COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Guidance

Businesses to close / reopen

In England, outdoor markets can open from 1 June as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines (click here).

From 15 June, indoor markets in England can open if they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines and the government’s five tests are met.

Essential and non-essential goods can be sold, street food and cafes must be takeaway or delivery only. Personal care businesses must remain closed.

Before 15 June, indoor markets in England can remain open for the sale of essential goods, which includes:

  • Food and grocery
  • Household goods
  • Hardware supplies
  • Bicycles
  • Pet supplies
  • Newsagents
  • Alcohol
  • Flowers and plants

In Wales, outdoor markets can remain open for the sale of food only. Indoor markets can remain open for the sale of essential goods (click here).

In Scotland, outdoor and indoor markets can remain open for the sale of essential goods (click here).

In Northern Ireland, outdoor and indoor markets can remain open for the sale of food only (click here).

In Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, street food and cafes must be takeaway or delivery only. Personal care businesses must remain closed.

Advice from the UK Government

UK government response

Find financial support for your business

Working safely during coronavirus (shops and branches)

Safer public places (urban centres and green spaces)

Support for businesses (sick pay, business rates holiday, small business grant funding, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme)

Guidance for employers (stay at home guidance, travel, absence from work, cleaning and waste, handling packages)

Guidance on social distancing (self-isolation, vulnerable groups, hygiene advice, mental wellbeing, informal carers)

Guidance for households (symptoms, stay at home for 7-14 days, living with children and vulnerable people)

Guidance from the NHS

HMRC helpline – 0800 0159 559

Am I a key worker? – “Food and other necessary goods” – anyone who is involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery (click here).

Guidance from the Devolved Governments

Know your rights: Review your licence, lease, or contract, for any clauses about market closure or event cancellation. This should include a notice period, which may range from one day to a few weeks.

– We think if the market is closed then you should not have to pay any rent. If an event is cancelled, deposits should be returned.

Vulnerable groups: If you are aged over 70, or have an underlying health condition listed here, or you are pregnant – the government advises that you follow social distancing measures. Speak with the market manager.

– We think if you are in any of these categories and you are self-isolating, you should not have to pay any rent.

Insurance matters: You have public, product, and employer’s liability insurance with your membership of the NMTF. This does not include any property, business interruption, or event cancellation insurance.

– The NMTF is not an insurance company. A full statement from the NMTF’s broker can be found below. 

To obtain more information tailored to enquiries from members we asked our insurance broker about the situation and received this statement:

One of the major benefits of NMTF membership is the automatic insurance protection provided.

The NMTF arranges Employers, Public and Products Liability Insurance for all members subject to some cover restrictions depending on trading activities.

This insurance protects you if your business is negligent, you cause injury or damage and you are legally liable — for example an employee is injured at work, a customer trips over an obstacle or you supply a defective product which causes injury or damage.

To answer the question “Does my NMTF insurance cover me if my business suffers because of coronavirus (COVID-19)?”

The simple answer is “no”. The NMTF insurance does not provide any property, business interruption or event cancellation insurance.

Members who have bought these types of policies independently should check with their broker or insurance company to see if they have any cover, typically under the Business Interruption section of the policy.

At this stage, and even though the UK Government has declared it to be a Notifiable Disease, the NMTF understands it is highly unlikely Business Interruption policies will cover coronavirus claims because those policies which include Notifiable Disease cover usually list which illnesses and diseases are insured.

Coronavirus and  COVID-19 will not be included on the list.

However, some policies do not list the diseases which are insured and in those circumstances there should be cover.

In a worst case scenario, it is probable that geographical areas could be quarantined with travel being either severely restricted or cut off completely.

This would have a significant impact on most businesses. Many policies contain a Denial of Access extension to the Business Interruption section. The majority typically require the denial of access to be as a result of “insured damage in the vicinity of the insured premises which prevents or hinders access to the insured premises”.

As there would be no physical damage, there would be no cover under such an extension.

This statement does not constitute advice and the NMTF recommends you contact your broker or insurance company to discuss your insurance policy cover although it will probably not be good news.

Benevolent Fund: The NMTF’s Benevolent Fund assists members in times of severe hardship. This is a charity separate from NMTF Ltd. To find out more, please email

– The Benevolent Fund is run by market traders for market traders. The application includes a financial assessment.

Finally, the NMTF’s AGM and Conference scheduled for Monday, 27 April 2020, has been postponed until 2021. Direct any queries on this subject to

We realise these are unprecedented times and it must be very difficult for you all. Please let the NMTF know if you require any further information or support.

NMTF Members can contact the support team on 01226 749 021 or Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

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