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: 09 April 2021
Covid-19 National Lockdown: what you need to know
Shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality will reopen on 12 April in England if strict conditions are met, under plans being set out by the PM.
Up to six people from separate households could be able to meet in beer gardens from that date.
The new four-step plan to ease lockdown could see all legal limits on social contact lifted by 21 June.
It requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs the plan aimed to be “cautious but irreversible” and at every stage decisions would be led by “data not dates”.
But he warned there was “no credible route to a zero-Covid Britain nor indeed a zero-Covid world”.
As part of the first step of the plan for easing lockdown in England:
- From 8 March – All schools will open with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed. Recreation in an outdoor public spaces – such as a park – will be allowed between two people, meaning they would be allowed to sit down for a coffee, drink or picnic
- From 29 March – Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed. It is understood this will include gatherings in private gardens. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen and organised adult and children’s sport, such as grassroots football, will also return
Secondary school pupils will be required to wear face coverings in classrooms and shared spaces like corridors.
The second step comes from 12 April would see major parts of the economy permitted to reopen:
- Non-essential retail opens, hairdressers and public buildings like libraries and museums
- Outdoor settings like alcohol takeaways, beer gardens, zoos and theme parks
- Indoor leisure like swimming pools and gyms
- Self-contained holiday accommodation, such as self-catering lets and camp sites
But wider social contact rules will continue to apply in all settings – meaning no indoor mixing between different households will be allowed.
Mr Johnson confirmed the end of hospitality curfews – and requirements to eat a substantial meal alongside alcohol.
Funerals continue with up to 30 people, and weddings with up to 15 guests.
The third step will come from 17 May – if the data allows – and will see the “rule of six” abolished for outdoor gatherings, replaced with a limit of 30 people:
- Two households can mix indoors – with the rule of six applied in hospitality settings like pubs
- Cinemas, hotels, performances and sporting events reopen – though social distancing remains
- Up to 10,000 spectators can attend the very largest outdoor seated venues like football stadiums
- Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes.
The fourth step from 21 June will potentially see all legal limits on social contact removed, with the final closed sectors of the economy reopened – such as nightclubs.
The government hopes that – from this date – restrictions on weddings and funerals will also be abolished.
The four conditions that must be met at each phase of lockdown easing are:
- The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital treatment
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions
- New variants of the virus do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions
- The ‘stay at home’ rule ended on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.
- The Government has released their roadmap for the current lockdown easing in England. Read the full breakdown here, or you can find a simplified version on the BBC website here.
- Find the latest information on the official UK government website.
- Non-essential retail can reopen. This will include but not be limited to: clothing stores, charity and antique shops, homeware stores, showrooms (such as for vehicles which would include caravans), retail travel agents, auction houses and markets and betting shops (subject to additional COVID-secure measures, such as limiting the use of gaming machines).
- Personal care facilities and close contact services can reopen. This will include: hair, beauty and nail salons, spas and massage centres (except for steam rooms and saunas, which must remain closed), holistic therapy (including acupuncture, homeopathy, and reflexology) and tanning salons. You can find more information in the guidance for close contact services and the guidance for sport facilities (for saunas and steam rooms).
- Indoor sports facilities will be permitted to open in addition to outdoor sports facilities. This includes sport facilities such as pitches, courts, golf and mini-golf courses, swimming pools, gyms and leisure centres. You should check the guidance for sport facilities, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.
- Self-contained accommodation can reopen for leisure stays for groups comprising a single household/support bubble. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities including kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. See guidance for hotels and guest accommodation for more information.
- 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 (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) located inside. At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (“table service”). You should check the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.
- Please check directly with venues, businesses and attractions for up to date information.
- Some outlets may be offering a take away, click and collect or delivery services.
- Some visitor attractions may open their outdoor areas for exercise. Pre-booking may be necessary.
- Some accommodation businesses are offering rooms for those needing to self-isolate away from home and for key workers.
- Guidance on prevention measures, which includes ensuring the washing of hands regularly, and using a face covering, can be found at NHS.uk
- For travellers already in the UK and who need medical advice, use the 111 online coronavirus service to get further information.
Find the detailed guidance on gov.co.uk.
** 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.
How will coronavirus impact your travel to Watford
In response to the current coronavirus outbreak, the UK government has advised against all ‘unnecessary travel’ and has asked public to stop ‘non-essential contact’.
People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. International travel, both inbound and outbound, will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons.
There are changes to the public transport network to and within Watford.