Information Children Center

Which businesses and other settings can reopen on 12 April?


Following the move to Step 2, further business and other settings will be permitted to open.

Unless a specific exemption exists, these must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage – as a single household or bubble indoors; or in a group of 6 people or 2 households outdoors.

Non-essential retail will reopen. This will include but not be limited to:

  • clothing stores and tailors
  • charity and antique shops
  • homeware and carpet stores
  • showrooms (such as for vehicles as well as kitchens and bathrooms)
  • electronic goods and mobile phone shops
  • florists and plant nurseries
  • retail travel agents
  • photography stores
  • remaining auction houses and markets
  • tobacco and vape stores
  • betting shops (subject to additional COVID-Secure measures, such as limiting the use of gaming machines).
  • car washes (except for automatic car washes that are already open)

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Personal care facilities and close contact services will reopen. This will include:

  • hair, beauty and nail salons
  • body and skin piercing services
  • tattoo studios
  • spas and massage centres (except for steam rooms and saunas)
  • holistic therapy (including acupuncture, homeopathy, and reflexology)
  • tanning salons

Indoor sports and leisure facilities will reopen. This will include at:

  • gyms and leisure centres
  • sports courts
  • swimming pools
  • dance studios and fitness centres
  • driving and shooting ranges
  • riding arenas
  • archery venues
  • climbing wall centres

Self-contained holiday accommodation in 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 will reopen.

Outdoor areas at hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including in member’s clubs) can reopen, including for takeaway alcohol. Some venues may wish to erect outdoor shelters. To be considered ‘outdoors’, shelters, marquees and other structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50% of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use. 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”). Venues will be prohibited from providing smoking equipment, such as shisha pipes, for use on the premises.

Outdoor attractions will 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

Public buildings, such as community halls and centres, and libraries, can reopen.

Businesses eligible to host childcare and supervised activities for children will now be able to host these activities (including sport) for all children, regardless of circumstances.

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.

Some outdoor events, organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation, can be organised, subject to specific conditions: that they comply 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 (unless another exemption exists, such as for work purposes, or supervised activities for children). This could enable events such as a village fete, fairground, or literary fair to be organised, provided people do not mix beyond groups of 6 people or two households. We will publish guidance for local authorities and event organisers setting out which types of events can go ahead at Step 2 and how smaller outdoor events like these should be run safely.

Indoor events or gatherings outside of someone’s household or support bubble are not permitted at Step 2 (even in a venue permitted to open) unless a specific exemption applies. This might include, for example:

  • for work purposes (where this cannot be done from home)
  • support groups
  • supervised activities for children and parent and child groups

Wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships, funerals and commemorative events such as wakes can also take place indoors. Social distancing guidance applies in all such cases. Wedding receptions may only take place outdoors in Step 2.

Over the spring, the Government will run a scientific Events Research Programme. This will include a series of pilots using enhanced testing approaches and other measures to run events with larger crowd sizes and reduced social distancing to evaluate the outcomes. These pilots will start in April.

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