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Coronavirus and Employment Restrictions

Posted on: Mar 30,2020

Restricted Businesses

The government has made The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 which require the closure of businesses selling food or drink for consumption on the premises, and businesses listed in Part 2 of Schedule 2, to protect against the risks to public health arising from coronavirus, except for limited permitted uses.

The Regulations impose restrictions on businesses listed in Part 3 of Schedule 2, which are permitted to remain open. They also prohibit anyone leaving the place where they live without reasonable excuse, and ban public gatherings of more than two people. They came into force at 1pm on 26th March 2020 and will continue for 6 months during the “emergency period” or until terminated by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will review the need for these restrictions and requirements. The first review will be carried out by 16th April 2020.


The restrictions will be enforced by Police, Police Community Support Officers, people appointed by Local Authorities and the Secretary of State [Reg. 8(12)].


Anyone who contravenes these restrictions or obstructs police or other enforcement officer without a reasonable excuse will be convicted and fined.

Businesses (including director, manager, secretary or other similar officer) that contravene the provisions will be prosecuted and proceeded against and punished accordingly [Reg 9].

Schedule 2, Part 1

Restaurants, cafes, canteens, bars and pubs must close.


The following may remain open:

  • Cafes or canteens at a hospital, care home or school.
  • Canteens at a prison or an establishment intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes or for the purposes of the Department of the Secretary of State responsible for defence.
  • Services providing food or drink to the homeless.
  • Workplace canteens where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food.
  • Takeaway food services may continue [Reg 4(1) (b), 5(2)]

Schedule 2, Part 2

The following must close;

CinemasMassage parlours
TheatresTattoo and piercing parlours
NightclubsSkating rinks
Bingo hallsFunfairs (whether outdoors or indoors)
Concert hallsPlaygrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms
Museums and galleriesOutdoor markets
CasinosCar showrooms
Betting shopsAuction Houses
SpasNail, beauty, hair salons and barbers

Indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools, bowling alleys, amusement arcades or soft play areas or other indoor leisure centres or facilities


Stalls selling food.

Schedule 2, Part 3 – Business that can remain open

Any shops NOT listed below must close.

  • 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.
  • Newsagents.
  • Homeware, building supplies and hardware stores.
  • Petrol stations.
  • Car repair and MOT services.
  • Bicycle shops.
  • Taxi or vehicle hire businesses.
  • Banks, building societies, credit unions, short term loan providers and cash points.
  • Post offices.
  • 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.
  • Agricultural supplies shop.
  • Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off or collection points, where the facilities are in the premises of a business included in this Part.
  • Car parks.
  • Public toilets.

Rules for businesses NOT listed in Schedule 3


Hotels must close down except to provide accommodation for any person who;

  • is unable to return to their main residence;
  • uses that accommodation as their main residence;
  • needs accommodation while moving house;
  • needs accommodation to attend a funeral;
  • to provide accommodation or support services for the homeless,
  • to host blood donation sessions, or
  • for any purpose requested by the Secretary of State, or a local authority [Reg.5(4)].

If these situations apply, hotels can provide food or drink as part of room service [ Reg 4(2)].

Places of Worship

All places of worship must close down except in the following circumstances [Reg.6];

  • For funerals.
  • To broadcast an act of worship, whether over the internet or as part of a radio or television broadcast, or
  • to provide essential voluntary services or urgent public support services (including the provision of food banks or other support for the homeless or vulnerable people, blood donation sessions or support in an emergency).

Community Centres

All community centres must close, except where the Community Centre is used to provide essential voluntary activities or urgent public support services (including the provision of food banks or other support for the homeless or vulnerable people, blood donation sessions or support in an emergency) [Reg.7].

Crematoriums and Cemeteries

Must be closed to members of the public except for funerals or burials.

Other businesses

All other businesses not listed in Schedule 3 can carry on under the following restrictions;

  • Can make deliveries and take orders through a website, other online communication, telephone or by post.
  • Must close any premises which are not required to carry out its business or provide its services as permitted above.
  • Must not admit any person to its premises who is not required to carry on its business or provide its service as permitted above.

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