As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID19). 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. The government has also given clear guidance on self-isolation, and asked that schools only remain open for those children who absolutely need to attend.
All businesses and venues outlined in the table below must not open to the public: failure to follow the law relating to these closures can lead to the individual responsible for the business being issued a prohibition notice, a fixed penalty notice or prosecution. 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.
1. Businesses and venues that must remain closed to members of the public
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.
Business or Venue
Food and drink
Restaurants and public houses, bars or other food and drink establishments including within hotels and members’
clubs, such as dining rooms
Exceptions;- Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational. This can be a new activity supported by 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 other accommodation.
Cafés and canteens
Exceptions;-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 strongly advised to take measures to adhere to social distancing guidelines. This may include minimising the number of people in the canteen, for example by using a rota.
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
• 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 nondispensing 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-licenses 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
Exceptions;-Livestock markets and stalls selling food
Exceptions;- Livestock auctions
Holiday accommodation including hotels, hostels, B&Bs, holiday rentals, campsites, and boarding houses
Exceptions;- 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
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
Exceptions:- 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
Exceptions;- Digital library services and those where orders are taken electronically, by telephone or by post
(for example no-contact Home Library Services) may continue.
Exceptions;-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
Exceptions;- 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
Museums and galleries
Cinemas, theatres and concert halls
Bingo halls, casinos and betting shops
Spas and massage parlours
Indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres
Exceptions;- Any suitable assembly or leisure premises may open for blood donation sessions.
Indoor arcades, bowling alleys, soft play centres and similar facilities
Playgrounds, outdoor gyms and outdoor swimming pools
Exceptions;- 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.