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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance
This guidance applies to England, except for Leicester. See separate guidance for Leicester.
On 23 March 2020, the government required by law that certain businesses and venueswere to close in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). A number of businesses providing essential goods and services were permitted to remain open.
Though there has been tragic loss of life, thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of the British people, the UK slowed the spread of coronavirus. Following earlier easements in May and June, as part of Step Three of the government’s plan to return life to as near normal as we can, from Saturday 4 July, further businesses and venues were allowed to open.
In light of the government’s announcement on Thursday 9 July, the government is publishing further COVID-19 secure guidance, and more businesses and venues will be permitted to reopen from 11 and 13 July 2020.
1. Re-opening of businesses and venues from 11 and 13 July
The following businesses are permitted in law to reopen from Saturday 11 July as outlined in the table below with links to guidance to ensure their safe reopening.
- Outdoor swimming pools and outdoor water parks
Guidance to ensure safe reopening of businesses and venues from 11 July
|Business or venue||Guidance for re-opening safely|
|Outdoor swimming pools and water parks||All recreation and leisure businesses and facilities are strongly advised to follow guidance on operating within the visitor economy and guidance for providers of sports and leisure facilities.
It is strongly advised that close-contact activity only occurs within a household group/bubble or with one other household/bubble. See guidance on forming a support bubble
The following businesses which had to remain closed in law will be permitted to reopen from Monday 13 July as outlined in the table below with links to guidance to ensure their safe reopening.
- Nail bars and salons and beauty salons
- Tanning booths and salons
- Massage parlours
- Tattoo parlours
- Body and skin piercing services
Guidance to ensure safe reopening of businesses and venues from 13 July
|Business or venue||Guidance for re-opening safely|
Nail bars and salons and beauty salons
Tanning booths and salons
Body and skin piercing services
|All close-contact service providers are strongly advised to follow guidance on how to work safely.|
From 25 July, subject to assessment the evidence at the time regarding the rates of transmission, it is proposed that sports facilities and venues, such as indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks will be permitted to open.
The following provides further information and links to guidance for the businesses that opened from 4 July:
|Business or venue||Guidance for re-opening safely|
|Food and drink|
|All indoor and outdoor hospitality including, cafes, bars, pubs, and restaurants, can open unless:
They are a part of the premises of a business or venue which must be or remain closed from 4 July, and are not in self-contained units that can be accessed from the outside. Please see the list above for businesses and venues that must remain be or remain closed.
|People should only visit a restaurant in their household groups (or support bubbles where an adult who lives alone or with dependent children, can spend time with one other household indoors), or with one other household, or with up to 5 other people outdoors.
Venues should not allow standing drinking and eating. Tables and remote or server ordering are strongly advised.
At this time, venues should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience.
All food and drink establishments are strongly advised to follow guidance on how to open and operate safely.
Those operating restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services are strongly advised to follow guidance on how to do so safely.
Guidance on weddings should also be followed.
|Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses||Shared sleeping spaces (e.g. dormitory rooms) should not open to any groups, except those travelling in accordance with the current government guidance on social mixing outside of household groups/outside of the home.|
|Places of worship||All places of worship are strongly advised to follow guidance on their safe use.
Guidance on weddings should also be followed.
|The government strongly advises against community centres opening for indoor fitness and sport activity.
Those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities are strongly advised to follow guidance on re-opening safely.
|Hair salons and barbers, including mobile hair businesses||These businesses must not provide services which remain prohibited in regulations including nail, beauty and tanning services.
All close contact service providers are strongly advised to follow guidance on how to work safely.
|Recreation and leisure|
|Cinemas, theatres and concert halls
Funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities
Outdoor gyms and playgrounds
Museums and galleries
Outdoor skating rinks
Amusement arcades and other entertainment centres
Indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction
Indoor and outdoor areas of visitor attractions including, gardens, heritage sites, film studios and landmarks
|All recreation and leisure businesses and facilities are strongly advised to follow guidance on operating within the visitor economy.
Owners and operators responsible for playgrounds and outdoor gyms are strongly advised to follow guidance for managing playgrounds and outdoor gyms.
All operators of heritage locations are strongly advised to follow guidance on operating heritage locations.
• Certain activities that take place in these venues, including indoor sports and fitness must not take place.
• At this time, venues should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience. This is important to mitigate the risks of aerosol transmission - from either the performer(s) or their audience. There will be further guidance setting out how performing arts activity can be managed safely in other settings, for instance rehearsing or broadcast without an audience.
• Close contact activity such as visiting an entertainment centre should only be conducted within a household group/bubble or with one other household/bubble.
2. Businesses and venues which will remain closed
All businesses and venues can remain open, or reopen as stated under section one above, except for those in the list below, which remain closed in law:
- Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques
- Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars
- Bowling alleys
- Indoor skating rinks
- Indoor play areas, including soft-play areas
- Indoor fitness and dance studios
- Indoor gyms and sports courts and facilities
- Indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks
- Exhibition halls or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business or organisation who run the venue.
If your business or venue is permitted to reopen or remain open, it must close off or cease to provide any of the above businesses or services. For example, an indoor swimming pool as part of a spa must remain closed.
All indoor and outdoor hospitality including, cafes, bars, pubs, and restaurants, can open unless they are a part of the premises of a business or venue which must remain closed as set out in section two above. If they are in self-contained units that can be accessed from the outside they may open.
We hope to continue to phase reopen further businesses as soon as possible, and will work with local councils which have a high prevalence of COVID-19 to create guidance reflecting where further business openings could be delayed.
3. Track and trace
The opening up of the economy following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks. Many businesses that take bookings already have systems for recording their customers and visitors – including restaurants, hotels, and hair salons. If you do not already do this, you should do so to help fight the virus. We will work with industry and relevant bodies to design this system in line with data protection legislation and set out details shortly.
People should continue to socially distance from those they do not live with wherever possible. Social interactions should be limited to a group of no more than two households (indoors and out) or up to six people from different households (if outdoors). It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces) except where specified in the Regulations.
Businesses and venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host larger groups. This is also the case for events in public outdoor spaces that are organised by businesses, charitable or political organisations, and public bodies, provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance and including completion of a risk assessment. Any other gathering in an outdoor space must not be any larger than 30 people except where specified in the Regulations.
Businesses should demonstrate to their workers and attendees that they have properly assessed their risk and taken appropriate measures to mitigate it, for example by publishing their risk assessment online or making it available at the premises/event.
In particular, those operating venues or running events following COVID-19 Secure guidelines should take additional steps to ensure the safety of the public and prevent large gatherings or mass events from taking place. At this time, venues should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience; and should not permit indoor grassroots sport to take place.
Individual businesses or venues should also consider the cumulative impact of many venues re-opening in a small area. This means working with local authorities, neighbouring businesses and travel operators to assess this risk and applying additional mitigations.
These could include:
- Further lowering capacity - even if it is possible to safely seat a number of people inside a venue, it may not be safe for them all to travel or enter that venue.
- Staggering entry times with other venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas.
- Arranging one-way travel routes between transport hubs and venues.
- Advising patrons to avoid particular forms of transport or routes and to avoid crowded areas when in transit to the venue.
Local authorities should avoid issuing licenses for events that could lead to larger gatherings forming and provide advice to businesses on how to manage events of this type. If appropriate, the Government has powers under schedule 22 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 to close venues hosting large gatherings or prohibit certain events (or types of event) from taking place, and a power under Regulation 6 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 to restrict access to a public place.
As of 26 March 2020, the Regulations (which have now been replaced with consolidated Regulations to take account of the gradual relaxation of restrictions) imposed enforceable restrictions on people in England. The Regulations are reviewed regularly to ensure they are effective and proportionate to the risk to public health. The most recent and up to date England Regulations can be found on the legislation website. Everyone is required to comply with these Regulations issued by the government in relation to coronavirus, in order to protect both themselves and others, to fail to do so can constitute a criminal offence.
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 offence. The restrictions on gatherings of more than 30 persons apply to everyone in the gathering.
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 restrictions will potentially be subject to prohibition notices, and a person who is 18 or over, who carries on a business in contravention of the Regulations may be issued with a fixed penalty.
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 a fixed penalty notice not paid, you may also be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose potentially unlimited fines.
6. Closing public places
The Regulations give a power for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to direct the closure of, or to restrict access to, a specific public outdoor place where this is necessary and proportionate to manage a serious and imminent threat to public health relating to coronavirus in England. Exercise of this power is subject to a right of appeal by an owner or occupier to the Magistrates Court. Where this power is used by the Secretary of State, people will not be allowed to enter or remain in the place without reasonable excuse. Local authorities must advertise the extent of the restriction and they and owners/ operators of the place subject to the restriction must take reasonable steps to prevent people visiting it. Failure to comply can be a criminal offence.
7. Business support
In England, under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) measures 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.
10. Scope of restrictions
The Devolved Administrations have issued their own guidance and regulations on these matters. The guidance can be found below: