THE HEALTH PROTECTION (CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTION) RESTRICTIONS (ENGLAND) (NO 4) REGULATIONS 2020
Following the information provided yesterday on our meeting with government officials the Regulations have now been published. The link is as follows: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/made
In order to place the Regulations in context it will be seen from Regulations 5 that no person is allowed to leave home “without reasonable excuse”. There are a number of examples given of what constitutes a reasonable excuse including the ability to buy goods and services. However, as explained to us in yesterday’s meeting, the government is seeking to limit the number of places where people will go to obtain goods and services. This was the prime reason for refusing our request to keep markets fully open and to give them parity with supermarkets.
Fundamentally, indoor and outdoor markets can remain open for the sale of essential goods.
Under Regulation 16 a person responsible for carrying on a restricted business must cease that business and where a restricted business is part of a larger business then the person responsible for carrying on the larger business is required to close down the restricted business.
Regulations 17/18 provide details on takeaway and click and collect arrangements and these can be conducted through a website, online communication, telephone, text or by post.
There is a requirement not to enter premises to collect food, drink or goods that have been ordered in this way. This is understood to be the traders’ stalls. Customers can still enter the market place/hall/building. Basically, for traders who sell non-essential goods – no ‘walk-ins’ allowed.
Part 1 confirms the closure of cafes and restaurants but there is a specific exemption in Regulation 17 for the sale of food and drink for consumption off the premises between 5am and 10pm. This will benefit the cafés and street food stalls that are an important feature of many markets.
Part 3 lists the “businesses permitted to remain open”. In terms of the markets the list largely reflects the items we have already highlighted as part of NMTF’s very helpful guidance to government.
The following are the relevant paragraphs:
33 Food retailers
34 Off licences and licensed shops selling alcohol (including breweries)
35 Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) (Could include alternative remedies)
41 Bicycle Shops
43 Cashpoints, currency exchange and cashing cheques
44 Post offices
45 Health services including audiology, chiropody and chiropractors
48 Pet shops
50 Storage and distribution facilities including delivery and drop off points.
51 Car parks
52 Public Toilets
53 Garden Centres
We believe the reference to Garden Centres permits traders who sell flowers, plants, shrubs and horticultural items.
The only substantive item missing from the list above which was mentioned in the earlier NMTF guidance is household goods. This is an important item for many markets.
We note in the government’s guidance that “clothing and homeware stores” are given as an example of a non-essential business. Therefore, we believe that traders who sell household essentials, such as cleaning and washing products and detergents, should be permitted to trade.
As mentioned already there might be situations in which a trader has a mixture of permitted goods and restricted goods. In this situation both types of goods can be sold provided that there is a reasonable balance in the quantities of each category.
It will be for market operators/managers to make a decision on who can continue to trade but both NABMA and the NMTF hope that a creative and positive approach will be taken to enable as many traders as possible to continue to trade.
Further updates will be provided as appropriate.