With new covid rules being implemented across the UK, we thought we’d share all the current guidance that you need to know as a small business in England.


Places where face coverings are compulsory


As of Friday 10th December, face coverings became compulsory for many indoor public places and public transport. This includes:

  • Shops and supermarkets
  • Banks
  • Post offices
  • Pharmacies
  • Vets
  • Shopping centres
  • Libraries
  • Places of worship
  • Trains, busses and taxis
  • Motorway service areas


To see the full list of places that wearing facemasks are compulsory and check if your business will be affected by this, click here.


It’s important to remember that there are exemptions that aren’t always visible and are not required to wear a face covering.


If a customer isn’t exempt from wearing a face covering and still refuses to wear one, they can be fined £200 (which can be reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days) and should they continue to disregard the face-covering rule, their fine will be doubled every time, up to a maximum of £6,400.


Places that are exempt from compulsory face coverings


Some places are exempt from wearing face coverings at the time of writing this article. The reason these places are excluded is that it’s not recommended to wear a face-covering during strenuous activity or whilst eating and drinking. These places include:

  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Canteens
  • Bars
  • Shisha bars
  • Gyms
  • Photography studios
  • Nightclubs


Working from home


As of Monday 13th December, businesses should allow employees to work from home if they can. For those businesses where this is not possible, it’s advised the employees reduce contact where possible to reduce transmission.


It’s also important to note that at the time of writing this article, working from home if you can, is guidance, not a rule or a legal requirement.


Places/events that will require COVID pass


From Wednesday 15th December, COVID passes (from the NHS App) will be required by law for certain places/events to check that all visitors over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated. These venues include:

  • Nightclubs and late-night venues that are opened between 1 am and 5 am and serve alcohol during that time
  • They have a dance floor
  • Play music (live or recorded)
  • Is an indoor event with 500 or more seated attendants that are likely to move around
  • Is an outdoor event with 4000 or more unseated attendants that are likely to move around
  • Any indoor or outdoor events with 10,000 or more attendees


If your business is affected by this rule, you should get processes in place ASAP to be able to check COVID passes to admit potential customers and be legally compliant.


Places/events that won’t require a COVID pass


There are some places/events that are exempt from the COVID pass rule. These include:

  • Wedding ceremonies
  • Mass worship
  • Funerals and other commemorative events
  • Protests
  • Mass participation sports events.


You can find out more about how people have to use a COVID pass here on the government’s website.


If you’re concerned about the ever-changing rules around COVID, you can sign up to CreditFocus and Legal Manager here.


You can get a 30-day free trial to Credit check your customers and suppliers to protect your cash flow and if you sign up to Legal Manager, you can get all the expert guidance you need to be legally compliant in every aspect of your business that is affected by covid, which includes employing people, health and safety, documents, property and much more.