The move means the virus has joined diseases such as malaria, cholera and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as those that must be reported to the local council.
“We want to ensure any steps taken to protect the public during the Covid-19 outbreak are proportionate and do not come at an unnecessary social or economic cost,” a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care told the BBC.
They said: “To mitigate the impact on businesses, we will register Covid-19 as a notifiable disease.
“This will help companies seek compensation through their insurance policies in the event of any cancellations they may have to make as a result of the spread of the virus.”
Trade body UKHospitality said this would not help all businesses but would, nonetheless, help many pubs mitigate the impact of related cancellations.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “This is a helpful step forward by the Government and should help offset some of the losses that hospitality businesses will incur due to the coronavirus.
“Tourism and hospitality is likely to be hit as people cancel holidays and our members are already reporting a reduction in hotel bookings.
“Businesses will need to check the terms and conditions of their insurance and make sure their insurance provider has updated their policy to include Covid-19.
“This is not going to be a remedy for all businesses, but it should help some of those who are already feeling the strain.”
The Government has urged businesses to ensure staff stay at home if they believe they may have been exposed to the virus or are showing symptoms.