Home > Coronavirus: Enforcement of Business Closures

Coronavirus: Enforcement of Business Closures

From Saturday 21 March 2020, premises including restaurants, cafes (including workplace canteens), bars, public houses, cinemas, theatres, nightclubs, bingo halls, concert halls, museums and galleries, betting shops, spas, massage parlours, indoor skating rinks and indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres are required to close or remain closed until otherwise directed by the Secretary of State.

On 23rd March this list was increased to include all non-essential businesses as detailed in the list below:

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. • 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
  • Garden centres and plant nurseries
  • Veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  • Agricultural supplies shops
  • Convenience stores, corner shops and newsagents
  • Off-licences and licenced 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 -
Nightclubs -
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.

These businesses and other venues must close as they involve prolonged close social contact, which increases the chances of infection spreading. Closures of the following businesses are now enforceable by law in England and Wales due to the threat to public health. A business operating in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 will be committing an offence.

Retail and public premises that are permitted to remain open must:

  • Ensure a distance of two meters between customers and shop assistants; and
  • Let people enter the shop only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not crowded.
  • Queue control is required outside of shops and other essential premises that remain open.

Takeaway and delivery facilities should remain open and operational. This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers. Planning regulation will be changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so. This will be clearly communicated when in effect.

Venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages if their license does not already permit alcohol off sales. This is detailed on your Premises Licence Summary which will specify the supply of alcohol for consumption off the premises. Any forthcoming changes to licensing for delivery and takeaway will be clearly communicated when in effect.

Businesses that breach the requirements will be subject to prohibition notices, and potentially unlimited fines. As a further measure, and if needed, businesses that fail to comply could also face the loss of their alcohol license.

If you are unsure about any of these restrictions or would like to report a business on this list that is still open please contact the Environmental Health Department on 01283 508578.

Alternatively if you would like to check your planning permission or licensing permissions please contact Planning on 01283 508606 and Licensing on 01283 508310 or 01283 508585.