospitals, police and fire services’ places of work, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless may remain open.

Where there are no practical alternatives, other workplace canteens can remain open to provide food for their staff. For example, this could include canteens at police or fire services’ places of work.

However, where possible, the government advises that staff should be encouraged to bring their own food, and distributors can move to takeaway. Employers are encouraged to take measures to minimise the number of people in the canteen, for example by using a rota.
Retail Exceptions
Hairdressers, barbers, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours  
All retail, other than those exempt, must close their premises to members of the public. However, staff may be present to make deliveries or provide services in response to orders such as those through telephone, online, or mail.

Click and collect services can also operate, though customers must not enter premises listed in the left-hand column.
• Food retailers, including supermarkets

• Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services (including physiotherapy and podiatry services), and services relating to mental health

• Pharmacies and chemists, including non-dispensing pharmacies

• Petrol stations

• Bicycle shops

• Homeware, building supplies and hardware stores, including where those stores supply equipment for hire

• Garden centres and plant nurseries

• Veterinary surgeries and pet shops

• Agricultural supplies shops

• Convenience stores, corner shops and newsagents

• Off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries

• Laundrettes and dry cleaners

• Post offices

• Taxi or vehicle hire businesses

• Car repair and MOT services

• Car parks

• Banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions, savings clubs, cash points, currency exchange offices, businesses for the transmission of money, and businesses which cash cheques.

• Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off or collection points where they are on the premises of any of the above businesses

• Public toilets

• Shopping centres may stay open but only units of the types listed above may trade
Car showrooms  
Outdoor markets Livestock markets and stalls selling food
Auction houses Livestock auctions
Accommodation Exceptions
Holiday accommodation including hotels, hostels, B&Bs, holiday rentals, campsites and boarding houses Where people live in these as interim abodes whilst their primary residence is unavailable, or they live in them permanently, they may continue to do so.

Non-UK residents who are unable to travel to their country of residence during this period can continue to stay in hotels or similar where required.

Hotels and other accommodation listed can be provided to any person who is unable to return to their main residence, and to non-UK residents unable to travel.

Hotels and other accommodation listed can provide services to any critical worker that is part of the effort to deal with coronavirus, if the stay is necessary for their work. The list of critical workers was published by the Cabinet Office and Department for Education on 19 March 2020.

People who are unable to move into a new home due to the current restrictions can also stay at hotels.

Where hotels, hostels, and B&Bs are providing rooms to support homeless and other vulnerable people such as those who cannot safely stay in their home, through arrangements with local authorities and other public bodies, they may remain open.

Those attending a funeral will be able to use hotels when returning home would be impractical.

Hotels and other accommodation listed are allowed to host blood donation sessions.
Caravan parks/sites for commercial uses Where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so.

Caravan parks also have the same exemptions as hotels and other forms of accommodation listed above.
Non-residential institutions Exceptions
Libraries Digital library services and those where orders are taken electronically, by telephone or by post (for example no-contact Home Library Services) may continue.
Community centres Community centres can open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary activities and urgent public services, such as food banks, homeless services.

A community centre can open temporarily to host a blood donation session for these services only. The government strongly advises that Public Health England guidelines are followed.
Places of worship Funerals may be held but attendees must follow the restrictions as per Regulation 6(1)(g), and it is advised that funerals be conducted in line with guidance from Public Health England.

Burial grounds and cemeteries can remain open. Grounds surrounding crematoria may also remain open, including gardens of remembrance.

Providers of funeral services, such as funeral directors and funeral homes, may remain open.

A minister of religion or worship leader may leave their home to travel to their place of worship. A place of worship may broadcast an act of worship, whether over the internet or otherwise.

A place of worship can remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary activities and urgent public services, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions.
Assembly and leisure Exceptions
Museums and galleries  
Cinemas, theatres and concert halls  
Bingo halls, casinos and betting shops  
Spas and massage parlours  
Skating rinks  
Indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres Any suitable assembly or leisure premises may open for blood donation sessions.
Indoor arcades, bowling alleys, soft play centres and similar facilities  
Outdoor recreation Exceptions
Playgrounds, outdoor gyms and outdoor swimming pools Outdoor sports courts, including public and private outdoor enclosed areas such as tennis courts, golf courses, basketball courts, bowling greens and football pitches, can open. The government strongly advises that social distancing guidance is followed when using these facilities. Bars and clubhouses at outdoor sports facilities must remain closed other than for takeaway to be consumed off site.

Parks, open countryside, beaches and waterways can remain open. See further government guidance on access to green spaces and outdoor recreation.

Local authorities are also urged to open waste and recycling centres. The Coronavirus Restriction Regulations have been updated to make clear that people can leave their home to visit such centres.

2. Home moving and work carried out in people’s homes

There is updated separate guidance on home moving and associated activities during the coronavirus outbreak.

There is also separate guidance on work carried out in other people’s homes, for example, by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, cleaners, or those providing paid-for childcare in a child’s home.

3. Takeaway food and food delivery facilities may remain open and operational

This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers.

Businesses are encouraged to take orders online or by telephone, and businesses must not provide seating areas, indoors and outdoors, for customers to consume food and drink on. Ordering in advance is strongly encouraged to avoid waiting in, as per Public Health England guidelines.

Planning regulations have been changed to enable restaurants, cafés and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot or cold food takeaway to do so. The legislation can be accessed online.

People must not consume food or drinks on site at restaurants, cafés or pubs whilst waiting for takeaway food. Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their licence does not already permit.

4. Length of closure

We asked the businesses and venues outlined above not to open for trade from close of trade 23 March 2020.

Following the second point of review of these measures on 7 May 2020, the government has set out its plan to rebuild, including easing existing restrictions in phases. As part of this, the government has provided clear guidance on staying alert and safe.

5. Compliance

As of 26 March 2020 these restrictions became enforceable by law in England. These Regulations where then amended on 22 April 2020 and 13 May 2020 due to the threat to public health.

Everyone is required to comply with these Regulations issued by the government in relation to coronavirus, in order to protect both themselves and others.

An owner, proprietor or manager carrying out a business (or a person responsible for other premises) who contravenes the Regulations, without reasonable excuse, commits an offence.

In England, Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate. Businesses and venues that breach them will be subject to prohibition notices, and a person, who is 18 or over, carrying on a business in contravention of the Regulations may be issued with a fixed penalty. The government is introducing higher fines for those who do not comply, to reflect the increased risk to others of breaking the rules.

With the support of the police, prohibition notices can be used to require compliance with the Regulations including requiring that an activity ceases. It is also an offence, without reasonable excuse, to fail to comply with a prohibition notice.

If prohibition notices are not complied with, or fixed penalty notice not paid, you may also be taken to court with magistrates able to impose potentially unlimited fines.

6. Financial support

Her Majesty’s Treasury also announced on 20 March 2020 a comprehensive series of measures supporting wages, cash-flow for businesses, and the welfare system.

7. Business support

In England, under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) announced on Monday March 16, businesses and venues in England in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be eligible for cash grants of up to £25,000 per property.

Eligible businesses and venues in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Eligible businesses and venues in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000. Businesses and venues with a rateable value of over £51,000 are not included in this scheme.

For more information please visit the government’s business support page.

8. Business rates

In England, as announced on Monday 16 March, the government will provide a business rates holiday for businesses and venues in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector. This includes the businesses and venues in scope for closure listed above. The relief will apply to business rates bills for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

9. Further information

This guidance will be updated regularly as the situation develops and to reflect frequently asked questions. For information about support for business, please go to the government’s Business Support page or visit GOV.UK.