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

Businesses and premises that must close under COVID-19 regulations

Business closed sign

This page was updated on the 6 January 2021

An amendment to The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on the 6 January, they impose closures and restrictions upon a number of businesses (also known as National Lockdown 3). As the Council understands the new legislation and is offered advice by Government these page will be subject to change. Preston is currently under Tier 4 Restrictions - Stay at Home.

For guidance regarding the wider community 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

Our Covid-19 Compliance pages detail the visits and enforcement actions taken by Environmental Health.

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

Businesses that must close

Hospitality businesses

(1) nightclubs;

(2) dance halls;

(3) discotheques;

(4) any other venue (not falling within paragraph (b) or (c)) which—

(i) opens at night,

(ii) 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

(iii) provides music, whether live or recorded, for dancing;

(5) sexual entertainment venues;

(6) hostess bars;

(7) Shisha Cafes/Premises any business which provides, whether for payment or otherwise:

(i) a waterpipe to be used for the consumption of tobacco or any other substance on the premises, or

(ii) a device to be used for the recreational inhalation of nicotine or any other substance on the premises.

(8) Premises proving food and drink for consumption on the premises

(a) restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members' clubs;

(b) cafes, including workplace canteens, but not including—

(i) cafes or canteens at a hospital, care home, school, educational accommodation for students attending higher education courses or provider of post-16 education or training (as defined in paragraph 1(8) of Schedule 17 to the Coronavirus Act 2020),

(ii) canteens at criminal justice accommodation, immigration detention 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,

(iii) cafes or canteens at a higher education provider, where there is no practical alternative for staff and students at that institution to obtain food or drink and alcohol is not served for consumption on the premises,

(iv) workplace canteens, where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food or drink and alcohol is not served for consumption on the premises, or

(v) services providing food or drink to the homeless;

(c) bars, including bars in hotels or members' clubs;

(d) public houses;

(e) businesses providing food or drink prepared on the premises for immediate consumption off the premises, but not including—

(i) supermarkets,

(ii) convenience stores, corner shops and newsagents,

(iii) pharmacists and chemists, or

(iv) petrol stations;

(f) social clubs.

(9) 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 cease to carry on that business.

(a) to provide accommodation for any person who—

(i) is unable to return to their main residence;

(ii) uses that accommodation as their main residence;

(iii) needs accommodation for the purposes of a house move;

(iv) needs accommodation to attend a funeral or following a bereavement of a close family member or friend;

(v) needs accommodation to attend a commemorative event to celebrate the life of a person who has died;

(vi) needs accommodation to attend a medical appointment, or to receive treatment;

(vii) is a carer of a vulnerable person or a person who has a disability and needs respite;

(viii) is isolating themselves from others as required by law;

(ix) is an elite athlete or the coach of an elite athlete and needs accommodation for the purposes of training or competition or, where an elite athlete is a child, their parent,

(b) to provide accommodation for any person who needs accommodation for the purposes of their work or to provide voluntary or charitable services,

(c) to provide accommodation for any person who needs accommodation for the purposes of education or training of a kind mentioned in paragraph 4(4) or, where that person is a child, their parent,

(d) to provide accommodation for the purposes of a women's refuge or a vulnerable person's refuge,

(e) to provide accommodation or support services for the homeless,

(f) to provide accommodation for any person who was staying in that accommodation immediately before these Regulations came into force or (if later) immediately before the time when the area in which the accommodation is located became part of the Tier 3 area,

(g) to provide accommodation for any person who is staying in that accommodation in order to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person or a person who has a disability who is staying in the same accommodation,

(h) to host blood donation sessions or food banks, or


Businesses may offer;

  • Food and  drinks (not including alcohol) on a takeaway basis between 5am and 11pm. This means that customers can enter the premises to place and collect their order.
  • Food and drinks (not including alcohol), via click and collect and drive through between 11pm 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 can be provided by delivery only. Alcohol must not be sold over the counter, by click & collect or drive through.
  • If a restricted business is closed but a food premises can be accessed without entering the restricted business the food business may offer takeaway, as described above.

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 that must close

(a) the following indoor & outdoor facilities—

(i) dance studios,

(ii) fitness studios,

(iii) gyms,

(iv) sports courts,

(v) swimming pools & water sports

(vi) playgrounds,

(vii) soft play centres or soft play areas,

(vi) other indoor leisure centres,

(vii) Shooting and Archery,

(viii) Golf Courses & Driving Ranges.

(b) casinos;

(c) bingo halls;

(d) bowling alleys;

(e) indoor arenas at riding centres (see our webpages on Animal Owners and businesses dealing with animals for more information)

(f) amusement arcades, including adult gaming centres;

(g) Cinemas;

(h) theatres;

(i) concert halls;

(j) skating rinks;

(k) circuses;

(l) Water parks and aqua parks;

(m) theme parks, fairgrounds and funfairs;

(n) adventure parks and activities;

(q) model villages;

(r) kitchen, bathroom, tile and glazing showrooms;

(s) Museums and galleries;

(t) Indoor attractions at visitors attractions such as -

(i) sculpture parks,

(ii) landmarks, including observation wheels or viewing platforms,

(iii) botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses,

(iv) stately or historic homes, castles or other heritage sites,

(v) aquariums and zoos, including safari parks,

(indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise)

(vi) Indoor and outdoor animal attractions at farms, wildlife centres and any other place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction;

(u) visitor attractions at film studios;

(v) 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, trade shows or events which are attended only by employees of the person who owns or is responsible for running the conference centre or exhibition hall;

(w) betting shops;

(x) spas;

(y) tanning salons;

(z) nail salons, beauty salons, hair salons and barbers;

(aa) massage parlours;

(bb) tattoo and piercing parlours;

(cc) carpet stores;

(dd) 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;

(ee) car washes (except for automatic car washes);

(ff) auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment);

(gg)... markets (except for livestock markets, stalls selling food and any other retailer listed under permitted businesses and activities below).

(hh) Schools & Colleges. Colleges, primary (reception onwards) and secondary schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term.

(ii) Universities.

Those students who are undertaking training and study for the following courses should return to face to face learning as planned and be tested twice, upon arrival or self-isolate for ten days:

  • Medicine & dentistry
  • Subjects allied to medicine/health
  • Veterinary science
  • Education (initial teacher training)
  • Social work
  • Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled (your university will notify you if this applies to you).

Students who do not study these courses should remain where they are wherever possible, and start their term online, as facilitated by their university until at least Mid-February. This includes students on other practical courses not on the list above. Students should contact their University for more information.

Permitted businesses and activities

(a) food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops,

(b) off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol (including breweries),

(c) pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists,

(d) newsagents,

(e) animal rescue centres and animal boarding facilities,

(f) building merchants and suppliers of products and tools used in building work and repairs,

(g )petrol stations,

(h) vehicle repair and MOT services,

(i) bicycle shops,

(j) taxi or vehicle hire businesses,

(k) the following businesses—

(i) banks

(ii) building societies

(iii) credit unions

(iv) short term loan providers

(v) savings clubs

(vi) cash points

(vii) 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,

(l) post offices,

(m) funeral directors,

(n) laundrettes and dry cleaners,

(o) dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including [F41services which incorporate personal care services and treatments required by those with disabilities and] services relating to mental health,

(p) veterinary surgeons and pet shops,

(q) agricultural supplies shops,

(r) 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,

(s) car parks,

(t) public toilets,

(u) garden centres,

(v) automatic car washes,

(w) mobility and disability support shops,

Services still able to operate

  • Essential public services such as the NHS and medical services, courts, jobcentre plus sites, passport offices and waste and recycling centres.

  • Places of worship - communal worship can take place, but persons must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of their household or legal support bubble.

  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees - Wedding & Civil partnerships should only take place in exceptional circumstances and only 6 people can attend ceremonies, wedding receptions/celebrations are not allowed. 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 6 people can attend linked commemorative event such as scattering ashes. Wakes cannot take place. 

  • A support group may gather so long as their is not more than 15 persons (not including children under 5), it is not in a private dwelling and it is reasonably necessary for members of the group to be physically present at the gatherings.

  • You can continue visiting relatives in care homes. Arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows are likely to be in place. Close-contact indoor visits are not allowed. You should make contact with the care home prior to your visit.

  • Early years settings (including nurseries and childminders) remain open. Vulnerable children and children of critical workers can continue to use registered childcare, childminders and other childcare activities (including wraparound care).

Working from Home

Everyone who can work from home should do so. Where people cannot do so - including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing - they should continue to travel to their workplace.

Public-sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary.

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