Please read on for official coronavirus UK guidance and resources for travelling safely to and within Watford. The health and safety of visitors, delegates and residents is of paramount importance to us all and we want to provide ongoing advice related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and how it can affect your visit.


Last updated: 25 September 2020

Key Information:

From Monday 14 September: Social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England from Monday – with some exemptions – amid a steep rise in coronavirus cases. The Prime Minister has set out new measures to restrict the spread of Coronavirus. The PM’s statement can be found here.

The new measures include the following:

·        From Monday 14 September it will not be possible to meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than six. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes. Education and work settings are unaffected.

·        Businesses will have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. From Friday 18 September, it will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, which must be kept for 21 days.

More information about the measures is available here. This also provides a link to simplified COVID-19 Secure guidance published today.


From Wednesday 23rd September: The Prime Minister has this afternoon made a statement to the House of Commons outlining further measures in England to tackle the spread of coronavirus. The PM’s statement can be found here.

From Wednesday 23 September, office workers who are able to work from home should do so and the requirement for customers to wear face coverings will be extended to all users of taxis and private hire vehicles.

Read the whole guidance: What has changed – 22 September

  • Find the latest information on the official UK government website.
  • For travellers already in the UK and who need medical advice, use the 111 online coronavirus service to get further information.
  • Check your plans before you travel and be aware that opening hours may vary or be flexible at this time.
  • Please check directly with venues, businesses, and attractions for up to date information.
  • useful guide about improving mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Further detail can be found in the guidance for meeting others safely, including associated exemptions.
  • Working safely during coronavirus

Businesses urged to prepare for NHS COVID-19 app

Ahead of the national launch of the NHS COVID-19 app across England and Wales on Thursday 24 September, the Government is today urging businesses like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the app can use their smartphones to easily check-in. Click here to find the announcement.

  • Downloadable resources have been made available here.
  • Find the types of businesses required to display QR codes and have to request customers details here.

Welcome back to Watford town centre – shop local, stay safe:

Watford town centre, and other retail areas across the town, are gearing up to welcome people back as non-essential shops have started to reopen from June 15th, with a range of measures in place to make sure they can shop safely and with confidence.

It is more vital than ever that we all act responsibly when out in public, to protect ourselves and those around us.

We can all play our part in controlling the virus by:

  •  Regularly washing our hands
  • Maintaining a distance from others
  • Wearing a face covering


If you, or someone you know, needs help or support please contact Watford Helps.


Covid19: Temporary Changes to Watford Town Centre

The government allows high streets to reopen in a phased and gradual manner. In order to help residents, businesses, and families to remain safe certain measures and temporary changes are taking place in our town centre.

Watford Borough Council is working closely with partners to respond to the national situation.

  • Find a handy guide and list of businesses that are now open in Watford HERE.
  • Download the full recovery strategy here.


Travel With Confidence in Watford

Businesses can now benefit from the new Travel With Confidence accreditation offering high levels of safety and reassurance for both customers and staff. To access accredited transport services look out for marked vehicles or plan your safe journey by searching ‘travelWatford’ in the App Store or Play store.


What is open in Watford?

Many of the visitor attractions and activities in Watford are open. Check our website listings and social media for the latest information.

To help you enjoy your visit with confidence, each have implemented ways to adhere to government guidelines including measures such as pre-booked time slots, one-way routes, non-contact payment, and smaller groups (up to six people).

** Visit Watford team are trying hard to ensure the website is up to date and we provide you with the latest information, however, due to the ever-changing nature of the current situation, this cannot be guaranteed. Please always check with venues directly. 


Where can I visit now?

VisitEngland, along with the other tourist organisations of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the UK government, has launched a new industry standard mark as a way of supporting tourism businesses and providing reassurance to visitors. The industry standard is a way of letting you know which businesses have made necessary changes to their day-to-day workings, including social distancing measures and staff training.

Keep an eye out for the marks when planning your trip online:

How will coronavirus impact my travel to Watford?

In response to the current coronavirus outbreak, Watford attractions, restaurants and businesses might still be temporarily closed and events and conferences are being postponed.

Businesses within the hospitality sector (restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs) might remain closed considering the safety of the staff/customers. Check directly with the venue or organiser for the latest information.

Conference organisers and delegates, please check directly with any venues for up to date information.

From Thursday 24 September measures including the following will be introduced:

  • pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for takeaways;
  • hospitality venues must close at 10pm (which means closing, not last orders). The same will apply to takeaways, although deliveries can continue;
  • the requirement to wear face coverings will be extended to include retail staff and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink; and
  • covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations in retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors.

These new measures will be enforced by tighter penalties. Guidance on the additional measures will be made available on


Top tips when planning your visit to Watford

Please remember to follow the new measures in place and Respect, Protect, Enjoy Watford.

  • When planning your trip, check that important facilities, like toilets and car parks, are open before you travel so you know what to expect.
  • If you have an attraction in mind, please check online to see if you need to pre-book a time slot.
  • Check which restaurants, pubs, and bars are open and whether they have outdoor seating, are taking table orders only, or are operating a takeaway service.
  • Keep two metres apart from anyone outside your household.
  • Wear your face covering at all times when shopping or on public transport like buses, trains, and taxis.
  • Make sure you have a bank card; many outlets are currently only accepting cashless payments.
  • Take hand sanitiser with you – you don’t know where will be open for you to wash your hands.
  • Leave the car behind where possible and visit nearby attractions by walking or cycling to support the Watford Sustainability Plan 2020.

Get inspired…

  • Further resources

    • Guidance on prevention measures, which includes ensuring the washing of hands regularly, and covering your mouth/nose with tissues when coughing or sneezing, can be found at and more information can be found via the UK Government website.
    • Visit the official UK government website for the latest information on the coronavirus outbreak and advice for travellers, or take a look at the frequently asked questions on coronavirus on the National Heath Service (NHS) website.

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Welcome back to Watford town centre – shop local, stay safe

Watford town centre, and other retail areas across the town, are gearing up to welcome people back as non-essential shops and venues have started to re-open, with a range of measures in place to make sure they can shop safely and with confidence.

Shops and businesses are doing what is needed to keep their staff and customers safe. We are looking forward to welcoming people back to the High Street and other shopping areas across the town. Whilst they may look and feel a bit different, we are all looking forward to a return of some sort of normality, bringing vibrancy back to the town!

Watford businesses have done an amazing job to make sure they can open safely, while we all as individuals should do our part keeping a safe distance from others and washing or sanitising our hands regularly.