AS restrictions slowly begin to lift in the UK wide lockdown, we explain what that means for car washes and other “non essential” businesses.
England is still under stay at home orders at the moment, which means you can only leave your home for specific reasons, including for work, essential shopping, medical needs or for exercise.
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Are car washes open in lockdown?
Automatic car washes are open and are allowed to operate, but manual car washes like your local hand car wash have had to remain closed over the nation’s third lockdown.
As well as being allowed to visit an automatic car wash, some mobile car valets are still allowed to work too.
Due to the nature of their work, they can come to you and clean your car in your drive and then leave again.
They often can work under the list of “tradesmen” which are permitted to continue work for certain duties.
But while some operations can go ahead there are still rules in place for what you can’t do.
The most recent change to the restrictions came with schools reopening from March 8, but it won’t be until April 12 that we might see hand car washes reopening.
Manual car washes have not been allowed to open sooner because they have a higher risk of Covid-19 transmission.
During lockdown these have been placed in the same category as non-essential retailers and forced to shut down.
The hand-washing sites tend not to have any PPE available, are not able to adhere to social distancing (especially when valeting car interiors) and often only accept cash as a payment method.
Under the latest government roadmap, non-essential retailers may be able to resume operations from April 12.
While there is no specific mention of car wash facilities, it is likely that with other non-essential services opening up and the easing of restrictions on outdoor activities, manual car washes will be allowed to reopen on this date too.
Do I need to get my car washed?
By law, cars have to be kept clean including number plates and windscreens.
But with the lockdown restrictions cracking down on non-essential travel, police can fine car washes for breaching Covid restrictions as well as drivers for taking non-essential trips to have their car washed.
Businesses could be fined between £1,000 and £10,000 for breaking the lockdown rules.
Other essential services like car garages are still open, despite the lockdown, and you can still get your MOT.
Non essential shops are set to reopen on April 12 along with other restrictions easing in the country as well.