The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020


Jurisdiction: England

Commencement: 2pm on 21st March 2020

Mini Summary

These Regulations list various types of premises which sell food and drink to be consumed on the premises (including workplace canteens), and various types of cultural, recreational and sporting premises which are required to close to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.


The Regulations apply to most types of business which sell food or drink for consumption on the premises. This includes workplace canteens.

The Regulations also apply to a number of types of business in which the public congregate for cultural, recreational or sporting activities.

The Regulations require the relevant types of business to close.

The Regulations are designed to protect public health by preventing the spread of COVID19 (i.e. Coronavirus).

They apply in England only (similar Regulations have been passed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).


Businesses which sell food and drink for consumption on the premises

The Regulations apply to the following types of businesses:

  • restaurants, including in hotels or members clubs;
  • cafes, including workplace canteens;
  • bars, including in hotels or members’ clubs; and
  • public houses.


The Regulations do not apply to cafes or canteens in hospitals, care homes, schools, prisons, or MoD establishments for use for naval, military or air force purposes. They also do not apply to services providing food or drink to the homeless.

Requirement to close

Any person carrying on a relevant business listed above must:

  • Stop selling food or drink for consumption on the premises (n.b. This also applies where a business sells food or drink for consumption in an area adjacent to the premises, e.g. a food court, even though the area set aside for eating and drinking may not have been provided directly by the business).
  • Close that part of the premises on which food and drink are sold for consumption on the premises (this may apply to the whole of the premises).

n.b. the provision of room service in a hotel is excluded from this requirement.

Businesses in which people congregate which must close 

The Regulations apply to the following types of businesses:

  • Cinemas.
  • Theatres.
  • Nightclubs.
  • Bingo halls.
  • Concert halls.
  • Museums and galleries.
  • Casinos.
  • Betting shops.
  • Spas.
  • Massage parlours.
  • Indoor skating rinks.
  • Indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres.

Requirement to close

Any person carrying on a relevant business listed above must close. If the business forms part of a larger business, the larger business complies by closing the relevant part of the businesses, i.e. those carrying on the types of business listed above.

Relevant persons 

The requirements set out above apply to any person who is an owner or manager of any of the above types of listed business.

See offences below – a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of a company may also be affected.

Time period

The Regulations came into effect on 2.00 p.m. on 21st March 2020.

The Secretary of State must publish a direction terminating the requirements listed above as soon as they are no longer required for the protection of public health from the spread of Coronavirus.

The Secretary of State must review the restrictions set out above at least every 28 days.

The Regulations expire in any event after 6 months.


Any person who contravenes the duties under these Regulations, or obstructs somebody else from complying with them, is guilty of an offence which is punishable by a fine.

If a company commits an offence due to the consent, connivance or neglect of a director, manager, secretary or other officer of that company, that person is also guilty of the offence.


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