Coronavirus: Government orders pubs and restaurants to close, defers VAT payments

Boris Johnson March 2020

The government has ordered that a range of businesses including pubs, clubs and restaurants close from tonight and unveiled a VAT deferral scheme as part of a support package for businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Leisure centres, gyms and theatres were also ordered to shut for an indefinite period by Boris Johnson in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The government has said that retail shops were not included under the raft of mandated closures.

To support businesses impacted by the shutdown, the government has also deferred the next quarter’s VAT payments, meaning no businesses will pay any VAT from now until the end of June, representing a £30bn cash injection equivalent to 1.5% of GDP. Businesses will have until the end of the financial year to repay deferred VAT.

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • Two free article views per calendar month on
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.