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

That is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolation, staying at home and away from others, and asked that schools only remain open for those children who absolutely need to attend.

On 23 March the Government, stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives. All non-essential premises must now close. Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with guidance on Friday 20 March. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.

Retail and public premises which we expect 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 notcrowded.
  • Queue control is required outside of shops and other essential premises thatremain open.

    Parks will remain open but only for individuals and households to exercise once a day. Communal spaces within parks such as playgrounds and football pitches will be closed.

    Non-essential businesses and premises must now shut
    The following businesses and premises must remain closed:

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Business, premises or place


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Food and drink




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Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational.

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Cafes, including workplace canteens

Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational.
Cafés or canteens at hospitals, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless.


Public houses


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Bars and nightclubs, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs


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Hair, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours

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Massage parlours


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All retail with notable exceptions


Supermarkets and other food shops, health shops, pharmacies including non- dispensing pharmacies, petrol stations, bicycle shops, home and hardware shops, laundrettes and dry cleaners, bicycle shops, garages, car rentals, pet shops, corner shops, newsagents, post offices, and banks.

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Outdoor and indoor markets

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Market stalls which offer essential retail, such as grocery and food.


Auction houses

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Car showrooms


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Hotels, hostels, BnBs, 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 can continue to stay in hotels or similar where required.


Caravan parks/sites for commercial uses

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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.

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Non-residential institutions




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Community centres, youth centres and similar

Facilities may remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services.

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


Places of worship for services

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Funerals following the social distancing guidance; places of worship should remain open for solitary prayer.

Live streaming of a service without audience would be permissible.


Cinemas, theatres and concert halls

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Live streaming of a performance by a small group could be permissible with social distancing observed.

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Assembly and leisure


Museums and galleries

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Bingo halls, casinos and betting shops

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Skating rinks


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Fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres


Arcades, bowling alleys, soft play centres and similar


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Outdoor recreation

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Enclosed spaces in parks, including playgrounds, sports courts and pitches, and outdoor gyms or similar


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These premises and other venues must close as they involve prolonged close social contact, which increases the chances of infection spreading.

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 by the government when in effect. People must not consumer food or drinks on site at restaurants, cafes or pubs whilst waiting for takeaway food,

Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their license does not already permit.

Length of closure

We are asking the businesses and premises and other venues outlined above not to open for trade from close of trade 23 March 2020.

The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.


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

As of 2pm on 21 March 2020, closures on the original list from 20th March are now enforceable by law in England and Wales due to the threat to public health. The government will extend the law and enforcement powers to include the new list of premises for closure. Further measures on enforcement could be taken following the passage of the Coronavirus Bill through parliament.

A business operating in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 will be committing an offence. As agreed with the devolved administrations, these measures will be extended to Scotland and Northern Ireland by Ministerial Direction once the Coronavirus Bill is in force.

Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate. Businesses and premises that breach them will be subject to prohibition notices, and potentially unlimited fines.

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.

Business support

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

Eligible businesses 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 premises 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 with a rateable value of over £51,000 are not included in this scheme. For more information please visit gov.uk.

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Business rates

In England, as announced on Monday 16 March, the government will provide a business rates holiday for businesses and premises in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector. This includes the businesses and premises in scope for closure listed above. This will apply automatically to your next business rates bill in April 2020. For more information please visit gov.uk.

Further information

This guidance will be updated regularly as the situation develops. For information about support for business, please go to the Government’s Business Support webpage or visit gov.uk.

Devolved Administrations may issue further guidance on these matters within their nations.

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