Which small businesses can stay open in Tier 4 lockdown?

The government announced sudden Tier 4 restrictions for London and South East England on Saturday. Here is the list of which types of small business can remain open

UPDATED: Around 20 million more people have been put into Tier 4 restrictions following the government’s tier review this afternoon.

From December 31, the Midlands and the North East will move into Tier 3, along with areas of the North West and the South East also being moved into the highest tier of restrictions.

Tier 4 restrictions were first introduced in London and parts of the South East on December 20, and extended across other parts of England from December 26, to combat a more contagious strain of coronavirus.

From New Year’s Eve, three quarters of England will be under Tier 4 restrictions.

Craig Beaumont, chief of external Affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses, said:  “Small businesses across swathes of England have now moved into the highest tiers.  With new restrictions shutting down shops, hairdressers and gyms in addition to hospitality, food and drink and accommodation – this intensification of restrictions must lead to an intensification of support for those affected, many of whom have invested heavily in making their businesses Covid secure and with no cash reserves left.”

Small businesses that must close in Tier 4

  • non-essential retail, including clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. The above business venues can continue to offer click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes.
  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs – apart from offering takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.
  • accommodation including hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances. See government website for more details.
  • leisure and sports facilities including leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor sports courts, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor riding centres, and indoor climbing walls.
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks.
  • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open.

>See also: How to shift your pub or restaurant from eat-in to takeaway and delivery

Small businesses that can open in Tier 4

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods and services, including:

  • essential retail including food shops, 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.
  • short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical and dental services
  • vets and pet shops
  • 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
  • golf courses
  • archery/driving/shooting ranges (outdoors)
  • outdoor riding centres
  • crematoriums and burial grounds

Further reading

How to reopen your small business post lockdown – what we know so far

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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...