As governments seek to re-open the retail environment over the next weeks and months there is an array of advice out there. With advice varying across Europe and even within countries it is difficult for those businesses operating on many fronts to negotiate the regulations being provided.

Here we will collate the latest country specific advice and provide links to full advice from relevant authorities.

This information is a guide and not meant to be exhaustive but we have sought to provide links to all relevant information in each country direct from government sources. The situation across Europe is constantly changing and business leaders should research the respective countries’ guidelines from their source before making any material decisions.



Shops under 400 m2 are open since 14th of April.

All shops are open from 2nd of May

Month and nose cover mandatory in shops …more info.

All the shops (shopping centers, hairdressers etc) will reopen on 1 May 2020.

…more info. 



Since 11 May the shops may reopen, with the exception of contact professions. The various authorities offer opportunities to meet financial problems, both as a private individual and as an entrepreneur. There are a number of obligations when the shops reopen:

  • Maximum 1 customer per 10m²
  • A customer may be present in the shop for a maximum of 30 minutes
  • Customers shop on their own, with the exception of children under 18 years of age, who may be accompanied by 1 parent.

Masks mandatory in public space and transport

…more info.



Lockdown extended to 13th June.

State of emergency: Everything is closed except supermarkets and pharmacies.

Masks mandatory in public.

…more info. 



Non-essential shops are closed. Only supermarkets and pharmacies remain open.

…more info. 



From 4 May to 20 May (phase 1): reopening of all the shops, except those which are housed within shopping centres/department stores. The days and the working hours of the shops to be defined by government.

From 9 June to 13 July (phase 3): Shopping Centres/ Department Stores reopen.

A special action plan will be developed for the gradual resumption of operation of all the above

…more info.


Czech Republic

The speeded-up plan to release business and other activities has been introduced:
as of 27 April – all business premises up to 2 500 m2, (only if they are not in shopping malls over 5 000 m2), driving schools, gyms and fitness facilities without the possibility of using locker rooms and showers, church services of up to 15 people, libraries, outdoor expositions of zoological gardens,
as of 11 May – shopping centres, business premises over 2 500 m2, restaurants can open their gardens while serving food there, beauty services, museums, galleries, outdoor premises of castles and chateaus, activities of professional athletes without public,
as of 25 May – restaurants, accommodation services, taxi services, tattoo salons, theatres, cultural and sporting events (limit of participants TBC), weddings, outdoor expositions of zoological gardens.

As of June- shopping malls will reopen.

Mask-wearing mandatory in public. At least 2 meters between customers, enhanced hygiene in place.

…more info.



11 May: the entire retail sector, including shopping centres, can reopen if they follow the guidelines agreed by the sector partnership

…more info (in Danish)



11 May: shopping malls can reopen Emergency situation extended until 17 May.

The easing of restrictions will take place if the spread of the infection does not increase and special conditions are followed.

…More info.



All non-essential shops are closed  until 31 May.

…more info.



Retail outlets will reopen on 11 May except for shops >40 000 m2.

Masks encouraged for retail staff, especially where minimum distancing is difficult – 1m min distance between customers.

Masks mandatory on public transport.

..more info. (in French).



All shops including shopping malls without any size limitation will be open again (from April 20 onward already smaller to medium-sized shops up to a maximum 800 square meter size were already open), yet they will have to continue to observe strict hygienic rules, such as conducting entrance controls, the mandatory wearing of community masks, etc.;

All these liberalizations can however be immediately rewound and replaced at regional level by severe restrictions again, if and provided the infection rate in a certain county or city is equivalent to or exceeds fifty new Covid19 infections per day per 100,000 inhabitants.

As of this week, all federal states now have an obligation to wear protective masks on public transport and in shops (except Berlin). There is no federal regulation, but the Bundesländer have each issued their own regulations, with minor differences.

Berlin: Masks to be worn only on public transport, not in shops.

All other federal states: Masks to be worn on public transport and in shops.

NRW, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Hamburg: (as above) but also at weekly markets

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: (as above) also in libraries.

FESI have produced a document for specific requirements across various states in Germany …read more.

…most recent communications.



11 May: all retail open and on 1 June the department stores and malls will reopen.

Masks mandatory on public transport and in closed public spaces (including for staff and customers).

Opening of shops: at 10 a.m. and an opening times extension will be provided on a case by case basis.

Social distancing for shops:

-20 m2- 4 people

-20-100 m2: 4 people +1 person per 10 m2

-100+ m2: 12 people +1 person per 10 m2

-malls: 1 person per 20 m2


Most recent government information

Lockdown measure expected to ease from 27 April



In the countryside, all shops allowed to reopen as of 4 May.

Exit restrictions abolished from 4 May (except in Budapest and Pest).

Restrictions in Pest abolished on 14 May.

1.5m minimum distancing in public.

..read more.



As of 18 May (phase 1): Shops that are primarily outdoor can re-open so long as social distancing measures can be put in place. Shops that were previously open in Tier 2 (for example: homeware, bicycle and repair, office products…) can open.

NSAI publish COVID guide for the retail sector -As of 8 June (phase 2): Small retail outlets can reopen with a small number of staff on the basis that the retailer can control the number of individuals that staff and customers interact with at any one time.

As of 29 June (phase 3): The opening of all other non-essential retail outlets will be phased in on the basis of a restriction on the number of staff and customers per square metre so that social distancing can be maintained. This is to be limited to retail outlets with a street-level entrance and exit and does not include those in enclosed shopping centres.

As of 20 July (phase 4): Restrictions can be gradually eased on higher risk services involving direct physical contact for periods of time between people and for which there is a population wide demand (for example, hairdressers).

As of 10 August (phase 5): Enclosed shopping centres can re-open, with social distancing in place.

NSAI publish COVID-19 Guide for the retail sector.

…more info.



A progressive lockdown measures removal is expected from 4 May 2020 and has started with the opening of bookshops, stationers and children clothes’ shops.

Other non-essential shops remain closed and non-essential production halted.

Planned reopening of retail establishments from 18 May.

…more information.



Most shops remain open with strict social distancing and some restrictions on opening.

No more than one customer per 4m2 of the sales area.

To prevent crowding, the merchant must ensure physical (social) distancing of 2 meters between the shoppers at the entrance.

In addition, the merchants are also urged to enable, as much as possible, the shoppers to observe the 2m distance in car parking areas

…more info.



All shops reopening.

Shopping is recommended only by one member of a family and the shopping places are obliged to supply means of safe sanitation, hygiene and other necessary equipment for staff and customers.

The shops will need to have direct access from the street, limit face-to-face contact to 20 minutes, and ensure a density of one client per 10 square metres. Only one person can be served at a time

…more info.



State of emergency applied: No national lockdown, stores reopening with social distancing –  home working advised where possible.

Masks mandatory in all situations where the safety distance of two meters cannot be guaranteed.


…more info.

Chamber of Commerce support



Non-essential shops, including clothes and sport shops, allowed to reopen since 4 May.


…more info.



Shops that cannot guarantee their clients and staff that they can keep 6 feet distance from each other, are closed until further notice, but at least until 20 May.

…more info. 

Measures to help business in Netherlands.



Most retail stores have remained open with extensive social distancing and personal hygiene measures in place for staff and customers.

…More info on steps taken in Norway.

Norwegian government Covid-19 advice

Full overview of national measures (in Norwegian).



Retail shops now open with distancing and enhanced hygiene measures in place.

Mask-wearing mandatory in public.

2 meters distance between pedestrians.

For stores with a service area of less than 100 m2: 4 people for one cash desk. So, if there are 2 cash desks in a store, there can be 8 customers in the store at once.

For stores with a service area larger than 100 m2: 1 person per 15 m2 of the area. For example, if the area of a store is 300 m2, there can be 20 clients inside at once

..more info. 



Since 4th May: the reopening of medical and dental clinics (now for routine situations), hair salons, small shops that open onto the street, bookstores and libraries, all with a lot of restrictions.

Individual sports, including surfing, are also allowed.

If all this continues without overwhelming the national health service, the next round will be on May 18, including larger shops; restaurants, cafés and terraces (at half capacity); museums, palaces and monuments; daycare centers; and in-person classes for 11th- and 12th-year students preparing for exams.

The final stage, on June 1, would include larger stores and shopping malls, preschools, cinemas, theaters and religious services.

…more info.



15 May: small shops will reopen but shopping malls remain closed.

Mask-wearing mandatory in public

…more info.



As of 22 April 2020, shops and operation of services up to 300 m2 area, public catering with service through the window, outdoor sports grounds without changing rooms and sanitary facilities, long-term accommodation without meals, outdoor markets and car dealerships, including used cars, are open.

Shopping centers are closed only the week-ends.

Restaurants (only deliveries), supermarkets and pharmacies remain opened.

Face masks mandatory in public.

For shops: -entry only with drape or similar protection -the operation must ensure the disinfection of hands or protective gloves, ideally both -when waiting in line, a spacing of at least 2 meters must be observed, -the number of persons in operation is limited to one person per 25 square meters of area of operation

…more info.



All shops are closed except for essential activities (supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, kiosks, posts…) until further notice.

Bike shops have just re-opened.

Face masks are mandatory in indoor public spaces.

…more info.

Government support measures to mitigate impact of Covid-19



Phase 1 (11 May): shops in areas in Phase 1 can open if their sale area is equal to or less than 400 square meters, but with a capacity of 30% and with a priority service schedule for over 65 years of age and security measures. Stores located in malls can’t open except if they have direct and independent access from the street.

Phase 2 (25 May -TBC): Shopping centers (except recreational areas)

Phase 3 (8 June TBC): ban on the use of common areas and recreational areas of shopping centers is lifted.

Phase 4 (end June TBC): End of social and economic restrictions. Mobility across regions, public transport capacity will rise to 100%. link to evolutive map where you can see in which phase are the different regions.

…more info.



Restrictions set up but retail remains open with social distancing and enhanced hygiene.

Restaurants, bars, nightclubs must respect social distances and limit contacts between people.

…more info.

Information for business owners

Financial measures put in place to support business



3 stage easing of restrictions started on 27th April. Most retail outlets will be reopening from this point.

…more info on 3 stage plan.

General coronavirus information



Non-essential retail, restaurants, pubs, bars, gyms and leisure centres will remain closed.

They will reopen in a phased manner provided it is safe to do so.

Non-essential retail remains closed during Step 1 (exception: bicycle shops).

More information about the exceptions:

Step 1 : as of 13 May in England (Scotland, Wales & NI remain unchanged).

Step 2 : should be as of 1 June.

Step 3: should be as of 4 July.


…more info.

Coronavirus FAQ’s for UK citizens

Financial support for businesses in the UK



(If you notice any errors or inaccuracies please contact info@europeanoutdoorgroup.com)