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This page contains resources for retailers with regard to the developing situation of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). 

Additional resources are available at the bottom of the page.

If you have any questions or concerns about what to do in your business, contact Lydia Hamiltion-Rimmer via

Below is information for retailers on the current lockdown restrictions in England, Wales and Scotland.


On 22nd February, the Prime Minister addressed the House of Commons to set out the roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions to transition towards a more normal life. Boris Johnson stated that the roadmap sets out a cautious and irreversible approach for England only, and the Government continues to work closely with devolved administrations.

The Governments’ COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 roadmap is available here.

Boris Johnson highlighted that the freedom from restrictions is only made possible by the pace and uptake of the vaccination programme. The Government therefore aims to offer 1st dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to every adult by end of July. The Prime Minister stated that the protection of a vaccine will replace the restrictions.

The four-part plan set out by the Prime Minister is driven by data on the following steps;

  1. The success of the vaccine rollout
  2. The number of hospital admissions and deaths falling
  3. the amount of pressure on the NHS
  4. the impact of any variants.

Stage 3

  • 17th May- All restrictions on meeting outdoors were lifted (subject to a limit of 30 people) and up to two households can meet indoors. Hospitality can resume indoors and sports stadiums have reopened.

Stage 4

  • June 21st – All restrictions will be lifted and testing will be used to reduce transmission in situations such as live music events.

The Prime Minister has stated there will be "at least" five weeks between each of the four steps to ensure easements are driven by secure data.

The Government is also launching a series of reviews to explore further ways of easing limits;

  • 1st review will look at whether having a vaccine or a negative test result can reduce restrictions on social contact.
  • 2nd review will pilot the impact of testing and reduced social distancing on events.
  • 3rd review will look at travel. International travel will not resume before 17 May, but a report on 12 April will look at how to facilitate more inbound and outbound travel.
  • 4th review will review social distancing measures, such as the one-metre-plus rule, rules on face coverings and working from home. This will conclude ahead of 21 June.

Finally, The Prime Minister announced that the provision of providing free testing kits will be extended until June, with small businesses with under 10 employees able to collect testing kits from local testing sites and local pharmacies or order online. Those businesses with over 10 employees can order tests for their employees via the business testing portal.


On 11th December the Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, provided an update on the rising cases of Covid-19 and new Covid-19 Control Plan. The plan was published on Monday 14th December and will move Wales to a four level system that will cover the entirety of Wales, instead of the regional system used elsewhere in the UK. The four levels are as follows;

  • Alert level one/low-risk – this represents the closest to normality we are likely to have before the summer and the widespread availability and take-up of vaccination.
  • Alert level two/medium-risk – additional, targeted controls are in place to maintain infection rates at lower levels. These may be complemented by more targeted local restrictions to manage hotspots or specific incidents and outbreaks.
  • Alert level three/high-risk – these are the strictest package of restrictions, short of a firebreak or lockdown.
  • Alert level four/very high risk – restrictions at this level are equivalent to a lockdown and reflect the seriousness of the situation.

All of Wales is currently at alert level 2. 

The Welsh Government Covid Control Plan is available here.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restriction) (No.5) (Wales) Regulations 2020 have been amended to require additional restrictions on all retail premises in Wales.

All retail premises must comply with the regulations here under point 17A. from 20th January 2021;

  • Measures for controlling entry to the premises and limiting the number of customers who are on the premises at one time.
  • Provision of hand sanitisation products or hand washing facilities for use of customers when they enter the premises.
  • Measures to sanitise any baskets, trolleys or similar containers provided for use by customers on the premises.
  • Remind customers to maintain distance of 2m between each other and wear a face covering. This should be done by displaying signs and other visual aids and making announcements on a regular basis.

The full regulations are available here.

The current easements timeframe is as follows;

17th May – Wales moved to alert level 2. 

All people in Wales can now collect rapid coronavirus testing kits from local test sites


The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has updated Scotland on the plans for easing national lockdown.

On level of restrictions, mainland Scotland will move down to level 3 from Monday 26th April and . Scotland will then move to level 2 on 17th May, subject to case rates etc. The intention is that mainland Scotland will move to level 1 on 7th  June.

The current suggested easement dates are;

17th May – Mainland Scotland will move from level 3 to level 2 and hospitality will resume as normal. Indoor group exercise and entertainment such as cinemas will also resume and outdoor and indoor events will be allowed on a small scale.

Colleges and universities will return to a blended learning approach and outdoor social gathering rules will ease further, allowing people to meet indoors in groups of 6 people from 2 households.

The First Minister confirmed 100% business rates relief for retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation sectors will apply for the next year.

The First Minister concluded by adding that if all data allows and the vaccination programme continues to work to plan, Scotland will move to level 1 in early June and to level 0 by the end of June.

On testing, tests can be ordered online for home delivery or collected from Covid testing centres from Monday 26th April.

Additional Resources

Government Support for Workers    Government Support for Businesses

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