Which shops should be open/closed during lockdown?

I have been asked why certain non-essential shops in Bude & area are open against the regulations? I don’t know the answer, but here’s a reminder from the government about what may and may not open:

Retail

Business permitted to open

The following businesses and venues that provide goods for sale or hire are permitted to remain open, including if they operate from a market stall, or at a defined concession within a shopping centre:

  • food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops. This also includes fresh food retailers (such as butchers, bakers, greengrocers, fishmongers, and delicatessens)
  • off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol
  • pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists
  • mobility and disability support shops
  • newsagents
  • builders merchants and suppliers of products and tools used in building work and repairs. This doesn’t include carpet stores and showrooms, such as those for bathrooms, kitchens, tiles and glazing
  • garden centres and agricultural supplies shops. This does not include florists or nurseries
  • veterinary surgeons, animal rescue centres, boarding facilities, and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals. Animal grooming facilities may also stay open but must only be used for the purposes of an animal’s welfare (and not for aesthetic purposes)
  • dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health
  • banks, building societies, credit unions, short term loan providers, savings clubs, cash points and undertakings which by way of business operate currency exchange offices, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheques which are made payable to customers
  • post offices
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • bicycle shops, vehicle repair and MOT services
  • petrol stations and automatic car washes
  • taxi or vehicle hire businesses and motorway service areas

Storage and distribution facilities including delivery drop off or collection points, are also able to open where the facilities are in the premises of a business allowed to remain open. For example, you can return an order to a drop box in a supermarket or drop it off for collection in a newsagents. Deliveries of supplies can also go ahead for premises that are otherwise required to close by law.

Businesses that provide services (rather than goods) – such as accountants, solicitors, and estate agents – are not required to close, unless listed below.

This includes businesses which have as their main activity repair services, such as electronics repair services. This does not include shops that would otherwise be considered non-essential retail, such as a mobile phone store that offers some repairs.

Businesses providing services that are permitted to remain open should take steps to ensure they are COVID-19 Secure including, where possible, providing services remotely or virtually.

Businesses required to close

Any business or venue that provides goods for sale or hire and is not listed above must close (other than where there is an explicit exemption for a specific purpose). They may continue offering delivery and click-and-collect services (where items are pre-ordered and collected without entering the premises). People can also leave home to collect or return orders from these businesses.

These closures include, but are not limited to, the following premises:

  • clothing and fashion stores and tailors
  • retail travel agents
  • homeware stores
  • carpet stores
  • kitchen, bathroom, tile, and glazing showrooms
  • tobacco and vape shops
  • electronic goods and mobile phone shops
  • charity shops
  • photography studios
  • antique stores
  • homeopathic and naturopathic medicine, traditional chinese medicine, and ayurveda
  • markets (except livestock markets or stalls which fall under the list of essential businesses above, for example those selling food)
  • car and other vehicle showrooms and other premises, including outdoor areas, used for the sale or hire of caravans, boats or any vehicle which can be propelled by mechanical means. However taxi or vehicle hire businesses can continue. For example a customer could order a rental vehicle online and collect it in person.
  • car washes (except for automatic car washes)
  • auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment)
  • betting shops

Door-to-door sales should not take place, and sales activities should be conducted remotely (such as by phone, online, or mail).

Guidance on mixed retail

A business selling a significant amount of essential retail may also continue to sell goods typically sold at non-essential retail. For example, a supermarket that sells food is not required to close off or cordon off aisles selling homeware.

Where a business selling essential retail has another, separate business embedded within it that is required to close, the embedded business must close. For example, an electronics business operating a concession within a supermarket must close, as would a bookstore inside a garden centre.

Where a business has sufficiently distinct parts, and one section provides essential retail and one section provides non-essential retail, the non-essential sections should close to limit interactions between customers and the opportunity for the virus to spread. Sufficiently distinct sections might involve operating in separate buildings, across separate floors, a door between sections, using separate cashiers, or another clear demarcation between sections. For example a food shop may stay open, but a homeware section on a separate floor or separate building should close.

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