Changes to National lockdown restrictions

Blackburn BID explain the changes to national lockdown restrictions for businesses

The Government has today updated the detailed guidance around businesses which can and cannot open under the new National Lockdown restrictions (it previously referred to the impact of Tiers on restrictions).  

You can find the details here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/closing-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england

It includes the following:

Business permitted to open:

The following businesses and venues that provide goods for sale or hire are permitted to remain open, including if they operate from a market stall, or at a defined concession within a shopping centre:

  • food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops. This also includes fresh food retailers (such as butchers, bakers, greengrocers, fishmongers, and delicatessens)
  • off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol
  • pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists
  • mobility and disability support shops
  • newsagents
  • builders merchants and suppliers of products and tools used in building work and repairs. This doesn’t include carpet stores and showrooms, such as those for bathrooms, kitchens, tiles and glazing
  • garden centres and agricultural supplies shops. This does not include florists or nurseries
  • veterinary surgeons, animal rescue centres, boarding facilities, and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals. Animal grooming facilities may also stay open but must only be used for the purposes of an animal’s welfare (and not for aesthetic purposes)
  • dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health
  • banks, building societies, credit unions, short term loan providers, savings clubs, cash points and undertakings which by way of business operate currency exchange offices, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheques which are made payable to customers
  • post offices
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • bicycle shops, vehicle repair and MOT services
  • petrol stations and automatic car washes
  • taxi or vehicle hire businesses and motorway service areas

Extra points to note:

  • You can return an order to a drop box in a supermarket or drop it off for collection in a newsagents. 
  • Deliveries of supplies can go ahead for premises that are otherwise required to close by law.
  • Businesses that provide services (rather than goods) – such as accountants, solicitors, and estate agents – are not required to close, unless listed below.
  • This includes businesses which have as their main activity repair services, such as electronics repair services. 
  • This does not include shops that would otherwise be considered non-essential retail, such as a mobile phone store that offers some repairs.
  • Businesses providing services that are permitted to remain open should take steps to ensure they are COVID-19 Secure including, where possible, providing services remotely or virtually.

Businesses required to close

Any business or venue that provides goods for sale or hire and is not listed above must close (other than where there is an explicit exemption for a specific purpose). They may continue offering delivery and click-and-collect services (where items are pre-ordered and collected without entering the premises). People can also leave home to collect or return orders from these businesses.

These closures include, but are not limited to, the following premises:

  • clothing and fashion stores and tailors
  • retail travel agents
  • homeware stores
  • carpet stores
  • kitchen, bathroom, tile, and glazing showrooms
  • tobacco and vape shops
  • electronic goods and mobile phone shops
  • charity shops
  • photography studios
  • antique stores
  • homeopathic and naturopathic medicine, traditional chinese medicine, and ayurveda
  • markets (except livestock markets or stalls which fall under the list of essential businesses above, for example those selling food)
  • car and other vehicle showrooms and other premises, including outdoor areas, used for the sale or hire of caravans, boats or any vehicle which can be propelled by mechanical means. However taxi or vehicle hire businesses can continue. For example a customer could order a rental vehicle online and collect it in person.
  • car washes (except for automatic car washes)
  • auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment)
  • betting shops

Extra points to note:

  • Door-to-door sales should not take place, and sales activities should be conducted remotely (such as by phone, online, or mail).

Mixed retail: 

  • A business selling a significant amount of essential retail may also continue to sell goods typically sold at non-essential retail. For example, a supermarket that sells food is not required to close off or cordon off aisles selling homeware.
  • Where a business selling essential retail has another, separate business embedded within it that is required to close, the embedded business must close. For example, an electronics business operating a concession within a supermarket must close, as would a bookstore inside a garden centre.
  • Where a business has sufficiently distinct parts, and one section provides essential retail and one section provides non-essential retail, the non-essential sections should close to limit interactions between customers and the opportunity for the virus to spread. Sufficiently distinct sections might involve operating in separate buildings, across separate floors, a door between sections, using separate cashiers, or another clear demarcation between sections. For example a food shop may stay open, but a homeware section on a separate floor or separate building should close.

Hospitality

The following hospitality venues are required to close for consumption on the premises:

  • restaurants
  • pubs
  • bars, including those in hotels or members’ clubs
  • social clubs
  • shisha bars
  • cafes and canteens, excluding those exempted below

These closed premises can continue to provide:

  • food and non-alcoholic drinks on a takeaway basis (between 5am and 11pm). This means that customers can enter the premises to place and collect their order. Food and non-alcoholic drinks can also be provided via drive through, as well as click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered by phone, online, via a mobile app or post, and collected without entering the premises).
  • all food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided through delivery services. Venues offering delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages if their licence does not already permit.

Hospitality venues providing food and drink for consumption off the premises are not permitted to allow customers to consume from any adjacent seating to the premises 

Personal Care facilities and close contact services

Personal care facilities and close contact services must close. This includes:

  • hair, beauty and nail salons
  • tattoo parlours
  • spas, saunas, steam rooms
  • massage centres
  • body and skin piercing services
  • tanning salons

Extra points to note:

  • These venues may continue to sell retail goods (such as shampoo or beauty products) online or via click-and-collect.
  • Those who provide personal care services from a mobile setting including their own home, in other people’s homes and in retail environments (such as a concession in a larger, separate business) must also stop operating.
  • Personal care services provided for essential medical and health needs, which cannot be deferred, may continue. For example, treatments for a diagnosed health condition or injury that is currently causing severe pain or mobility issues, or severely impacting quality of life, or for cosmetic treatments associated with cancer treatment. This does not extend to services provided for general stress relief, relaxation or preventative healthcare purposes. 

Entertainment and tourism

The following businesses and venues must close:

  • nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques
  • sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars
  • indoor play areas (including soft play centres and areas, and inflatable parks)
  • trampoline parks (except for disability sport, elite sportspersons, supervised activities for children and education and training)
  • skating rinks (except for professional dancers, elite sportspersons, access for fitness activity for disabled persons, supervised activities for children, and education and training)
  • adventure playgrounds and parks, ziplining
  • theme parks, circuses, fun fairs and fairgrounds
  • water parks and aqua park
  • zoos and safari parks
  • aquariums
  • visitor attractions at farms, wildlife centres, and other animal attractions
  • model villages
  • museums and galleries
  • visitor attractions at film studios
  • casinos
  • bingo halls
  • bowling alleys
  • arcades, adult gaming centres, and betting shops
  • indoor games, recreation and entertainment venues (such as escape rooms and laser quest)
  • theatres and concert halls (except for formal education and training, rehearsal or broadcasting a performance)
  • cinemas, drive-in cinemas, theatres and outdoor concert venues must also not operate
  • snooker and pool halls (except for elite sportspersons)

Performing arts

Performing arts venues must be closed to the public. This includes drive-in venues.  However theatres and concert halls can continue to be used for formal education and training, rehearsals, and performances without an audience for broadcast or recording purposes. These venues can also be used for the purposes of government pilots.

Sports and Leisure

Sports and leisure facilities must close. This includes:

  • leisure centres
  • gyms
  • sports courts
  • dance studios and fitness studios
  • climbing walls and climbing wall centres
  • swimming pools
  • golf courses
  • driving and shooting ranges
  • archery venues
  • riding centres

Extra points to note:

  • Leisure and sport facilities may continue to be accessed for elite sport and professional dance.
  • Leisure and sports facilities may continue to host registered childcare where these are located in these premises, but not to use the closed facilities (such as a swimming pool in a leisure centre).
  • Indoor sport and exercise classes must not go ahead unless they are part of formal education or training or form a supervised activity for children(which appears to relate to providers registered with Ofsted and childminders registered with childminder agencies for children of all ages, including: nurseries and wraparound childcare; before and after school clubs; and holiday clubs)
  • Disabled persons may continue to access closed facilities for the purposes of individual fitness activity.

What can be done in businesses that are closed

As well as specific exemptions as set out in their relevant section, any closed premises can open for the purposes of:

  • enabling access by the site owners or managers, staff or people authorised by them (including volunteers) for maintenance where this is reasonably necessary. This may include exhibit maintenance, animal or plant feeding, or repairs. Other work to ensure readiness to open, such as receiving deliveries of supplies, may also go ahead
  • providing essential voluntary or public services (including the provision of food banks or other support to the homeless or vulnerable, hosting blood donation sessions, or support in an emergency)
  • making a film, television programme, audio programme or audio-visual advertisement
  • voting or related activities (except for in closed shops)

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