Information on Cookies

To make the best use of our website, you'll need to make sure your web browser is set to accept cookies to ensure you receive the best experience.

For further information, please read our Cookies Policy.

Log In

Go To News
COVID-19 Licensing Issues: 'Closing certain businesses and venues in England' guidelines updated Published Date: 04/05/2020

The 'Closing certain businesses and venues in England' guidelines have been updated to further clarify the requirements of The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020.   Alongside this, the social distancing guidelines 'Staying at home and away from others (social distancing)' have also been updated.

The Designation letter 'Designations under the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020' was updated on 23 April.

The list of businesses and venues are shown below in the left column, with exceptions on the right:


Food and drink


Restaurants and public houses, bars or other food and drink establishments including within hotels and members’ clubs such as dining rooms


Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational. This can be a new activity supported by permitted development rights in England. 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.

Room service in hotels and accommodation.

Cafés and canteens







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

Cafés and canteens at hospitals, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless may remain open.

Where there are no practical alternatives, other workplace canteens can remain open to provide food for their staff. For example, this could include canteens at police or fire services’ places of work.

However, where possible, the government advises that staff should be encouraged to bring their own food, and distributors can move to takeaway. Employers are encouraged to take measures to minimise the number of people in the canteen, for example by using a rota.



Hairdressers, barbers, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours



All retail, other than those exempt, must close their premises to members of the public. However staff may be present to make deliveries or provide services in response to orders such as those through telephone, online, or mail.











  • Food retailers, including supermarkets
  • Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services (including physiotherapy and podiatry services), and services relating to mental health.
  • Pharmacies and chemists, including non-dispensing pharmacies
  • Petrol stations
  • Bicycle shops
  • Homeware, building supplies and hardware stores
  • Veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  • Agricultural supplies shops
  • Convenience stores, corner shops and newsagents
  • Off-licences and licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Post offices
  • Taxi or vehicle hire businesses
  • Car repair and MOT services
  • Car parks
  • Banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions, savings clubs, cash points, currency exchange offices, businesses for the transmission of money, and businesses which cash cheques
  • Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off or collection points where they are on the premises of any of the above businesses
  • Public toilets
  • Shopping centres may stay open but only units of the types listed above may trade

Outdoor markets

Livestock markets and stalls selling food.

Auction houses

Livestock auctions



Holiday accommodation including hotels, hostels, B&Bs, holiday rentals, campsites and boarding houses








Where people live in these as interim abodes whilst their main residence is unavailable, or they live in them permanently, they may continue to do so.

Critical workers 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.

Where hotels, hostels, and B&Bs are providing rooms to support homeless and other vulnerable people such as those who cannot safely stay in their home, through arrangements with local authorities and other public bodies, they may remain open.

Those attending a funeral will be able to use hotels when returning home would be impractical.

Hotels and other accommodation listed 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 main residence is not available, they may continue to do so.

Caravan parks also have the same exemptions as hotels and other forms of accommodation listed above.

Non-residential institutions



Digital library services and those where orders are taken electronically, by telephone or by post (for example no-contact Home Library Services) may continue.

Community centres



Community centres can open for the purposes of hosting essential voluntary activities and urgent public services, such as food banks, homeless services.

A community centre can open temporarily to host a blood donation session for these services only. Public Health England guidelines should be followed, maintaining a distance of two metres.

Places of worship









Funerals may be held, but it is advised that they be conducted in line with guidance from Public Health England.

Burial grounds and cemeteries can remain open. Grounds surrounding crematoria may also remain open, including gardens of remembrance.

Providers of funeral services, such as funeral directors and funeral homes, may remain open.

A minister of religion or worship leader may leave their home to travel to their place of worship. A place of worship may broadcast an act of worship, whether over the internet or otherwise.

A place of worship can remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary activities and urgent public services, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions.

Assembly and leisure


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 members attend the venue.

Bingo halls, casinos and betting shops


Spas and massage parlours


Skating rinks


Indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres

Any suitable assembly or leisure premises may open for blood donation sessions.

Indoor arcades, bowling alleys, soft play centres and similar facilities




Outdoor recreation


Playgrounds, sports courts, outdoor gyms and outdoor swimming pools.

Parks can remain open. See further government guidance on access to green spaces.