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Keep Southwark Safe

Restrictions on businesses during COVID-19

Find out about what COVID-19 restrictions are currently in place, the rules businesses need to follow and the path out of restrictions.

You should visit the government’s website for details on the latest COVID-19 restrictions and rules, as well as details about which businesses are required to be closed.

The government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions lists how businesses can plan for reopening. See our summary of the steps.

All dates in the roadmap are at the earliest, and the government has committed to giving a minimum seven days’ notice of each new lifting of restrictions. Look out for these announcements.

On Monday 17 May, England moved to step 3 of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. Below is a summary of the key actions businesses permitted to open from Monday 17 May need to take. This list is not exhaustive and you should visit the government’s working safely during COVID-19 page for the latest sector-specific guidance.

All businesses
In addition to the above
Indoor hospitality venues including restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes
  • take part in NHS Test and Trace
  • customers can only be served in groups of up to 6 or 2 households indoors, or in groups of up to 30 outdoors
  • keep groups apart, by spacing out tables and using barriers between groups
  • manage food and drink service safely
  • if your venue serves alcohol (even if no alcohol is ordered) table service will be required
  • if your venue doesn’t serve alcohol, customers can order from a counter, but they must also consume food and drink while seated at a table
  • prevent shouting, singing and dancing
  • encourage contactless payment and ordering
Indoor entertainment and attractions including cinemas, theatres, casinos, amusement arcades, children’s play areas, museums.
  • take part in NHS Test and Trace, if required at your venue (see sector guidance)
  • encourage contactless payment, including online booking
  • consider how your business interacts with the local area, by discouraging crowds, reducing queues, etc
  • manage food and drink service safely, if provided
Indoor and outdoor events including live performances, sporting events, business events
  • take part in NHS Test and Trace, if required at your venue (see sector guidance)
  • encourage contactless payment, including online booking
  • consider how your business interacts with the local area, by discouraging crowds, reducing queues, etc
  • manage food and drink service safely, if provided
Holiday accommodation including hotels and B&B's
  • take part in NHS Test and Trace
  • encourage contactless payment, including online booking
  • manage food and drink service safely, if provided
Indoor sports facilities including gym classes
  • take part in NHS Test and Trace, if it applies to your venue (see sector guidance)
  • ensure returning visiting instructors and volunteers are made aware of the latest rules
  • ensure customers can use the facility safely, including minimising sharing of equipment
  • manage food and drink service safely, if provided
  • minimise risk in changing rooms and showers, including ensuring they are cleaned frequently

Emergency legislation gives local authorities temporary powers to ensure compliance with the compulsory closure of businesses. If you think a business is in breach of the current closure requirements, contact Trading Standards.

If your business is permitted to open, you must ensure that your business is run safely and in compliance with COVID-19 requirements.

Page last updated: 18 May 2021

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