What does the national lockdown mean for my business?

Archived 5 Jan 2021

Our guide covers which business can remain open in the current restrictions and sources of funding for small businesses.

This information relates to England only. Current guidance for devolved nations can be found via the links below.

Scotland - Wales - Northern Ireland

On 4 January 2020 the Prime Minster Boris Johnson announced a third national lockdown in effect from 00:01 Tuesday 5 January which will apply across England.

Read the full guidance on the gov.uk website.

During this period, people may only leave home for the following reasons:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible

What does this mean for businesses?

Non-essential retail must close to members of the public but may still operate on a click and collect or delivery basis.

See the full list of venues which must close on the gov.uk website

Hospitality venues such as pubs, bars, restaurant and social clubs must close but may still operate on a click and collect or delivery basis however the sale of takeaway alcohol is banned.

Accommodation sites such as hotels, guest houses and campsites must close unless they meet specific criteria.

The following must also fully close:

  • Leisure and sports facilities.
  • Entertainment venues.
  • Animal attractions
  • Personal Care facilities
  • Community Centres and halls.

The following businesses can remain open:

  • essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
  • businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
  • petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • 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

What support is there for my business?

Our guide to financial support for businesses contains an overview of support currently available and will be updated as new information becomes available.

The furlough scheme has been extended to April, read our guide to the furlough scheme.

Find advice, support and guidance in your area through our local virtual events.

Find support for your mental health and wellbeing through our wellbeing hub.

The gov.uk website features an interactive tool to help identify financial support which may be available for your business.

Local authorities also have funds in place to support businesses through periods of closure due to coronavirus restrictions. Refer to their individual websites for more information


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