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Businesses that must close.

First published:
26 March 2021
Last updated:

Introduction

This guidance sets out what businesses and premises will be required to close (taking into account relevant modifications to the restrictions). It also sets out the limited purposes for which some closed businesses and premises may be accessed.

Those responsible for premises that remain open to the public, or for any premises that is a workplace, are legally required to take all reasonable measures to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading, and to have regard to Welsh Government guidance on what that means.

Scope of this guidance

This guidance, and the restrictions in the coronavirus regulations, are directed primarily at premises open to the public. Those premises may be indoors or outdoors.

Certain types of businesses are able to conduct their activities in a range of different settings, including in people’s homes. Where businesses are prohibited from operating in one type of premises, they will also (subject to the exceptions set out in this guidance) be prohibited from operating in other premises. This is to avoid gatherings of people being displaced from one setting to another, and to minimise unfair distortion of competition between similar businesses.

This means that businesses which do not operate out of premises open to the public are not included in the lists on this page, and remain permitted to operate. So for example, construction or maintenance work on private property, factory work and cleaning services are not listed in this guidance, but remain able to continue on the same basis as before.  

For those businesses continuing to operate, the person responsible for the work must take all reasonable measures to minimise exposure to coronavirus on the premises, and reduce the risk of those that have been on the premises from spreading the virus. Statutory guidance has been issued to help people understand what “reasonable measures” means, which those responsible for an open premises must have regard to. In addition, the Welsh Government has published guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed to work safely during the pandemic.

Shops and other retail: general rule

Schedule 3A to the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020 sets out the default position that all shops  (“any business selling goods or services for sale or hire in retail premises”) are permitted to open from 12 April 2020. Retailers are required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus on premises open to the public and in workplaces.

The Regulations set out a number of reasonable measures that must be taken. These include measures to:

  • limit the number of customers on the premises at any one time;
  • provide hand sanitisation products or hand washing facilities for people when they enter and leave the premises;
  • ensure any baskets or trolleys used by people on the premises are sanitised; and
  • remind customers of the need to maintain 2 metre distance and to wear face coverings

The primary tool for business owners and employers to mitigate risks in the workplace and on the shop floor is through the completion of a specific COVID-19 Risk Assessment, which is a requirement under the Regulations.  It will be the starting point for implementing the reasonable measures that are required to be taken to minimise exposure to the coronavirus on premises open to the public and in workplaces. The risk assessment must be carried out in consultation with staff or staff representatives. They are required by law and will need to be in place upon opening. Local authorities have the power to close businesses who do not abide by the rules.  It needs to be kept up to date and closely adhered to. It is also imperative that all staff fully understand their roles and obligations in helping to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. 

If any retail premises plan to hold a sale of goods during this pandemic (bearing in mind that acting in a specific way designed or likely to attract large numbers of people is likely to constitute a breach of the duty to take those reasonable measures), along with any actions to be put in place to minimise risk, this must be specifically covered in your COVID-19 Risk Assessment.  Best practice would suggest restricted and time limited access to sale areas and for those sales areas to be separated from non-sale areas.    

This is covered in greater depth within the Keeping Wales Safe – in Retail Guidance, along with a complimentary Retailers Checklist and Business Action Card

Close contact and personal services

Close contact services and personal services are permitted to open. This includes a range of close contact businesses such as hairdressing and barbering, nail and beauty, aesthetics and tattoo and body piercing businesses, as well as close contact therapy practices such as complementary alternative medicine, sport and remedial treatment and preventative and complementary (holistic) healthcare. These businesses and therapy practices have a duty to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

When providing close contact services it is generally not possible to maintain physical distancing. As a result most service providers will need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). A face covering will be required as a minimum, but other PPE such as face visors may also be advisable. Please see our additional guidance (face coverings: guidance for the public).

People providing close contact services in home based settings or other people’s homes should also refer to the working safely during COVID-19 in other people’s homes.

Click and collect and other services

All businesses can continue to offer click and collect or similar services (such as drop-off services) whilst open in order to help manage customer footfall. .

Businesses operating on a click and collect basis must ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

For example, businesses should:

  • put in place picking-up and dropping-off collection points where possible, rather than passing goods hand-to-hand
  • ensure that a 2 metre distance is maintained between persons on the premises, as well as people waiting to collect goods at the entrance to the premises or other designated external collection point
  • stagger collection times for customers collecting items
  • design their click and collect system to avoid/ reduce shared contact surfaces
  • continue to frequently clean any shared surfaces that are unavoidable and increase the use of hands-free technology to deliver their services

Please see the guidance on reasonable measures for more information.

Delivery services

All services on this list, whether or not required to close, are entitled to continue to use their premises for the purposes of managing the sale, hire or delivery of goods or services, if this is managed online, by telephone or mail order.

Work carried out in people’s homes

Work carried out in people’s homes can continue if it is reasonably necessary and there is no reasonably practicable alternative to it. The work must be managed in a safe way and both the worker and household members are well and have no symptoms of coronavirus.

People carrying out repairs, maintenance, activities related to home moves, construction work, gardening or domestic cleaners, are among the examples of people who are not realistically going to be able to provide some services without access to private homes or gardens, so this work can legally continue.

There are separate rules to allow close contact service providers to operate within private homes.

Like other businesses, people working in someone else’s home must take all reasonable measures to ensure to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading when working in other people’s households. Please see the guidance on reasonable measures and on working in other people’s homes for more information. This is likely to include wearing face coverings, sanitising surfaces and opening windows in order to improve ventilation. Where the work can be done outdoors, this should be done.

It is also recommended that no work should be carried out in any household where someone is isolating, unless it is to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to people’s safety – for example, emergency plumbing, or carry out an adaptation to allow that household to remain in their property. If attendance is unavoidable (because of an urgent or emergency situation), additional precautions should be taken to keep workers and householders completely separate from each other.  In these cases, Public Health Wales can provide advice to tradespeople and households. But no work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

Businesses which are required to close may not conduct their services in other people’s homes.

Restaurants, cafes, bars and public houses

These are required to close, with the exceptions set out in the table further down this page. However, takeaway and food delivery services may remain open. This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers, but all reasonable measures must be put in place by those responsible for carrying on the business to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading when working in other people’s households. This includes ensuring that 2 metres distance is maintained between persons on the premises, as well as people waiting to enter the premises.

Businesses are encouraged to take orders in advance online or by telephone, and businesses must not provide seating areas, indoors and outdoors, for customers to consume food or drink.

Restaurants, cafés and pubs which do not otherwise offer delivery and hot food takeaway are able to offer such services.

People must not consume food or drinks on site at restaurants, cafés or pubs whilst waiting for takeaway food.

Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their licence does not already permit.

Restaurants, cafés and pubs that may continue to offer their full range of products but only on a takeaway or delivery basis. Customers may enter the premises to access takeaway services only.

Maintenance of premises

All services on this list, whether or not required to close, can be accessed by the site owners or managers, or people authorised by them, for the purpose of maintenance, repairs or other work to ensure readiness to reopen at a point where this is permitted.

Compliance

Everyone must comply with the restrictions and requirements set out in the Regulations. A business operating in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020 will be committing an offence, which may attract a fine which is not limited on the statutory scales. 

In addition, businesses or premises which are found not to be taking all reasonable measures to mitigate the risk of spreading coronavirus are subject to a separate enforcement regime which can ultimately result in the issuing of a closure notice.

Financial support

Businesses and premises that must close

Food and drink

Business, premises or place

Exceptions

Restaurants bars and public houses, including within hotels and members’ clubs

Food delivery and takeaway can continue and businesses which only provided food for consumption on their premises can now provide takeaway food as a new activity supported by the new permitted development right.

This covers the provision of hot or cold food that has been prepared for consumers for collection or delivery to be consumed, reheated or cooked by consumers off the premises.

Food can also be provided to homeless people, including for consumption on site.

A bar or public house may sell drinks to take away but only if licensed to do so.

Hotels and other serviced accommodation can offer room service to guests.

Cafés and canteens

Food delivery and takeaway can continue (and as above). 

Cafés and canteens at hospitals, care homes, schools or within accommodation provided for students; prison and military canteens. 

Cafes and canteens at other workplaces, where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food.

Food and drink can also be provided to homeless people, including for consumption on site.

Accommodation

Business, premises or place

Exceptions

Holiday accommodation that is not self-contained.

Self-contained accommodation which does not require guests to share washing facilities, toilets or kitchens.

Camping sites and holiday sites may open if the only shared facilities are water points and waste disposal points

Accommodation businesses that are closed may also provide services for any other purpose as requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers

Where people stay in an accommodation business room service food and drink can still be provided.

These businesses can also continue to provide services online, by telephone, or by post. Please see the sector-specific guidance for more information.

Non-residential institutions

Business, premises or place

Exceptions

Community centres, youth centres and similar

They are also allowed to open to provide public services at the request of a local authority or the Welsh Ministers for any purpose

Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Assembly and leisure

Business, premises or place

Exceptions

Museums, galleries and archive services

Libraries and archive services

These may be opened at the request of a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Nightclubs

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Cinemas, theatres and concert halls

Performances may be broadcast without an audience, whether over the internet or as part of a radio or television broadcast. It is recommended that Public Health Wales guidelines are followed to ensure the safety of staff taking part.

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Bingo halls

Sessions may be broadcast without an audience, whether over the internet or as part of a radio or television broadcast. It is recommended that Public Health Wales guidelines are followed to ensure the safety of staff taking part.

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Casinos

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Spas

Spas can open for beauty and therapy treatments only. Spa gyms, spa pools, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms and swimming pools must remain closed.

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Sexual entertainment venues (within the meaning given by paragraph 2A of Schedule 3 to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (1982 c. 30. Paragraph 2A of Schedule 3 was inserted by section 27(3) of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 (c. 26).)

 

Venues for conferences and business events

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Recreation

Business, premises or place

Exceptions

Swimming Pools

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Indoor fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centres or facilities.

Classes may be broadcast without an audience, whether over the internet or as part of a radio or television broadcast. It is recommended that Public Health Wales guidelines are followed to ensure the safety of staff taking part.

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Amusement arcades, bowling alleys, soft play centres, trampolining centres and similar

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Skating rinks and indoor skate parks and centres

Outdoor skate parks

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Funfairs (whether outdoors or indoors), amusement parks or theme parks.

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Indoor sports courts and pitches

Outdoor sports courts, courses and pitches, including golf courses, tennis courts, skating ramps, basketball courts and other similar venues.

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Visitor attractions

Some outdoor visitor attractions including public outdoor areas of historic monuments, parks or gardens.

These may be opened if requested or authorised by a local authority or the Welsh Ministers. Individual businesses cannot apply for an exception to continue trading.

Providers of funeral services such as funeral directors and funeral homes conducting funerals may remain open, subject to guidelines as mentioned in the table above.