UK enforces strict ‘stay at home’ measures – businesses to close

In a moment of ‘national emergency’ the Prime Minister delivered a poignant address last night to the nation ordering people to stay at home and for the immediate closure of non-essential businesses and premises.

These restrictions will be under constant review and will be addressed again in 3 weeks.

The government has produced a guidance on what is classed as ‘non-essential’ and any exceptions to the rules. Businesses that will not need to close include supermarkets, petrol stations, post offices, launderettes, bike shops, pet shops, hardware stores and banks.

Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with the government guidance on Friday 20 March. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery services will run as normal.

Retail and public premises which the government expect to remain open must ensure, social distancing rules apply, including the standard distance of 2 meters between customers and shop assistants, let people into the shop only in small groups and have the necessary que control for outside the store in place.

Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement of further restrictions to tackle the spread of Coronavirus, BCC Director General Adam Marshall said:

“Businesses must play their part to help limit the spread of Coronavirus.”

“As the UK goes into lockdown, ministers must be crystal-clear about which businesses can continue to operate, and those which must now shut their doors.”

“The new restrictions make it all the more important that the package of financial support announced by ministers last week is delivered to firms and employees on the ground as quickly as possible.”

Police will now have the power to disperse gatherings and enforcing fines with further measures expected to be announced by the government later this week.

For further information please do take a look at the governments latest guidance on the businesses and premises to be closed, found here.

for daily updates please do visit our website and our dedicated Coronavirus Information Hub where businesses can visit to see the support available to them.

Finally, we urge all businesses to get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce to see what help and guidance is available to your business during these difficult times.