Coronavirus lockdown: What will be open and closed following unprecedented government measure?
- Credit: Archant
Following prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of a nationwide lockdown, further details have been revealed of what businesses will and won’t close during the measures.
All “non-essential” retail businesses will be shut down from today, along with other facilities such as libraries, leisure centres and beauty salons.
However, following the prime minister’s address at 8.30pm Monday night, many questions were left as to what does and doesn’t qualify as an essential retail business.
In a bid to provide clarity over this, the government has now uploaded a document to its website specifying what can and can’t remain open. It states the following:
What shops can remain open?
• Supermarkets and other food shops
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• Health shops
• Pharmacies including non-dispensing pharmacies
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• Petrol stations
• Bicycle shops
• Home and hardware stores
• Laundrettes and dry cleaners
• Car rentals
• Pet shops
• Corner shops
• Post Offices
• Market stalls offering essential retail such as groceries and food
Which businesses must close?
• Restaurants and cafés - though food delivery and takeaway can continue
• Pubs, bars and nightclubs
• Hair, beauty and nail salons
• Tattoo parlours
• Massage parlours
• Auction houses
• Car showrooms
• Community centres
• Places of worship for all but funerals
• Cinemas, theatres and concert halls
• Museums and galleries
• Bingo halls, casinos and betting shops
• Skating rinks
• Fitness studios, swimming pools and gyms
• Arcades, bowling alleys, sofy play centres and similar
• Enclosed spaces in parks including playgrounds, sports courts and pitches.
How long will this last?
As it stands the closures take effect from today, Tuesday, March 24. The prime minister said this policy would be reviewed in three weeks time - and if the situation has changed the measures shall be relaxed.
What happens if a business does not comply?
The closures are being made under a new law known as the Health Protection (coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 - any business found to be breaking this law can be punished through new government enforcement measures.
The businesses will be dealt with by local authorities through environmental health and trading standards department, with police supporting if appropriate.
Fines for breaching the closures can be unlimited.