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Enforced closures and exceptions

This week, the Government has increased the restrictions on people and businesses including enforcing “non-essential premises” to close. There are a number of exceptions, allowed to remain open, which include:

  • Food delivery vehicles and takeaways (including mobile caterers)
  • A number of food and essential service outlets such as supermarkets and other food shops, health shops, pharmacies and chemists, petrol stations, bicycle shops, home and hardware shops, laundrettes and dry cleaners, garages, car rentals, pet shops, corner shops, newsagents, post offices, and banks. Market stalls offering essential retail may also continue to operate although all other stalls must close. Note: This list was extended on Wednesday, 25 March 2020 to include off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries.
  • Medical services (such as dental surgeries, opticians and audiology clinics, physiotherapy clinics, chiropody and podiatry clinics, and other professional vocational medical services) and veterinary surgeries.
  • Some use of business premises for essential community functions as outlined in the full Government's guidance.

Whilst remaining open, all businesses must:

  • Ensure a distance of two meters between customers and shop assistants;
  • Let people enter the shop only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not crowded; and
  • Establish queue control outside of their premises.

The Government will review these measures three weeks from 23 March 2020, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

Business Rates support for Mid Devon Businesses

The Government will provide 100% business rates retail relief for the current year 2020/21 for the following occupied premises:

  • Shops, restaurants, cafés, drinking establishments, cinemas, and live music venues (Note: this was extended on Wednesday 25 March 2020 to include estate agents, letting agents and bingo halls)
  • Sports, assembly and leisure premises
  • Hotels, guest and boarding houses, holiday accommodation, caravan parks

This is in addition to businesses that already receive 100% small business rate relief (SBRR).

In addition to rate relief, the Government has announced two Business Grants – a business support grant fund, and a retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund.

Please note: We encourage eligible Mid Devon businesses to sign-up to our secure online portal to expedite payment of business grants when the funding is released. To comply with our conditions, all new and existing users of the portal will need to upload a claim form for the grant funding. See Business Rate Retail Discount for more information.

Can you help supply ventilators and ventilator components?

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is looking for organisations who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the United Kingdom as part of the Government's response to COVID-19. For more information and to register your interest in helping, visit:

Other authorities

For businesses with premises in other local authority areas, information for neighbouring authorities can be found at:

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