Car dealers are unlikely to be part of those businesses forced to close during local lockdowns if new regulations for Leicester are a template for the future.
Regulations for the Leicester lockdown have been published and car dealers, garages and MOT centres are specifically excluded from the businesses that must shut.
The 39-page document – issued by Public Health England – details the restrictions for the local lockdown in Leicester and is set to become the template followed across the country if other areas are affected.
In the document, firms are categorised into three sections and car dealers and garages are listed alongside supermarkets, funeral directors, vets and post offices as businesses that are allowed to remain open.
Other non-essential businesses such as cinemas, theatres, nightclubs, museums, gyms, nail salons and hairdressers, must remain closed, unless they are hosting blood donations.
Any member of the public who breaks the rules in Leicester could be fined £100, which doubles every time they flout the new law, and could reach up to £3,200 for the sixth and subsequent offences.
The new regulations were published yesterday and come into force today – the same day pubs, restaurants and hairdressers can open in the rest of England.
The East Midlands city was placed under harsher restrictions by Health Secretary Matt Hancock following the rapid rise of coronavirus cases.
As well as the city of Leicester, the lockdown area includes parts of Leicestershire that touch on the city’s boundaries, including parts of Blaby District and Charnwood in the county.
There was some confusion among car dealers earlier this week as to whether they were to close with some saying they planned to shut and others planing to stay open.
Pendragon CEO Bill Berman told Car Dealer Magazine that he believed the lockdown would have little effect on the dealerships he runs in the area and that the motor trade needed to get used to these restrictions as they become more common.
He said: ‘The lockdown in Leicester will have little to no affect to our business.
‘As far as the potential for lockdowns that may affect our stores going forward, this is going to be part of the new normal for the foreseeable future.
‘I feel we have implemented strong process in our stores to protect both our associates and customers and will continue to do so.’
Sandicliffe managing director Paul Woodhouse told us he will keep his six showrooms in the Leicester area open too, assuming rightly earlier this week that car dealers were exempt.
‘We have taken the view that we are exempt and decided to remain fully operational,’ he told us on Wednesday.
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