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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Coronavirus business closure requirements and restrictions

Businesses and venues that are open must follow our guidance on ensuring customers and staff are safe, and remain compliant with legal requirements.

The government has published a Road Map which sets out proposals on how and when businesses and other attractions are likely to open, depending on the latest coronavirus data.

Businesses that can open from 12 April

From 12 April 2021, the following businesses can open:

  • remaining non-essential retail
  • personal care premises including hairdressers (not saunas or steam rooms)
  • self-contained holiday accommodation without shared facilities/stairs/corridors
  • all camp sites and outdoor hospitality such as pub gardens

Hotels cannot open at this step unless it is for one of the existing exempt purposes. Staying overnight in a hotel for a holiday or leisure purposes is still not permitted.

Read our guidance on re-opening outdoor hospitality businesses.

Full details are set out in the government's guidance on re-opening.

Business that must remain closed

There are still some restrictions on certain business before the plans to lift restrictions from 17 May at the earliest, and the final step from 21 June at the earliest come into place.

Restrictions include:

  • pubs and restaurants only being able to use outdoor areas
  • hotels and other accommodation where space is shared between guests remaining closed
  • indoor parts of attractions zoos and theme parks remaining closed

Full details are set out in the government's guidance on re-opening.

Businesses that are open

Certain outdoor sports facilities and activities were able to open from 29 March.

Businesses that were allowed to open during lockdown can remain open. These include:

  • 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
  • businesses providing repair services, 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
  • launderettes 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
  • outdoor playgrounds
  • outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
  • places of worship
  • crematoriums and burial grounds

Ensuring compliance

Our environmental health, trading standards and licensing officers continue to advise and respond to complaints, as they have throughout the pandemic, engaging with businesses and using formal enforcement as a last resort, when advice is ignored. We continue to work closely with Dorset Police, who have the powers to deal with individual members of the public.

Only the police can enforce the COVID-19 requirements relating to illegal gatherings and travel and movement restrictions by individuals.

Contact us

Like businesses, we wait for public announcements to confirm the key dates for re-opening. Once any changes to legislation or guidance are published we can advise on those.

Get in touch if you would like further guidance on the current requirements or any published legislation on re-opening.

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