Concise Accountancy

Accountants and Registered Auditors

COVID news update

Businesses must remain closed

Initially, the UK government announced some businesses including all UK schools to close from 20 March 2020. However, based on the coronavirus statistic in the UK, the number of confirmed cases continued to surge daily. On 20 March 2020 the number of confirmed cases was 3,983 and on 23 March 2020, the number increased to 6,650. For this reason, the government introduced further measures to reduce the spread of the virus. As a result, businesses must remain closed until further notice.

Food and drink businesses

The following businesses must remain closed until further notice.

  • Restaurants
  • public houses
  • wine bars or other drinking establishments
  • Other food and drink establishment including within hotels and members’ clubs
  • Cafes
  • Canteens

There are exceptions, the above businesses are allowed to provide takeaways service to consumers during this outbreak and just no eat-in service completely.

Retail businesses

The following retail businesses must remain closed until further notice.

  • Hairdressers
  • barbers
  • beauty and nail salons
  • piercing and tattoo parlours
  • Auctions houses

However, your retail business can remain open if they sell essential goods and services.

  • Supermarkets and other food shops.
  • dental surgeries
  • opticians and audiology clinics
  • physiotherapy clinics
  • Chiropody and podiatry clinics
  • other professional vocational medical services.
  • Pharmacies and chemists
  • petrol stations
  • Bicycle shops
  • Hardware shops
  • Equipment, plant and tool hire shops
  • Veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  • Corner shops and newsagents
  • off licences and licenced shops selling alcohol including those within breweries
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Post offices
  • Vehicle rental services
  • Car garages and repair shops
  • Car parks
  • Banks
  • Building societies
  • Short term loan providers
  • Credit unions
  • Cash points
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Delivery drop off points
  • Public toilets
  • Shopping centre should stay open if contain units which are not required to close
  • Indoor and outdoor markets for stalls which offer essential goods like grocery and food.


The following hospitality businesses must remain closed unless they are catering for people in needs during this coronavirus outbreak. For example, you are providing rooms to support the homeless people and vulnerable people or your hotel is hosting blood donation sessions.

  • Hotels
  • hostels
  • Bed and Breakfast (B&B)
  • Campsites
  • boarding houses for commercial use
  • Caravan parks and sites for commercial use

Community gathering places

The following community gathering places must remain closed unless stated otherwise.

  • Libraries shall close except for digital library and no contact home library services should continue.
  • Community centres and Youth centres unless you host essential voluntary services
  • Places of worship except for funerals but a distance of 2 metres must be maintained between households group.

Your centres are allowed to remain open if you are providing essential services such as food banks, services for the homeless or blood donation sessions.

Assembly and leisure businesses

The following businesses must remain closed until further notice.

  • Museums
  • galleries
  • Nightclubs
  • Bingo halls
  • Casinos
  • Betting shops
  • Spa and massage parlours
  • Skating rinks
  • Arcades
  • Bowling alleys
  • Soft play centres
  • Funfairs
  • Cinema, theatres and concert halls – a small group allowed for the purpose of live streaming but must not have an audience and the 2 metres social distancing must be observed.
  • Fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools and other indoor leisure centres may stay open for blood donation sessions only.

Outdoor Recreation businesses

The following businesses must remain closed until further notice.

  • Playgrounds
  • sports courts and pitches
  • outdoor gyms

Businesses listed on the original closures list dated 20 March 2020 are now enforceable by law in England and Wales as of 2 pm of 21 March 2020. A new law, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 is created to ensure businesses comply. For further reading of the guidance, click here.

On the other hand, the government has also announced further help to UK companies on 25 March 2020. Companies are given an additional 3 month to submit their company accounts with Companies House with late filing penalty waived. However, you must apply to extend your company accounts filing deadline. You can do it online.

Companies House provides web filing services. You can deliver your company accounts and confirmation statement online. You would require your company’s authentication code to file online.

If you have any questions about how to extend your company accounts filing deadline, contact our accountants, they would be happy to assist you.

Lastly, stay healthy and take care of yourself. Together we can defeat the Covid 19 and stop the outbreak from taking over our life. Let practise our social distancing. We stay 2 metres (6 ft) apart from each other. Once the outbreak is over, we can go back to how we used to greet when we meet. – handshake, a hug, cheek kissing etc.

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