The shops and venues which can continue to operate during the government restrictions

Parks will remain open

Yesterday (March 23) Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced  ‘national emergency’ measures to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

In a speech to the nation the PM said gatherings of more than two people – excluding those who live together – would be dispersed and people will only be able to go out to exercise alone, shop for essentials, travelling to necessary work that cannot be done at home, travelling to help a vulnerable person and picking up essential medical goods.

Police will have the powers to enforce these rules. There will be fines for flouting the rules. The measures will be reviewed in three weeks.

Retail exceptions to the government closure order

Supermarkets and other food shops, health shops, pharmacies including non-dispensing pharmacies, petrol stations,
bicycle shops, home and hardware shops, laundrettes and dry cleaners, bicycle shops, garages, car rentals, pet shops, corner shops, newsagents, post offices, and banks.


Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational.
Cafes, including workplace canteens Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational.
Cafés or canteens at hospitals, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless can remain operational.


Market stalls which offer essential retail, such as grocery and food.

Hotels, hostels, BnBs, campsites and boarding houses for commercial use and caravan parks/sites for commercial uses

Where people live in these as interim abodes whilst their primary residence is unavailable they may continue to do so.
Key workers can continue to stay in hotels or similar where required.
Where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so.

Community centres, youth centres and similar

Facilities may remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services.
The government says it will do everything to support vulnerable people who are without a network of friends and families.

Places of worship for services

Funerals following the social distancing guidance; places of worship should remain open for solitary prayer.
Live streaming of a service without audience would be permissible.

Cinemas, theatres and concert halls

Live streaming of a performance by a small group could be permissible with social distancing observed.

Retail and public premises which remain open must:

• Ensure a distance of two meters between customers and shop assistants; and
• Let people enter the shop only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not
• Queue control is required outside of shops and other essential premises that remain open.


Parks will remain open but only for individuals and households to exercise once a day. Communal spaces within parks such as playgrounds and football pitches will be closed.

KCC is keeping its nine country parks open – in line with the latest guidance  – but the car parks will be closed.

A spokesman said: “We agree with the government view, that parks are an important community facility and can be the ideal venue for personal exercise.

“However, in an effort to keep the numbers manageable and to facilitate the required social distancing, we are closing our car parks. We will continue to welcome visitors who arrive on foot or on horseback.

“We will continue to monitor the number and behaviour of visitors to ensure that the government’s guidelines are adhered to.”


A business operating in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 will be committing an offence. Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these
regulations, with police support provided if appropriate. Businesses and premises that breach them will be subject to prohibition notices, and potentially unlimited fines.

Staying at home

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons.
● Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as
● One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your
● Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
● Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

Thanet coronavirus: Useful numbers, groups and shop deliveries list


  1. That is not the case.
    You cannot go out other than in exceptional circumstances.
    Many retail and all leisure premises are closed. Pubs, bars, cafes and hotels are closed. Gyms and swimming pools are closed.
    On the exceptional occasions that you do go out (eg to buy food, as infrequently as possible) you must stay at least 2m away from anyone else.
    The whole object of the exercise (as I’m sure you’re well aware) is to cut social contact and thus the ability of C19 to spread throughout the whole community.
    Your stupid, ill-considered comment, if typical, is most depressing.

  2. I can’t believe some of the totally non essential shops that were still open in Westgate yesterday. Shut now, of course, after new government restrictions.
    Some people have no common sense/awareness of what’s going on it seems.

  3. You would be amazed how many businesses are still opening in the local industrial estates and most of them cannot be classed as essential.

    This virus threat will not go away until all businesses are forced to shut. With many places still open a lot people who should be at home are out shopping for DIY supplies using their enforced time off work to catch up on DIY jobs. Rather than taking this lockdown seriously many people are just using it as a holiday.

    The police should be patrolling the industrial estates forcing companies to close and follow Government protocols.

  4. Please remember that some businesses that you see as non essential may well be a part of a supply chain for ones that are. My husband is a manager of an office equipment/stationery business who supply items to Drs surgeries, schools, care homes, hospitals etc…if you can stay home and stay safe everyone

  5. A pub was open in Ramsgate, a garden/furniture shop was open in Cliftonville, people were all over the place in groups, no common sense at all. This after the closure warnings but no police to do anything about it. How are we going to get rid of the virus if people are not stopped? They are just ignoring it.

  6. It’s not a lockdown, it’s a lockdown lead by employers if they open we have to go in . In our household there is no difference we all have to go in , in what we would class as non essential work. But the government worded the statement saying essential work means if it cant be done from home, if you have to work away from home than is essential you go to work. Its total confusion.

  7. Government says bike shops are essential. Really ? So in a pandemic we are all going to buy or repair our push bike and start riding. Its bloody mad

    • There are many people for whom their bike is their form of transport, just like your car is yours.
      Difference is, bikes are the most environmentally friendly form of surface transport, cars are the worst.

  8. I didn’t mean it’s not okay to have a bike fixed, of course! As Andrew says, it’s environmentally much better to go by bike than by car.

  9. About every five years I get a fish & chip dinner, and just recently I became obsessed to buy one! So I jumped on my trusty bike, and went into Ramsgate only to find Shaky Shaky was closed! So I biked over to Newington, only to find the Fish & Chip shop closed there too! Fish & Chips are a Takaway, right?

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