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

FAQ on local restrictions - what you can and can't do in Preston

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This content was last updated on 5 November 2020

While we wait for further information about what tier Preston will be in from 3 December 2020, you may find the GOV.UK details on the "Winter Plan" helpful.

This page is accurate based on the information and guidance we have received from government. We will update this page with any further information we receive.

National Restrictions

Government has announced a second national lockdown, starting 00.01 Thursday 5 November.

  • Stay at home, except for specific exemptions (listed below)
  • Do not gather with people you do not live with, except for specific exemptions (listed below)
  • Closure of a number of businesses and venues

Stay at Home

It is recommended that you minimise time spent outside your home. When you must go out, please ensure you are two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble.

The reasons you may leave your home include:

  • for childcare or education, where this is not provided online
  • for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people's homes)
  • to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place - with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household (children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside)
  • for any medical concerns, reasons, appointments and emergencies, or to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm - such as domestic abuse
  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible
  • to visit members of your support bubble or provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

Meetings with family and friends

You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household - meaning the people you live with - or support bubble.

You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with the people you live with, your support bubble, or 1 person from another household (children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe  disabilities, who are with their parents, or dependent adult, will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside).

Outdoor public places include

  • parks, beaches, countryside
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotments
  • playgrounds

You cannot meet in a private garden.

Businesses and venues

The Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close, including:

  • all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

Please note: non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect. Customers may not enter the store while collecting goods. 

Other restrictions

  • Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services including alcohol. Find out more here
  • Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.

A full list of the business closures will be published by Government and set out in law.

Businesses and venues permitted to be open include:

  • Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open
  • Playgrounds can remain open
  • Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups. Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.

All businesses and venues that remain open should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

A number of public services will also stay open and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:

  • the NHS and medical services like GPs
  • Jobcentre Plus sites
  • Courts
  • Civil Registrations Offices

What is a support bubble?

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit outdoor public places together.

Where can I get tested?

For the latest information on coronavirus testing in Preston, please visit our Coronavirus testing page, using the button below.

View our Coronavirus testing page

I've been asked to self-isolate, how do I get the support payment?

You may be asked to self-isolate for a number of reasons including a positive test for you, someone in your household, if you've been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service or whether you are experiencing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

For more information on the importance of self-isolating as well as accessing the Test and Trace Support Payment for people on low income who are required to self-isolate, please visit our self-isolating page.

View information on self-isolating due to coronavirus

Can Places of Worship open?

Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:

  • Funerals
  • To broadcast acts of worship
  • Individual prayer
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups


Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and Government have advised that only close friends and family attend.

Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance.

Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

Weddings and civil partnerships

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.

Can I go to work?

Everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where this is not possible (such as critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to travel to work and attend their workplace.

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

All work places must closely follow Covid-secure guidelines, and extra consideration should be given to those at higher risk.

If I live at university can I visit my parents' home?

If you live at university, you must not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time. You should only return home at the end of term for Christmas.

We expect further guidance will be published by Government nearer to this time.

What about childcare?

Parents will still be able to access some registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, or for the purposes of respite care.

Early years settings can remain open.

Some youth services may be able to continue, such as 1 - 1 youth work and support groups, but most youth clubs and groups will need to cease for this period.

Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under. As above, some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble, which allows single adult households to join another household.

What is the advice for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable?

If you have been defined as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus you should work from home. Please stay at home as much as possible, except for exercise outdoors.

If you cannot work from home there may be support such as Statutory Sick Pay (SS) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

If you are clinically vulnerable, you are reminded to minimise contact with others, carefully follow the rules and continue to thoroughly wash your hands, as well as frequently touched areas of your home and workspace.

Can I travel?

You must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

You are encouraged to reduce the journeys you make. However you can travel for the following reasons:

  • travelling to work where this cannot be done from home
  • travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
  • hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
  • visiting venues that are open, including essential retail
  • exercise, if you need to make a short journey to do so

Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed. This includes holidays abroad and in the UK.

It also means you cannot stay in a second home, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with. There are specific exceptions, for example if you need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work purposes, but this means people cannot travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons.

If you need to use public transport - to travel to work for example - you should follow the safer travel guidance. This includes the rules on wearing face masks and advice on car sharing.

Business information

If you are a business owner please visit our COVID-19 Business support and advice pages to find out more information.

For the latest data in your area please visit Public Health England and Lancashire County Council's website.

How can I report a Coronavirus concern?

If you are concerned about the implementation of COVID secure measures in a business, workplace or other public building please report this by using our Coronavirus report form.

Report a coronavirus concern

Where can I get tested?

For the latest information on coronavirus testing in Preston, please visit our Coronavirus testing page, using the button below.

Coronavirus Testing

Information on self-isolating due to coronavirus and the Test and Trace Support Payment

You may be asked to self-isolate for a number of reasons including a positive test for you, someone in your household, if you've been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service or whether you are experiencing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

For more information on the importance of self-isolating as well as accessing the Test and Trace Support Payment for people on low income who are required to self-isolate, please visit our self-isolating page.

View information on self-isolating due to coronavirus

Going to work

All workplaces should be implementing COVID secure measures.

Anyone who cannot work from home should go to their place of work, carefully following the measures in place.

If you are able to work from home, with your employers consent, you should do so.

Public sector employees working in essential services should continue to go into work as necessary.

Those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable can go to work as long as the workplace is COVID-19 Secure. However, if you are able to work from home you should do so.

There are no group size limits when gathering/meeting for work purposes but all workplaces should be set up to meet Covid-19 Secure guidelines.

COVID-19 symptoms

For a comprehensive list of COVID-19 symptoms visit NHS - COVID-19.

If you are displaying these symptoms or feel unwell please get tested as soon as possible. Where practical please avoid the use of taxis or public transport to attend a testing site.

Can I still access help?

Help for vulnerable people is still available via Preston Together 

Face coverings

What is the latest guidance on face coverings?

For the latest guidance and exemptions visit GOV.UK - Face coverings - when to wear one and how to make your own.

Can I be fined for not wearing a face covering?

The new legislation means it's a legal requirement to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets.

Police can issue fines of £200 for non-compliance and have the powers to enforce the requirement to wear face coverings in certain premises and on public transport. 

You can report any non-compliance Covid-19 issues to the Police using their Covid-19 online report form.

What if I refuse?

On public transport, for example, those who obstruct or ignore orders from police "without reasonable excuse" commit an offence and can be prosecuted.

What about pubs, cafes and restaurants?

From Thursday 24 September you must wear a face covering in pubs, cafes and restaurants except when seated at a table to eat or drink. This means you must wear a face covering when being shown to a table, when leaving the venue and when going to and from toilet facilities.

Places where you need to wear a face covering

From Tuesday 22 September the list of places where members of the public are required to wear a face covering has expanded.

There are different rules for customers and employees regarding the wearing of a face covering. Exemptions do still apply and employees who are unsure should contact their employer for further guidance.

Members of the public

You must wear a face covering, unless exempt:

  • on public transport and in transport hubs
  • while in a taxi or other private hire vehicle
  • while in a hospitality venue (pub, restaurant, cafe etc.) except when seated at a table to eat or drink (from 24 September)
  • in shops, supermarkets and shopping centres - even your local corner shop and includes indoor markets
  • Post Office, bank, solicitor's office etc
  • hair salon, barber and nail bars - including close contact services
  • vets
  • visitor attractions - museums and galleries, cinemas and bingo halls
  • libraries
  • places of worship
  • funeral homes and crematorium


GOV.UK provides guidance on the use of face coverings at work.

Employers must make sure that the risk assessment for their business addresses the risks of COVID-19 using BEIS guidance to inform decisions and control measures including close proximity working.

From 24 September:

  • Staff in hospitality and retail sectors will now be required to wear a face covering unless exempt
  • Staff performing close contact services (such as beauty treatments) must now wear a face covering and visor
  • Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers will continue to be advised to wear face coverings.

If you are unsure of how this applies to you, please contact your employer

Face covering exemptions

Some people are exempt from face covering, including:

  • children under 11
  • people with a medical exemption
  • employees in indoors settings
  • Police and emergency workers
  • speaking with someone who relies on lip reading
An image relating to Residencies affected by area of intervention measures
Following the announcement from Government that Preston is an area of intervention, new restrictions apply to residents within the area administrated by Preston City Council.

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