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What is an Essential Business?

Essential businesses are those that provide essential products or services necessary to the health and well-being of the public. These businesses include food and grocery stores, hotels that serve as interim or permanent abodes, and tradespeople offering repair and maintenance services.

Essential Food and Drink Businesses:

  • Food delivery and takeaway, including those operating as a new activity according to the permitted development right.
  • Cafes and canteens at hospitals, police and fire stations, care homes, or schools.
  • Prison and military canteens.
  • Services providing food and drink to the homeless.
  • Workplace canteens when it is not possible for workers to bring food from home or when employers cannot engage takeaway services.

Essential Retail Businesses:

  • Supermarkets and other food shops.
  • Medical service providers, including dental surgeons, opticians and audiology clinics, physiotherapy clinics, podiatry clinics, and other professional vocational medical services.
  • Pharmacies and chemists, including non-dispensing pharmacies.
  • Petrol stations.
  • Bicycle shops.
  • Hardware shops.
  • Equipment, plant, and tool hire.
  • Veterinary surgeries and pet shops.
  • Agricultural supplies shops.
  • Corner shops and newsagents.
  • Off-licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol (including those within breweries).
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners.
  • Post offices.
  • Vehicle rental services.
  • Car garages and MOT services.
  • Car parks.
  • High street banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions, and cashpoints.
  • Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop-off points.
  • Public toilets.
  • Shopping centers, but only units of the types listed above may trade.
  • Market stalls that offer essential retail items, such as food and other groceries.

Essential Hotels:

  • People who use hotels as interim or permanent abodes.
  • People who use caravan parks/sites as interim or permanent abodes.
  • Key-workers and non-UK residents who are unable to leave at this time can continue to stay in hotels or similar.
  • People who are unable to move into a new home may stay in hotels.
  • Hotels, hostels, and B&Bs providing rooms to support the homeless and other vulnerable people.
  • People attending funerals can stay in hotels when it would be impractical to return to their homes.
  • Hotels can host blood donation sessions.

Non-Essential Businesses:

  • Restaurants, pubs, wine bars, cafes, and canteens.
  • Hairdressers and barbers.
  • Beauty and nail salons.
  • Piercing and tattoo parlors.
  • Retail shops.
  • Outdoor and indoor markets.
  • Auction houses.
  • Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, holiday rentals, campsites, and boarding houses.
  • Libraries, community centers, and places of worship.
  • Museums, nightclubs, cinemas, casinos, spas, skating rinks, fitness studios, arcades, and funfairs.
  • Playgrounds, sports courts, pitches, and outdoor gyms.

FAQs:

What are essential businesses in the U.K.?

Essential businesses are those that provide essential products or services necessary to the health and well-being of the public. These businesses include food and grocery stores, hotels that serve as interim or permanent abodes, and tradespeople offering repair and maintenance services.

Which retail stores are essential businesses in the U.K.?

  • Supermarkets and other food shops.
  • Medical services, including dental surgeries, opticians and audiology clinics, physiotherapy clinics, podiatry clinics, and other professional vocational medical services.
  • Pharmacies and chemists, including non-dispensing pharmacies.
  • Petrol stations.
  • Bicycle shops.
  • Hardware shops.
  • Veterinary surgeries and pet shops.
  • Agricultural supplies shops.
  • Corner shops and newsagents.
  • Off-licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol (including those within breweries).
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners.
  • Vehicle rental services.
  • Car garages and MOT services.
  • High street banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions, and cashpoints.
  • Shopping centers.
  • Market stalls that offer essential retail items.

Can restaurants stay open in the U.K.?

As the country moves into Step 4 of its response to the pandemic, all restaurants, public houses, wine bars, and other food or drinking establishments, including within hotels and members' clubs, are allowed to open without restrictions.

How do you know if your business is an essential business in the U.K.?

If your business provides products and services necessary for the health and well-being of the public, then it is likely your business is an essential business in the U.K.

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