We understand that many of our florist members will be very concerned about what they should do at this time to try and keep their business and staff safe as well as keeping the business going in the longer term. We have therefore asked our legal advisors to provide a short summary on the situation as we understand it at this time.
Fieldings Porter Solicitors
32 Silverwell Street
Last Updated: 13th May 2020 14:30pm
You will appreciate that this is a fast changing landscape at the moment and different provisions are being announced by the UK government all the time. Our advisors are therefore working on the information available to them at the moment, which is subject to change.
Usually when legislation like this is passed through parliament it takes a number of months to go through and is heavily debated. The purpose of this is to try and cover all eventualities before the law is passed. In these unprecedented times laws are being passed (or announced before being enforced) in hours rather than months and there are therefore gaps that have not been covered and we therefore don’t know the answers to. For this reason, all we can do is apply our best interpretation until additional guidance or amendments to the law is introduced. It is for that reason that all the advice that is provided is qualified as being subject to change at any time.
Closure of Shops
Do we need to close our florist? As you will be aware, the Government announced on Monday 23 rd March 2020 that all retails shops that were non-essential must close with immediate effect. That will affect most of our members who will be forced to close their shop to the public.
The legislation to enforce the closure is expected in the next 48 hours. If you are a member florist which is part of a wider retail store such as a supermarket or corner shop and the florist is just one part of the wider business you are likely to be able to stay open at this time. The updated guidance (25 th March 2020) on the closure of shops lists the exclusions to the retail closure as follows. You should consider these exceptions and whether your business falls within them. If it does not you should close your retail business to the public
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Official HM Government guidance for working safely during COVID-19 in shops and branches >>