What shops are closed in lockdown? List of businesses from garages, car washes and banks

From gyms and beauty salons to pubs and the cinema, here is everything you need to know

Sarah Young
Thursday 05 November 2020 11:30
Boris Johnson announces second national lockdown

England has entered a four-week lockdown to help curb the spread of coronavirus.

On Saturday 31 October, the prime minister announced the new measures, which began on Thursday 5 November, during a press conference at Downing Street alongside chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.

The new rules and restrictions have been imposed across England, replacing the three-tier “traffic light” system.

Mr Johnson had previously said that a short, sharp lockdown or “circuit breaker” as recommended by scientific advisers, like the “Firebreaker” imposed in Wales, would not be necessary. 

The U-turn was made after government scientists showed the prime minister papers predicting that coronavirus deaths this winter could surpass the 85,000 envisaged in the government’s “worst case scenario”.

During the press conference, Mr Johnson said: “Our hope was that by strong local action, strong local leadership, we could get the rates of infection down where the disease was surging”, but that “the virus has been spreading even faster than the reasonable worst-case scenario of our scientific advisers”.  

“I’m afraid, from Thursday, the basic message is the same: Stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives," he added.

Mr Whitty said that “the prevalence of this disease has been going up extremely rapidly over the last few weeks, having been very flat over spring and summer”, with daily cases of coronavirus averaging around 50,000.  

The measures will remain in place until 2 December.

So what do the new restrictions mean for businesses and which ones have been ordered to close? Here’s everything you need to know.


Supermarkets are permitted to remain open as usual throughout the duration of the four-week lockdown.

This includes food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services. The government has asked all essential retail to follow Covid-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

Unlike Wales, where some supermarkets were banned from selling non-essential items, such as clothes and hardware, stores in England can continue to sell all and any goods.

Non-essential shops

All non-essential retail has been forced to close, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents and betting shops.

The government website adds that auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops must also shut.

However, it adds that non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.

During his speech, Mr Johnson said: “I'm afraid non-essential shops will all be closed - though click and collect services can continue and essential shops will remain open, so there is no need to stock up.”

Pubs and restaurants

Just like the first national lockdown which started in March, pubs, bars and restaurants have been forced to close completely.

They can however still provide takeaway and delivery services. The government initially stated that takeaway of alcohol would not be allowed under the new rules. However, this ban has since been overturned and customers will now be able to order takeaway pints from their local pubs. 

The new rules require customers to pre-order their drink online, or by phone or post. They can then collect it directly from the pub as long as they do not enter a premises.


Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms and sports facilities also have to close.

This includes venues such as swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks.

Hair and beauty salons

Just like the first lockdown, all personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons have been asked to shut during November.

The rules also apply to tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

Cinemas and museums

All entertainment venues are required to close for the four-week lockdown.

The government has confirmed that this includes venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries.

Casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and botanical gardens also have to shut.

Garages and repair shops

The government has yet to announce the specific guidelines related to garages, but as it is considered an essential service they are likely to remain open during the second lockdown.

Hotels and hostels

Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions.

Under the new rules, all outbound international travel will be banned, except for work and travel within the UK is also discouraged.


The government hasn't specifically commented on opticians in regards to the second lockdown, but opticians were considered an essential service during the first. Opticians could deal with emergency cases and provide urgent care. 

However, routine eye checks were not being carried out. Vision Express, in Stratford Westfield, London, told The Independent that it would remain open and would be providing all services. However, there would be no walk-in services during the second lockdown, the store would only be taking pre-booked appointments and there would be Covid-safe measures in-place throughout the store.

Dog groomers

There has been no official advice as to whether dog groomers can stay open during the UK’s second lockdown. The Pet Industry Federation has been pushing for clearer guidance. On 1 November, they posted the following on Facebook: “Following the government's announcement last night about a new national lockdown from Thursday, we are currently seeking clarity about how this affects pet businesses."

Some regard dog-grooming as a non-essential service. However, Erica Jenkins from Fancy Fido, in London, very much considers dog-grooming an essential service. She says it could even be animal “neglect” to not allow grooming services to be open. Some dogs that are not regularly or properly groomed may develop “health issues", she told The Independent

Jenkins says there is no reason to stop dog grooming services, which can be done in a Covid-safe way, with little or no contact with the owners.  

Some dog-grooming services may remain open during the lockdown, until specifically asked not to remain open.


Although the government hasn't specified, it's safe to assume that branches will be open, however, opening hours may be reduced  – check your branch ahead of visiting. A representative of Barclays Bank told The Independent that it only allows a certain amount of people in branch at one time (depending on the size of the branch), and customers should allow extra time when visiting the bank. Barclays also confirmed that staff in-branch would be wearing face coverings, unless they are exempt.

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