Latest updates for businesses affected by COVID-19

Update to restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services guidance (England) The guidance has been updated with some information for Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May) of the roadmap and contains steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus. In addition to the info below, businesses should make sure that they are familiar with the UK government guidance to ensure that they make their business safe during coronavirus. Following the move to Step 3, businesses will be able to:

  • Reopen indoor areas of their venues.

  • Serve customers in groups of up to 6 or 2 households indoors, or in groups of up to 30 outdoors.

  • There will also be some relaxation of rules around live performances, business events and soft play areas.

Businesses may wish to erect outdoor shelters. To be considered ‘outdoors’, shelters, marquees and other structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50% of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use. Table service will be required for venues that serve alcohol, even if no alcohol is ordered, this means customers must order, be served and eat/drink while seated. If a venue does not serve alcohol, customers can order and collect food and drink from a counter. But they must consume food and drink while seated at a table. Entertainment within or outside restaurants, pubs, bars At Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, more types of socially distanced indoor and outdoor events are allowed. Some types of events, including live performance events and business events, should have a cap on attendance of:

  • 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower - indoors

  • 4,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower - outdoors

These events should be ticketed. Read the organised events guidance for more information on the types of event subject to these requirements. If businesses are organising a performance event, they also should read the performing arts guidance. If they’re organising a business event, they should also read the visitor economy guidance.

Any events should be held in a separate room from regular food and drink customers to prevent mixing with event attendees. Businesses can continue to provide other types of entertainment to food and drink customers. The following guidance should be followed:

  • Determine the viability of entertainment and maximum audience numbers. Make this consistent with social distancing outside and within venues, and with other safety considerations.

  • Prevent entertainment, that is likely to encourage audience behaviours with increased transmission risk. For example, loud background music, communal dancing, group singing or chanting.

  • Reconfigure your entertainment spaces to ensure customers are seated rather than standing. For example, repurposing dance floors for customer seating.

  • Communicate clearly to customers your arrangements for entertainment. Clearly supervise them with extra staff if appropriate.

Changes to shops and branches guidance (England)


At Step 3, customers may attend shops in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households of any size indoors; or in groups of no more than 30 people outdoors.