Health Protection Regulations for COVID-19 Premises Closures

COVID-19 Restrictions

Important measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations came into force at 2pm on Sunday 21 March 2020. These regulations require premises or parts of premises where food or drink is sold for consumption on the premises to close. The affected businesses are:

  • Restaurants (including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or clubs)
  • Cafes (including workplace canteens)
  • Pubs and bars

Any seating provided adjacent to the premises is treated as part of the premises.

These requirements do not apply to:

  • Cafes or canteens at hospitals
  • Care homes
  • Schools
  • Prisons
  • Premises providing food or drink to the homeless

Takeaway and delivery services can remain operational, and people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services.

Other premises that are required to close:

  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Nightclubs
  • Bingo halls
  • Concert halls
  • Museums or galleries
  • Casinos
  • Betting shops
  • Spas
  • Massage parlours
  • Indoor skating rinks
  • Indoor fitness studios
  • Gyms
  • Swimming pools
  • Leisure centres
  • Non-essential shops
  • Hair and beauty salons
  • Hotels, B&B's
  • Campsites
  • Libraries
  • Places of worship
  • Leisure facilities, such as arcades, bowling alleys, soft play centers and outdoor gyms
  • Playgrounds
  • Sports courts and pitches

Anyone who fails to comply is committing an offence and would face prosecution and an unlimited fine. Officers may take such action as is necessary to enforce a closure or restriction.

Guidance for essential premises that can remain open:

Those essential premises that can remain open, such as supermarkets and other food shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, newsagents, post offices and banks are expected to ensure:

  • A safe distance of two metres is maintained between customers and shop assistants
  • The management of space inside shops to ensure that they are not crowded, such as limiting entry in small groups
  • Manage queue control outside

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone, but these measures are important to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

General advice for businesses, employers and employees

If you have any queries, please contact The Food and Safety Team at