Legal requirements / business restrictions

Face coverings

From 30th November it is a legal requirement for persons, unless exempt from doing so, to wear a face covering in the following business settings:

  • shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • auction houses
  • post offices, banks, building societies, high street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
  • estate and letting agents
  • premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (barbers, hair salons, tattoo and piercing studios, nail salons and massage centres)
  • pharmacies
  • premises providing veterinary services
  • retail galleries
  • retail travel agents
  • public facing funeral offices
  • takeaways without space for consumption of food or drink on premises
  • shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
  • community centres (including village halls), youth centres, members clubs and social clubs
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • polling stations and premises used for the counting of votes
  • places of worship
  • crematoria and burial ground chapels
  • visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, indoor theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, indoor areas at aquariums, zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, indoor sports stadiums, funfairs, indoor theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
  • public areas in hotels and hostels
  • indoor areas of open-air sports stadiums
  • public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams, buses, coaches and ferries), taxis and private hire vehicles
  • cars or small vans during any professionally delivered driving lesson, during any driving test, and during any practical test to qualify as an approved driving instructor
  • heavy goods vehicle (HGVs) during any driving lesson and during any driving test
  • driving theory test centres
  • transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • motorway service areas

This requirement applies to visitors, members of the publics, staff (unless an exemption applies) and other persons working on site such as contractors.

These businesses must display a sign requiring and encouraging the wearing of face coverings at their premises. A poster for display in premises can be downloaded here.

Face coverings are not required in hospitality venues where food and drink are consumed (such as pubs, cafés and restaurants), or during exercise (such as gyms), including dancing (such as nightclubs).

Further guidance on when face coverings are required to be worn can be found at Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Covid Pass

From 15th December persons responsible for certain venues or events must take reasonable measures to ensure that visitors aged 18 and over provide evidence which states that they have been fully vaccinated, have taken an NHS approved Lateral Flow Test within the past 48 hours which is negative or are exempt.

This requirement applies to:

  • All nightclubs and other venues which are open after 1am and provide alcohol, music and dancing;
  • Indoor or partially indoor events with 500 or more attendees where there is likely to be standing or moving around during the event;
  • Outdoor or partially outdoor settings with 4,000 or more attendees where there is likely to be standing or moving around during the event;
  • Any settings with 10,000 or more attendees.

Businesses where this applies are required to have a certification policy in place setting out their control measures and are required to maintain records and checks carried out to meet the above requirements.

For further information and guidance please visit:

Carrying out mandatory COVID-19 status checks at your venue or event – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Prove your coronavirus (COVID-19) status to work at venues or events operating COVID-19 status checks – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)