New guidance on reopening businesses and venues in England
Further to the release of the UK Government’s COVID-19 four-step plan to ease lockdown in England, new guidance on reopening businesses and venues in England has been published. Please see a summary of the relevant guidance for tourism businesses below. We will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available.
Step 1 – from 8 March
Businesses permitted to open remain the same as currently allowed.
From 29 March
People can use these venues in a group of six people, or with members of up to two households.
- Outdoor sport facilities: Gyms, swimming pools, sports courts (such as tennis and basketball courts), golf courses, including mini golf, water sports venues, climbing walls, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas at riding centres, archery venues.
Step 2 – no earlier than 12 April
At this stage the venues must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits – as a single household or bubble indoors; or in a group of six people or two households outdoors (unless an exemption exists).
- Self-contained holiday accommodationin which all facilities (including for sleeping, catering, bathing, and indoor lobbies and corridors for entry and exit) are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble can reopen.
- Outdoor areas at hospitality venues(cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including in member’s clubs) can reopen, including for takeaway alcohol. These venues may allow customers to use toilets located inside. At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (“table service”).
- Outdoor attractions can reopen at adventure parks and activities, animal attractions (such as at zoos, safari parks and aquariums), drive in events, such as for cinemas, theatres, and other performances, film studios, funfairs and fairgrounds, model villages, museums and galleries, skating rinks, theme parks, trampolining parks, water and aqua parks.
- Permitted businesses operating in otherwise closed attractions – such as a gift shop or a takeaway kiosk at a museum may only open where they are a self-contained unit and can be accessed directly from the street.
- Outdoor gatherings or events, organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation, can be organised, subject to complying with COVID-Secure guidance including taking reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission, complete a related risk assessment; and ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted by the social contact limits
- This could enable spectators at a grassroots sports match or a village fete, provided people do not mix beyond groups of six people or two households.
- Indoor events that bring people together – even if they do not mix with other households – must not run until Step 3. However, at this point, funerals can continue to proceed with up to 30 attendees. Weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).
- Non-essential retail will reopen and includes retail travel agents.
- Personal care facilities and close contact services can reopen, including hair, beauty and nail salons, spas and massage centres (except for steam rooms and saunas), holistic therapy (including acupuncture, homeopathy, and reflexology).
- Indoor sports and leisure facilities will reopen including gyms and leisure centres, sports courts, swimming pools, dance studios and fitness centres, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas, archery venues, climbing wall centres.
Step 3 – no earlier than 17 May
At this stage the venues must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits – in a group of six people or two households indoors; or in a group of no more than 30 people outdoors (unless an exemption exists).
- Remaining holiday accommodation can reopen.
- Indoor areas of hospitality venues can reopen. As with outdoors, table service will be required.
- Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions can reopen, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums and galleries, adventure playgrounds and activities, amusement arcades and adult gaming centres, bingo halls, casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks, games, recreation and entertainment venues such as escape rooms and laser quest, play areas (including soft play centres and inflatable parks), model villages, snooker and pool halls, trampolining parks, water and aqua parks, indoor visitor attractions at theme parks and film studios, indoor attractions at zoos, safari parks, aquariums and other animal attractions, indoor attractions at botanical gardens, greenhouses and biomes, indoor attractions at sculpture parks, indoor attractions at landmarks including observation wheels or viewing platforms, indoor attractions at stately or historic homes, castles, or other heritage sites, conference centres and exhibition halls, including for the purposes of business events (subject to the capacity limits set out below).
- Remaining outdoor entertainment events, such as cinemas, theatres, and other performance events will also be permitted.
- Both outdoor and indoor gatherings or events, organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation can be organised, subject to them complying with COVID-Secure guidance.
- Spectators will be allowed at elite sporting events and performance events. Attendance at these events will be restricted to 50% of capacity up to 1,000 people for indoor events, and 50% of capacity up to 4,000 people for outdoor events. For outdoor events taking place in venues with seated capacity of over 16,000, event organisers may apply a 25% capacity cap, up to a maximum of 10,000 seated people.
- Large business events will also be able to go ahead, subject to the same capacity requirements as sporting events and performances.
Step 4 – no earlier than 21 June
- The hope at this stage is to reopen remaining settings such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues.
- To lift the restrictions on social contact and large events that apply in Step 3. This is subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme, and a review of social distancing measures.
- The Government will also look to relax COVID-Secure requirements on businesses, subject to the outcome of the reviews.