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: 19 October 2020
Social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England from Monday 16th September – with some exemptions – amid a steep rise in coronavirus cases. The Prime Minister has set out measures to restrict the spread of Coronavirus. The PM’s statement can be found here.
· 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.
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.
From Wednesday 14th October: Local COVID Alert Levels set out the information for local authorities, residents and workers about what to do and how to manage the outbreak in their area. See link for areas with restrictions in place.
A postcode checker on Gov.uk will show which Alert Level applies in each area and the NHS COVID-19 app will also direct people to this information.
The “medium” alert level – which will cover most of the country – will consist of the current national measures, which came into force on 25 September.
This includes the Rule of Six, and the closure of hospitality at 10pm.
The “high” alert level will reflect many current local interventions, but there will now be consistency across the country.This primarily aims to reduce household to household transmission by preventing all mixing between households or support bubbles indoors. The Rule of Six will apply in outdoor spaces, including private gardens. Most areas which are already subject to local restrictions will automatically move into the “high” alert level.
The “very high” alert level will apply where transmission rates are causing the greatest concern, based on an assessment of all the available data and the local situation.
Watford is in the medium alert level – As COVID-19 infection rates rise across the town, Watford Borough Council urges residents to take action now to stop the spread of the virus before further restrictions are imposed on people and businesses.
Read the whole guidance: The Government’s COVID regulations (Alert levels of Medium, High & Very High) have come into force in England.
- 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.
- A 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 use the 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.
Welcome back to Watford town centre – shop local, stay safe:
It is more vital than ever that we all act responsibly when out in public, to protect ourselves and those around us. As COVID-19 infection rates rise across the town, Watford Borough Council urges residents to take action now to stop the spread of the virus before further restrictions are imposed on people and businesses.
We can all play our part in controlling the virus by:
- Keep doing the basics: wash your hands, cover your face, make space
- If you have symptoms isolate and get tested: the quicker you know you’re at risk the quicker you can protect yourself and your loved ones
- Follow the rule of six
- Limit the number of people you see outside your home
See the list of what you can and cannot do in Watford (medium alert level)
If you, or someone you know, needs help or support please contact Watford Helps.
Covid19: Temporary Changes to Watford Town Centre
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.
- 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 has been made available on Gov.uk.
- For any changes to the public transport network from London to Watford please check the official ‘Transport for London’ website.
- Stay up to date with the latest advice on the official government website.
Top tips when planning your visit to 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.
Recent Frequently Asked Questions
Visitors are allowed to travel from a Tier 2 area to a Tier 1 area, or within a Tier 2 area for leisure purposes. If Visitors travel to a region which then goes into either Tier 2 or Tier 3, visitors do not have to curtail their holiday.
Accommodation providers are not required to cancel bookings from customers based in Tier 2 or Tier 3 areas, but they should “discourage” future bookings from customers based in high or very high risk areas. It is worth noting that these new regulations are guidance rather than legally enforceable.
Business and educational events of up to 30 people can still continue across ALL Tiers provided they are COVID secure and social distancing is observed. Venues can host such meeting provided they are for business reasons rather than socialising.
A tour guide can take up to 30 people on a walking tour around an attraction in Tier 1 but people must stay in their individual groups that comply with the Rule of Six with social distancing between them. We are awaiting clarification on whether indoor guiding of groups up to 30 can still continue in Tier 2 and 3 areas and will confirm with you as soon as we have more details.
Coaches can operate to their Covid-19 Secure capacity in Tier 1 provided that each individual party on the coach complies with the Rule of Six and social distancing remains between each party. We are awaiting clarification on whether this is also the case in Tier 2 and 3 areas and will confirm with you as soon as we have more details.
- 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 NHS.uk 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.