Can ice cream vans still operate during lockdown?

13 May 2020, 17:48 | Updated: 13 May 2020, 17:49

Ice cream vans are allowed to continue to trade during lockdown
Ice cream vans are allowed to continue to trade during lockdown. Picture: Getty Images

Are ice cream vans banned during lockdown? Or are they allowed to continue trading? Find out everything...

As the UK continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, schools, offices and leisure facilities across the country have been shut.

But after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a plan to gradually relax social distancing rules, are ice cream vans allowed to trade? Here’s what we know…

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Can ice cream vans trade during lockdown?

As ice cream vans are considered a take away food service, they are allowed to continue serving during the lockdown.

However, like all food services, there are rules that those running ice cream vans have to adhere by.

The guidelines include:

- Ice cream vans should also ensure that customers and staff have access to cleansing equipment, including hand sanitisers and equipment to ensure surfaces are wiped down and as sterile as possible

- Staff should wear protective gloves to minimise contact

- Transactions should be carried out with the minimum level of person to person contact

- The use of receptacles where cones are placed for customers to remove them, should be used and cleaned after each transaction

- Where contactless payments cannot be achieved, monies should be placed down on a clean surface for the proprietor or customer to remove

- The surface should be cleaned after each customer

- Customers should stand at least two metres apart to adhere to social distancing rules

Ice cream vans must adhere to social distancing rules
Ice cream vans must adhere to social distancing rules. Picture: Getty Images

Despite the government not banning ice cream vans as a whole, many local authorities have suspended licenses in their areas, deeming them "non-essential".

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For example, Leeds City Council previously asked locals to report any ice cream vans they spotted still in trade.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: "These are incredibly challenging times for us all and we need to work together as a city to make a difference and save lives.

"We know this isn't easy, but ice cream vans are not essential and this unnecessary contact is putting more people at risk."

On the contrary, Peterborough Council decided to allow ice cream vans to continue providing their services across the city.

A spokesman for the council previously said: “These traders are acting in a take away capacity and are therefore currently permitted to trade under the new regulations.

“We have encouraged all of these traders to practice all of the government guidance with regards to social distancing, etc that are currently found in supermarkets.

“We are also encouraging all of the traders to diversify their goods for sale and offer essential goods (toilet rolls, tinned goods, etc) to support vulnerable people who cannot reach the supermarkets at the present time.

“Upon application, we will be supplying all of our traders with posters requesting their customers to practice social distancing although we would hope that the customers would take it upon themselves to ensure they adhere to the government’s guidance re social distancing, etc.”

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