London Small Business

Closing certain businesses and venues in England Updated

Updated 1st May 2020

As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The government has given clear guidance on self-isolationstaying at home and away from others, 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 individuals 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 may continue.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines.

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.

Food and drinkExceptions
Restaurants and public houses, wine bars or other food and drink establishments including within hotels and members’ clubs, such as dining roomsFood 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 canteensFood 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.
RetailExceptions
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 

• 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 marketsLivestock markets and stalls selling food
Auction housesLivestock auctions
AccommodationExceptions
Holiday accommodation including hotels, hostels, B&Bs, holiday rentals, campsites and boarding housesWhere people live in these as interim abodes whilst their primary residence is unavailable, or they live in them in permanently they may continue to do so.

Critical workers 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.

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. 

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 usesWhere 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 institutionsExceptions
LibrariesDigital library services and those where orders are taken electronically, by telephone or by post (for example no-contact Home Library Services) may continue.
Community centresCommunity centres can open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary activities and urgent public services, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions. 

A community centre can open temporarily to host a blood donation session for these services only. Public Health England guidelines should be followed, maintaining a distance of two metres.
Places of worshipFunerals may be held, but it is advised that they 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 leisureExceptions
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 centresAny suitable assembly or leisure premises may open for blood donation sessions.
Indoor arcades, bowling alleys, soft play centres and similar facilities 
Funfairs 
Outdoor recreationExceptions
Playgrounds, sports courts, outdoor gyms and outdoor swimming poolsParks can remain open. See further government guidance on access to green spaces.
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