Business support and advice
Support and advice for businesses affected by COVID-19.

Businesses and premises that must close under COVID-19 regulations

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This page was updated on the 20 November.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 come into force on the 5 November, they impose closures and restrictions upon a number of businesses. As the Council understands the new legislation and is offered advice by Government these page will be subject to change.

For guidance regarding the wider restrictions please visit our FAQ pages.

A business should be closed but its open, what can be done?

The Police and Preston City Council have powers to close businesses that remain open against the government orders.

You can report business you think should be closed using the button below

Report a coronavirus issue form

I've read the restrictions below but I still have questions, who can I contact?

The Environmental Health Department take the lead on enforcing the coronavirus restrictions in businesses. You can contact them using the coronavirus report form.

Request coronavirus advice form

Business that must close

Hospitality businesses

  1. Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members' clubs.
  2. Cafes, including workplace canteens (subject to sub-paragraph (2)), but not including

(a) cafes or canteens at a hospital, care home or school, or provider of post-16 education or training (as defined in paragraph 1(8) of Schedule 17 to the Coronavirus Act 2020(1));

(b) canteens at criminal justice accommodation 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;

(c) services providing food and drink or either to the homeless.

 Workplace canteens may remain open where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food.

3.  Bars, including bars in hotels or members' clubs

4.  Social clubs

5.  Public houses


Businesses may offer;

  • Food and non-alcoholic drinks on a takeaway basis between 5am and 10pm. This means that customers can enter the premises to place and collect their order. Food and non-alcoholic drinks can also be sold for delivery where orders are made online, by telephone or by post, and via click and collect; and drive through;
  • Food and drinks for delivery, via click and collect and drive through only between 10pm and 5am,  (late night refreshment Premises Licence required for sale of food after 11pm). Click-and-collect and delivery services can only operate where goods are pre-ordered (by phone, online, via a mobile app or by post) and collected without customers entering the premises
  • Alcohol for consumption off the premises for delivery, click and collect and drive through (Premises Licence required for sale of alcohol). As above, this means it must be pre-ordered (by phone, online, via a mobile app or by post) and must be collected without customers entering the premises.

Planning regulation has been changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which have not previously offered delivery and hot food takeaway to be able to do so.

Hospitality venues providing food and drink for consumption off the premises are not permitted to allow customers to consume food or drink in beer garden or similar seating or from any adjacent seating to the premises.

Room service in hotels and other guest accommodation continues to be permitted as long as it is ordered by phone or online.

Other Businesses

6.  Cinemas.

7.  Theatres.

8.  Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques and any other venue which:

(a) opens at night,

(b) has a dance floor or other space for dancing by members of the public (and for these purposes members of the venue in question are to be considered members of the public), and

(c) provides music, whether live or recorded, for dancing.

9.  Bingo halls.

10.  Concert halls.

11.  Museums and galleries.

12.  Casinos.

13.  Betting shops and adult gaming centres.

14.  Spas. (May continue to sell goods e.g. beauty products via on-line sales)

15.  Nail, beauty salons, hair salons and barbers. (May continue to sell goods e.g. shampoo & beauty products via on-line sales)

16.  Tanning salons. (May continue to sell goods e.g. beauty products via on-line sales)

17.  Massage parlours.

18.  Sexual entertainment venues.

19.  Hostess bars.

20.  Tattoo and piercing parlours.

21.  Skating rinks.

22.  The following indoor facilities: dance studios, fitness studios, gyms, sports courts, swimming pools, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, playgrounds or soft play areas or other indoor leisure centres or facilities, including indoor games, recreation and entertainment venues.

  • Schools and colleges can continue to use gyms, fitness studios, swimming pools, sports courts and other indoor leisure centres. Indoor gyms, fitness studios, indoor sports facilities and leisure centres can be used for supervised activities for children.
  • Elite sportspersons can use facilities such as stables, indoor gyms, fitness studios and other indoor or outdoor sports facilities for training or competition.
  • Professional dancers and choreographers can use indoor fitness and dance studios.
  • Personal trainers can conduct lessons but these should be one-to-one and take place in an outdoor public space, such as a park, rather than in private homes or gardens

23.  Circuses, funfairs and fairgrounds (whether outdoors or indoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities.

24.  Outdoor sports centres or amenities, including water sports, stables, shooting and archery venues, golf courses, driving ranges, outdoor gyms, outdoor swimming pools, water parks and aqua parks.  (Personal trainers can conduct lessons but these should be one-to-one and take place in an outdoor public space, such as a park, rather than in private homes or gardens.)

25.  Outdoor markets (except for livestock markets, stalls selling food and any other retailer listed in businesses that can remain open, below).

26.  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, and car washes.

27.  Auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment).

28.  Model villages.

29.  Visitor attractions at film studios.

30.  Aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction.

31. Indoor attractions (which are more than 50% enclosed) at visitor attractions such as:

(a) botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses;

(b) stately or historic homes, castles or other heritage sites;

(c) landmarks, including observation wheels or viewing platforms;

(d) sculpture parks.

The outdoor elements of these attractions can remain open, such as the gardens at a stately home.

32.  Conference centres and exhibition halls, so far as they are used to host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets, other than conferences or events which are attended only by employees of the person who owns or is responsible for running the conference centre or exhibition hall. For the purposes of this paragraph, a "trade show" is an event held to bring together members of a particular industry to display, demonstrate and discuss their latest products and services with members of the public.

Businesses permitted to remain open

The businesses below must operate in a Covid Secure manner. Please visit our advice for employers and employees during Covid-19.

33.  Food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops.

34.  Off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol (including breweries).

35.  Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists.

36.  Newsagents.

37.  Hardware stores. (DIY Shops)

38.  Building merchants, and building services.

39.  Petrol stations.

40.  Car repair and MOT services.

41.  Bicycle shops.

42.  Taxi or vehicle hire businesses. (See  our Covid Taxi pages)

43.  The following businesses:

(a) banks;

(b) building societies;

(c) credit unions;

(d) short term loan providers;

(e) savings clubs;

(f) cash points;

(g) undertakings which by way of business operate currency exchange offices, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheque's which are made payable to customers.

44.  Post offices.

45.  Funeral directors.

46.  Laundrettes and dry cleaners.

47.  Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health.

48.  Veterinary surgeons and pet shops.

49.  Agricultural supplies shop.

50.  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.

51.  Car parks.

52.  Public toilets.

53.  Garden centres. (This does not include florists, nurseries, or foresters. Christmas tree farms can continue operating through click-and-collect and delivery services)

Guidance on 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 bookshop business 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 disease 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

Other Premises or practices that are restricted

54. A person responsible for carrying on a business, not listed above, of offering goods for sale or for hire in a shop, or providing library services must close.

Such shops include but are not limited to;  

  • clothing stores and tailors  (including school uniform and work wear),
  • homeware stores (such as furniture and carpet retailers)
  • showrooms open to the public for products used in homes, including bathrooms, kitchens, glazing and fireplaces
  • tobacco and vape shops
  • electronic goods and mobile phone shops
  • charity shops
  • antique stores and photography studios
  • markets (except livestock markets or stalls which fall under the list of essential businesses above, for example those selling food or hardware)
  • 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.
  • auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment)
  • homeopathic and naturopathic medicine, traditional chinese medicine, and ayurveda
  • Travel agents
  • Betting shops
  • Card shops
  • Firework shops
  • Gift shops
  • Music Shops,
  • Phone shops
  • Jewellery Stores
  • Toy shops

However they can still take orders :

a) through a website, or otherwise by on-line communication,

b) by telephone, including orders by text message, or

c) by post;

Customers may collect goods so long as they do not enter the shop.

55. Holiday accommodation, whether in a hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartment, home, cottage or bungalow, campsite, caravan park or boarding house, canal boat or any other vessel must close.


You can only carry on your business and keep your premises open in order to provide accommodation for people who:

  • Are unable to return home, or use the accommodation as their main residence;
  • Need accommodation to move to a new house, attend a funeral, or self-isolate as required by law
  • Need accommodation for the purposes of their work or to provide voluntary services, or children who need accommodation for school or care
  • Are elite athletes, their coach or (in the case of an elite athlete who is a child), the parent of an elite athlete, and need accommodation for the purposes of training or competition
  • Are currently in that accommodation at the time when national restrictions come into force. At the time that restrictions are brought in, if people are currently on holiday and it is not reasonable for them to curtail their stay, they should finish their holiday as planned. People should return home as soon as practical and comply with the 'stay at home' requirements whilst in holiday accommodation in the meantime.
  • Are visiting from abroad on holiday or for work purposes
  • Are being provided accommodation to relieve or support those who are experiencing homelessness, or as a women's or vulnerable person's refuge.
  • Accommodation providers may keep their business open to host blood donation sessions, or for any purpose requested by a Secretary of State, or local authority.
  • Accommodation facilities required to close can be opened for the purposes of making a film, television programme, audio programme, or audio-visual advertisement.

56. Places of Worship must close.


(a) for funerals (Can be attended by a maximum of 30 people),

(b) for commemorative events celebrating the life of a person who has died,

(c) to broadcast an act of worship, whether over the Internet or as part of a radio or television broadcast,

(d) 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),

(e) for childcare provided by a person registered under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006,

(f) for individual prayer, and for these purposes, "individual prayer" means prayer by individuals which does not form part of communal worship,

57. Weddings and Civil Partnerships ceremonies are banned, except for 'death bed' weddings, which are limited to 6 people.

58. Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance.

59. Community centres and halls must close.


  • Providing essential voluntary or public services (for example food banks or other support for the homeless or vulnerable, blood donation sessions or support in an emergency)
  • The purposes of education or training
  • Support groups
  • Registered childcare or supervised activities for children

60. Crematoriums or burial grounds must close to members of the public except for:

  • Funerals or commemorative events
  • Allowing a person to pay their respects to a member of their household, a family member or friend

Premises that can remain open

  1. If your premises or service has not been listed above that it is likely that it can remain open. Workplaces such as offices, factories, warehouses etc can remain open. Where practical to do so employees must be permitted to work from home.
  2. Schools, colleges and universities remain open.
  3. Public Services can remain open, including; Jobcentre Plus sites, Courts and probation services, Civil Registrations Offices, Passport and Visa Services, Services provided to victims, Waste or Recycling Centres, Government and Council offices.
  4. Premises offering Animal Services such as Dog/Cat Boarding, Dog Day care and home boarding can remain open. See our Covid-19 advice for Animal owners and businesses  web pages for detailed guidance.
  5. Premises may also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:
    • education and training (including for schools to use sports and leisure facilities where that it part of their normal provision)
    • childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
    • blood donation and food banks
    • to provide medical treatment
    • for elite sports persons (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), professional dancers and choreographers (in fitness and dance studios)
    • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
    • for the purposes of professional film and TV filming 

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