These measures will be reviewed every 28 days to consider their necessity and effectiveness, in light of changing circumstances. The government will look for opportunities to phase out their application as the situation improves.
While the public has already made a huge effort to avoid unnecessary social contact, we are now at a stage where we need to go further.
The government is therefore asking the following businesses and other venues across the United Kingdom to close as soon as they reasonably can, and not to open for trade on Saturday 21 March:
- Food and drink venues for consumption on-site, such as restaurants and cafes – noting the exception for takeaway and delivery services discussed below. Hospitals, schools, care homes, homeless services and military canteens are exempt from these measures, but users should continue to follow public health guidelines.
- Drinking establishments, including pubs, bars and nightclubs – noting the exception for takeaway and delivery services discussed below.
- Entertainment venues, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls and bingo halls.
- Museums and galleries.
- Spas and massage parlours.
- Casinos and betting shops.
- All indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms.
These businesses and other venues must close as they involve prolonged close social contact, which increases the chances of infection spreading.
Takeaway & Delivery Facilities
Takeaway and delivery facilities should remain open and operational.
This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers. Planning regulation will be changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so. This will be clearly communicated by the government when in effect.
Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their license does not already permit. Any forthcoming changes to licensing for delivery and takeaway will be clearly communicated by the government.
Criminal Sanctions for Breach
Everyone has a duty to comply with the advice provided by the government in relation to COVID-19, in order to protect both themselves and others.
The government expects all businesses and other venues that are in the list above to comply with this request.
As of 2pm on 21 March 2020, these closures are enforceable by law in England and Wales due to the threat to public health. A business operating in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 will be committing an offence. As agreed with the devolved administrations these measures will be extended to Scotland and Northern Ireland by Ministerial Direction once the Coronavirus Bill 2020 is in force.