The Government has now announced some of the most stringent social distancing measures possible without introducing a complete lockdown across the UK.  Whilst there was some initial confusion as to who may remain open, the Government have now published a list of those businesses who are allowed to open and trade:-

  • Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational.  Permitted Use laws have been relaxed slightly to allow pubs and restaurants to provide this service, but there must be no eat-in dining.
  • Cafes or canteens in hospitals, care homes, schools, prisons and the military may remain open.
  • Food provision to the homeless and food banks remain operational.  Individual premises are adapting their own rules and work practices, so not all are operating as usual.
  • Supermarkets, food shops, corner shops, newsagents, and market stalls with essential retail may continue to trade as normal.
  • Pharmacies, including non-dispensing pharmacies and health shops remain open.
  • Petrol stations, garages, car rentals and bicycle shops remain open.
  • Laundrettes, dry-cleaners, home and hardware stores, pet shops, post offices and banks will operate as usual.
  • Hotels may remain open only for those staying whilst their primary residence is not available and for key workers requiring accommodation.
  • Caravan parks will remain open only for those who reside there permanently or if they are staying temporarily whilst their primary residence is not available.
  • Community and youth centres will remain open only for essential voluntary or public services.  This is in order to continue support to vulnerable members of the community.
  • Funerals may still take place, provided strict social distancing measures are implemented.
  • Religious premises will be open for solitary prayer only.
  • Religious services and small theatre productions may continue strictly as online streams only, without live audience, and provided social distancing measures are implemented by those taking part.

All of the above will be subject to stringent social distancing measures, and you must adhere to these provisions for any staff who are working in the premises.

If you do not fall into the categories listed above and open your business to the public as usual, you will be committing an offence.  The current consequences are the service of a prohibition notice and/or an unlimited fine.  The Government’s emergency measures in this regard will be enacted into law in the next two days.

There are many industries which have not been covered by this list, and so you must take a practical approach to ensure the safety of your staff.  If you remain open, you must ensure your staff can comply with social distancing measures.

If you have questions on any of the information above, or any other legal aspect of the COVID-19 outbreak then please contact us today to speak to one of our expert solicitors.

The Backhouse Solicitors Team

Tel: 01245 893400
Visit: 17 Duke Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1JU

Or send us a message through the Contact Us page on this website