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 drinking establishments Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational and can be a new activity supported by the new permitted development right. 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.
Cafés and canteens Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational (and as above).

Cafés and canteens at hospitals, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless.

Where there are no practical alternatives, other workplace canteens can remain open to provide food for their staff and/or provide a space for breaks. However, where possible, staff should be encouraged to bring their own food, and distributors should move to takeaway. Measures should be taken to minimise the number of people in the canteen at any one given time, for example by using a rota.

Nightclubs and bars in hotels or members’ clubs -
Retail Exceptions
Hairdressers, barbers, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours -
Massage parlours -
All retail with notable exceptions · Supermarkets and other food shops
  · Health shops
  · Medical services (such as dental surgeries, opticians and audiology clinics, physiotherapy clinics, chiropody and podiatry clinics, and other professional vocational medical services)
  · Pharmacies and chemists
  · Petrol stations
  · Bicycle shops
  · Hardware shops
  · Veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  · Corner shops and newsagents
  · Off-licences and licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries
  · Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  · All Post Offices
  · Car rental services and car parks in towns, cities and near to takeaways may remain open, to facilitate essential activity (e.g. where they are supporting hospitals, supermarkets or takeaways)
  · High street banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points
  · Storage and distribution facilties, including delivery drop off points
  · Public toilets
Outdoor and indoor markets, shopping centres Market stalls which offer essential retail, such as grocery and food. Shopping centres should stay open if they contain units which are not required to close.
Auction houses -
Car showrooms Car garages and repair shops
Hotels Exceptions
Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, campsites and boarding houses for commercial use Where people live in these as interim abodes whilst their primary residence is unavailable they may continue to do so.

Key workers, permanent residents, and 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.

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.

Hotels 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.
Non-residential institutions Exceptions
Libraries -
Community centres, youth centres and similar For the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions.

We will do everything to support vulnerable people who are without a network of friends and families.

Places of worship Funerals, where the congregation is immediate family (with provision for a carer, if required) or a friend - in the case that no family members are attending. A distance of 2 metres is to be maintained between every household group, as per Public Health England guidelines.

A minister of religion, to go to their place of worship, including to broadcast an act of worship to people outside the place of worship, whether over the internet or otherwise.

For the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public service, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions.

Cinemas, theatres and concert halls Live streaming of a performance by a small group could be permissible where Public Health England guidelines are observed.

Blood donation sessions would also be allowed to be held at these venues.

Assembly and leisure Exceptions
Museums and galleries -
Bingo halls, casinos and betting shops -
Spas -
Indoor skating rinks -
Fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres Leisure centres may stay open for blood donation sessions.
Arcades, bowling alleys, soft play centres and similar -
Outdoor recreation Exceptions
Enclosed spaces in parks, including playgrounds, sports courts and pitches, and outdoor gyms or similar -

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.