National lockdown restrictions - what it means for your business

From 4 January, the country will be in national lockdown restrictions: 'Stay at Home'.

 

COVID-secure businesses that must now close

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to close can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone's main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts,fitness and dance studios, riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses.
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
  • animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife centres)
  • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people's homes
  • community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect services

 

Exempt activities

Some of these businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities. A full list of exemptions can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:
 

  • education and training - for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision
  • childcare purposes and supervised activities for those children eligible to attend
  • hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
  • to provide medical treatment
  • for elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
  • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
  • for the purposes of film and TV filming

 

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-secure guidelines. Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. The full list of these businesses can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:
 

  • essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
  • businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
  • petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical and dental services
  • vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
  • animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
  • agricultural supplies shops
  • mobility and disability support shops
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • outdoor playgrounds
  • outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
  • places of worship
  • crematoriums and burial grounds

 

General guidance

The government have issued some general guidance for businesses. In national lockdown you must not leave or be outside of your home or garden except where you have a 'reasonable excuse'. GOV.UK has published a list of reasonable excuses.

 

Business specific guidance

The government have put together some sector specific guidance for different types of business:
 

 

Help available for businesses

We have  information on help and support that is available for your business, including advice on closing and opening, loans and grants, business support information and help for your staff. Also what to do if you are self-employed.
 

Get help for your business

 

Alert level high posters

A series of posters displaying information about the National Lockdown in England. You can download the local COVID-19 alert level 'Stay at Home' posters from the NHS:
 

Stay At Home poster

Stay At Home poster (print version)

 

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 EnvironmentalHealth@uttlesford.gov.uk
 

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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