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Coronavirus: a helping hand for businesses

This page contains information for Westminster businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Published on: 15 January 2021

Last updated: 9 April 2021

Roadmap out of Lockdown: Step 2 - 12 April

Some of the rules on what you can and cannot do will change on 12 April

The ‘‘stay local’ rule will continue to be in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.  

From 12 April: 

  • non-essential retail will be able to reopen - this includes non-essential retail. Shops, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons can reopen. Other venues such as tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services can also reopen. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes 
  • public buildings such as libraries and community centres will be able to reopen 
  • outdoor hospitality venues will be able to reopen, with table service only 
  • most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts) will be able to reopen 
  • some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds will be able to take place 
  • indoor leisure and sports facilities Indoor leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses 
  • will be able to reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble 
  • all childcare and supervised activities will be allowed indoors (as well as outdoors) for all children. Parent and child groups can take place indoors (as well as outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number) 
  • weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events will be able to take place for up to 15 people (anyone working is not included in this limit), including in indoor venues that are permitted to open or where an exemption applies. Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people, but must take place outdoors, not including private gardens 
  • self-contained accommodation will be able to open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble 

Businesses and venues which must remain closed

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. 

The full list of businesses required to close can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs that cannot provide outdoor dining; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
  • animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
  • 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

These businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:

  • education and training - for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision
  • childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
  • hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
  • to provide medical treatment
  • for elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (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

Some of these businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities.

A full list of exemptions can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England.

Businesses and venues which can continue to provide essential services

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 secure guidelines. Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open.

The full list of these businesses can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • funeral directors
  • medical and dental services
  • vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
  • animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
  • agricultural supplies shops
  • mobility and disability support shops
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • places of worship
  • crematoriums and burial grounds

Public services

The majority of public services will continue and you will be able to leave home to visit them.

These include:

  • the NHS and medical services like GPs and dentists. We are supporting the NHS to carry out urgent and non-urgent services safely, and it is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help
  • Jobcentre Plus sites
  • courts and probation services
  • civil registrations offices
  • passport and visa services
  • services provided to victims
  • waste or recycling centres
  • getting an MOT, if you need to drive when lawfully leaving home

Please visit the Government’s website for the latest information on restrictions on service and exemptions.