Coronavirus shutdown: do you need to close your business?

- March 23, 2020 < 1 MIN READ

The government has enacted sweeping new restrictions on businesses in an effort to the stem the spread of coronavirus. However, many businesses have expressed confusion as to whether they need to close. So, let us give you the lowdown.

Let’s start with the businesses that must close

The PM announced on March 22 that the following types of businesses must shut from midday March 23.







Indoor sporting venues

Indoor places of worship

Further to this, restaurants and cafes are no longer able to serve diners. They must only accept takeaway orders or home delivery.

Who can stay open?

Most retailers are allowed to continue trading, including major retail stores. Hotels are allowed to stay open to provide accommodation services, only. Pubs are allowed to continue operating their off-licence premises (bottleshops)

All businesses that remain open must abide by the governments social distancing guidelines. This means people need to ensure customers are 1.5 metres apart. You must also ensure that the number of people in your store does not exceed guidelines. Currently it this is 4 square metres per person. As an example, if your premises is 60 square metres, you can have 15 people in your store (including you and your staff). The government is encouraging, where possible for people to work from home if work allows.

What about essential services?

The following businesses/services have been deemed essential by the government



Petrol stations


Convenience stores

Freight and logistics

Food delivery

Bottle shops

(Yes, bottle shops… You can still get your favourite tipple so don’t start stockpiling booze like toilet paper)

This info is correct as of March 23 2019.

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