Let’s take the next step safely, says City Council

Published: Thursday, 8th April 2021

As Oxford gets ready for the next stage of unlocking on 12 April, the City Council is reminding residents what is new and what covid safety measures still need to stay in place.

What is reopening

Step 2 of the roadmap is about more than just shops and pubs. Some of the key facilities that can reopen include:

  • Non-essential shops
  • Personal care including hairdressers and beauty salons
  • Hospitality for outdoor seated customers
  • Leisure centres for individual/household gym and swimming pool use
  • Public libraries
  • Community centres for limited use, including parent and child groups and children’s activities

What are the rules

Enjoying the new freedom still needs to be done safely using government guidance.

  • Groups of up to six people or two households can meet outdoors. When meeting people from other households, remember to social distance and keep two metres apart. If you are meeting in a public space please don’t leave your litter to ruin it for others.
  • Facemasks are needed on public transport and in shops and personal care businesses. In the pub, restaurant or café, when not at your outdoor table you will need to wear a facemask.
  • Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser when visiting shops, hospitality and other public places.
  • Continue social distancing in all the places you visit, allow two metres between you and other people.
  • You should continue to work from home where possible.

Shop local

Residents are encouraged to shop local, to support Oxford businesses and minimise the spread of the virus. Where possible the advice is to limit unnecessary travel, so people are encouraged to rediscover the shops, pubs and restaurants in their local area.

From 12 April hospitality businesses will be able to reopen, but only for dining outdoors. The City Council is working to support hospitality businesses by creating outdoor dining areas on pavements and in streets across Oxford.

The Council’s COVID Secure team and City Centre Ambassadors will be visiting businesses in the day time and in the evening, to make sure they are following the covid safety guidance for staff and customers. This includes managing customer numbers and distancing, providing hand sanitiser, and enabling people to check-in for test and trace where needed.

“We want people to enjoy the next step out of lockdown, as businesses reopen and there are more things to do in our free time. It’s important that people know the new rules and stick to them, there are still new cases every week in Oxford. Please help us take this next step safely.”

Caroline Green, Chief Executive of Oxford City Council