Businesses that can be open and those that must remain closed

With the national lockdown in place for England from 5 November the government has issued new guidance on restrictions on businesses that can open and those that must remain closed.


COVID-secure businesses that can remain open

This is the list of businesses that can remain open:

  • Food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops
  • Off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol (including breweries)
  • Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists
  • News agents
  • Hardware stores.
  • Building merchants, and building services
  • Petrol stations
  • Car repair and MOT services
  • Bicycle shops
  • Taxi or vehicle hire businesses
  • Banks, building societies, post offices, loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • Funeral directors
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health
  • Veterinary surgeons and pet shops
  • Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off or collection points, where the facilities are in the premises of a business included
  • Car parks.
  • Garden centres

Businesses that must close

These are the businesses that must close:

  • All non-essential retail. These venues can continue to operate click-and-collect and delivery services
  • Hospitality venues; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
  • Accommodation venues
  • Leisure and sports facilities
  • Entertainment venues
  • Personal care facilities

Full details

The government has published a full list of businesses that can remain open, restrictions on service and exemptions.

Help available for businesses

Businesses that are obliged to close are eligible for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) of up to £3000 which will be paid by the us. If your business did not have to closed, but was severely impacted by the localised restrictions which were in place from 17 October 2020 to 4 November 2020, you may be able to apply for a Localised Restriction Support Grant (Open) of up to £2,100.

Everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people cannot do so - including but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing - they should continue to travel to their workplace


Complying with the regulations

Please make sure that you check the government guidance to clarify if your business can open or must remain closed 

We will look to offer guidance and support in the first instance but may use enforcement powers if required. These powers may include prosecution, fines and the removal of any applicable licence.

If your business is allowed to open please read the government guidance on opening premises and the Health and Safety measures that need to be implemented to make it COVID secure.

If you wish to complain about a business:

  • that has opened and is not allowed to  or
  • is trading without any COVID Health and Safety measures in place as advised by government guidance

Then please contact the Environmental Health Team via 01799 510510 or email

Report a business behaving unfairly

The Competition and Marketing Authority (CMA) are leading on the government response to profiteering and needs to be informed of any businesses selling goods at excessive prices. If this is the incident you wish to report, you can complete this CMA's online reporting form.

For any individual Social Distance Breaches outside of a premises

Please inform Essex Police via their coronavirus (COVID-19) breach reporting service.


Additional information



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