Businesses that can be open and those that must remain closed

The government has issued new guidance on restrictions in the hospitality and leisure industry and new rules on social contact.

On 22 September, the government announced additional measures to address an increase in Coronavirus cases. This included increased restrictions in the hospitality and leisure industry, which came into force from 24 September.

Whether indoors or outdoors people from different households must not meet in groups of larger than 6. This limit does not apply to meetings of a single household group or support bubble which is more than 6 people.

Venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host more than 6 people in total, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than 6, unless they are from the same household or support bubble. Further guidance on social contact.

These are in addition to wider social contact rules: for more information on those, please refer to GOV.UK guidance on staying alert and safe, the frequently asked questions, and meeting with others safely.

New regulations for businesses

  • Businesses selling food or drink, and other hospitality venues must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm
  • In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table
  • Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink
  • Staff in hospitality and retail are now also required to wear face coverings
  • Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services has now become law
  • Businesses need to display the official NHS QR Code posters so that customers can 'check-in'
  • Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear face coverings
  • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated
  • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work

Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach these rules.

Complying with the regulations

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

Uttlesford District Council 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 premisesand 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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