COVID-19 guidance for businesses

Last updated: 13 May 2021 at 3.05pm

The ‘stay at home’ rule ended on 29 March 2021, but many restrictions still remain in place. People should continue to work from home where possible and minimise journeys.

Restrictions on businesses

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

Keep up to date on the restrictions and see a fuller list of businesses that must close, according to Government guidance.

As a summary, businesses required to close include:

  • non-essential retail
  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances
  • leisure and sports facilities
  • entertainment venues
  • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. These services should also not be provided in other people’s homes
  • community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect services.

Some of 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 those children eligible to attend
  • 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)
  • outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports
  • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
  • for the purposes of film and TV filming.

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods and services, including essential retail outlets, petrol stations, banks and post offices. Please go to the GOV.UK guidance for the full list.

We realise that some businesses may need some support and advice adjusting to the changes in restrictions and guidance. Should you have any questions, please email and we will be happy to support you.

Roadmap out of lockdown

On 22 February 2021, the Government set out its roadmap out of the current lockdown in England, having passed Step 1, the earliest date some businesses will be able to open will be 12 April 2021. Find out more about reopening businesses and venues.

PDF document Briefing letter to licensed premises following the release of the Government's Covid-19 Response track and trace - April 2021(PDF) [60 kb]

PDF document Venue Alert - April 2021(PDF) [21 kb]

PDF document App Check-in Benefits (A4 Poster) - April 2021(PDF) [3 Mb]

PDF document App Hospitality Check-In Regulations Simplified (A4 Poster) - April 2021(PDF) [2 Mb]

PDF document App Hospitality Fact Sheet Venue Regulation (A4 Poster) - April 2021(PDF) [558 kb]

PDF document App New Venue Alerts Process (A4 Poster) - April 2021(PDF) [149 kb]

PDF document Letter to licensed premises following the release of the Government's Covid-19 Response - Spring 2021(PDF) [477 kb]

There is support available for businesses from the Government and from us as a local authority.

Government support

The Chancellor has made a number of statements outlining financial support that is available for businesses to help them through the pandemic and create and support jobs. The latest financial support includes:

Further information on business support is available on the GOV.UK website.

Council support

Information on grant schemes that are available to support eligible businesses can be found on the grant support webpage.

Business advice

The government website has lots of information and guidance for businesses on funding and support along with how to run your business safely.

Eligibility tool

The government has launched an online coronavirus business support tool to help businesses and self-employed people to find out what financial support is available to them during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Other sources of support

Other support can be found via The Federation of Small Businesses, Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and IncuHive.

Community (asymptomatic) Testing

Community testing is now available for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Find out more on our Community Testing webpage.

Contact us

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