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Coronavirus - business closures


Business Closures – Guidance for Businesses and Customers

The Government has put in place The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 requiring the following businesses and other venues across the United Kingdom to close for trade from Saturday 21 March 2020. Further closures were put into effect from 23 March 2020. These measures will be reviewed in three weeks to consider their necessity and effectiveness, in light of changing circumstances. The government will look for opportunities to phase out their application as the situation improves. 

Further guidance on this measure and links to financial and business support information is available here.

Non-essential businesses and premises must now shut.

Food and Drink  
Business, premises or place Exceptions 
Restaurants and public houses, wine bars or other food and drink establishments including within hotels and member's clubs.

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.

Cafes and canteens

Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational (and as above).

Cafes or canteens at hospitals, police and fire services places of work care homes or schools; prisons 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 break. 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.

Business, premises or place Exceptions
Hairdressers, barbers, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours  
All retail with notable exceptions Supermarkets and other food 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 and equipment, plant and tool hire

Veterinary surgeries and pet shops

Agricultural supplies shops

Corner shops and newsagents

Off-licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries

Laundrettes and dry cleaners

Post Offices

Vehicle rental services

Car garages and repair shops

Car parks

High street banks, building societies, short term loan providers, credit unions and cash points

Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off points where they are on the premises of any of the above businesses

Public toilets

Shopping centres should stay open if they contain units which are not required to close

Outdoor and indoor markets

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

Auction Houses  
Business, premises or place Exceptions
Hotels, hostels, Campsites and boarding houses for commercial use

Where 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.

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 safety 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  
Business, premises or place Exceptions
Libraries Digital library services and those where orders are taken electronically, by telephone or by post (for example no-contact Library Services) may continue.
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 services.

Public venues that host blood donation sessions can continue to open temporarily for these services only. A distance of two meters should be maintained as per Public Health England guidelines.

Places of worship for services

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 may broadcast an act 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.

Assembly and leisure  
Business, premises or place Exceptions
Museums and galleries  
Cinemas, theatres and concert halls Small group performances for the purposes of live streaming could be permissible where Public Health England guidelines are observed and no audience attend the venue.
Bingo Halls, casinos and betting shops  
Spas and massage parlours  
Skating rinks  
Fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres Any suitable assembly or Leisure premises  may open for blood donation sessions.
Arcades, bowling alleys, soft play centres and similar  
Outdoor Recreation
Business premises or place
Playgrounds, sports courts and pitches, and outdoors gyms or similar  

These businesses and other venues must close as they involve prolonged close social contact, which increases the chances of infection spreading. Everyone has a duty to comply with the advice provided by the government in relation to COVID-19, in order to protect both themselves and others.

Providers of funeral services such as funeral directors and funeral homes conducting funerals may remain open, subject to Public Health England guidelines as mentioned in the table above.

Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms. Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a two-metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.

No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.

No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.


This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers.

These businesses and their customers are asked to observe  the Government guidance on social distancing

These food businesses must not provide seating for their customers. They must prevent customers using any seating or sitting in areas adjacent to the food business, whether or not the seating is normally provided. This can be achieved by talking to customers or placing a sign stating:

‘Please do not sit here. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 please exercise social distancing’

More information for this sector is available on our 'Coronavirus - pubs and restaurants' page

These businesses and their customers are asked to observe the Government guidance on social distancing. 


Public Information

A business operating in contravention of the Health Protection. Wiltshire Council will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate. Businesses that breach them 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 licence.

If you have information about a Wiltshire business which you believe is failing to comply with this mandatory closure requirement, please report it to the council with details of the business name and address and details of the activities giving rise to concern  by email to publicprotectionwest@wiltshire.gov.uk.

We will treat all reports in confidence but we must request that you provide your name and contact details for us please. Our Council switchboard is understandably very busy so please can we also ask you to avoid telephoning this information through to us.

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Last updated: 30 March 2020 | Last reviewed: 30 March 2020