Welcome back to indoor activities

Published: Wednesday, 12th May 2021

Now that the Government has confirmed we can meet indoors, Oxford City Council is encouraging residents to make plans and enjoy new activities sensibly.

From Monday 17 May we can once again meet friends and family indoors, in groups of up to six people or two households. Groups of up to 30 can meet outdoors, so bigger get-togethers are possible.

Venues and hospitality will be able to open their doors, and community centres, activity groups and exercise classes can restart

Oxford City Council has been working with businesses to get ready for the reopening. The Covid Secure team has been checking businesses are implementing safety measures including good checking-in and queuing systems, hand hygiene and plastic screens or face masks where needed. They will continue to work with businesses to make sure the new indoor rules are being applied.

Leisure centres will be able to organise classes and group sessions. The City Council’s leisure partner Fusion Lifestyle is getting ready to reopen the ice rink as well as group exercise classes being back on the timetable.

People are being encouraged to make sensible decisions for their own situation about socialising. Social distancing, fewer social contacts and keeping windows open are still good ways to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Remember that other people may be unvaccinated or at higher risk from the virus.

What are the new rules and guidelines?

Some of the key changes to the rules include:

  • Hospitality, entertainment and cultural venues can reopen indoors
  • Leisure centres and community centres can host groups activities
  • Use the NHS app to check-in to venues, or give your contact details
  • Plan public transport journeys and book ahead if needed, and remember hands face space
  • Indoor socialising at home is back for groups of up to six people or two households. Groups of up to 30 people can meet outdoors.

What do we need to keep doing?

  • Working from home where possible is still recommended
  • Use home-testing kits twice a week to make sure you aren’t spreading the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms
  • Self-isolate if you have symptoms or have a positive test result
  • Face coverings are still needed in shops, places of worship and public transport

“Oxford is reopening, and it’s a fantastic feeling. We still need to be sensible and take precautions, but we can do so much more from next week. Thank you to all our businesses who have worked so hard to get through lockdown and get ready to reopen safely. Let’s show them our support - shop local, go to your local pubs and restaurants, use the gym, enjoy live entertainment and cinema screens, and respect the rules and look out for each other.  

“Thanks to everyone in Oxford too for keeping to lockdown, supporting the NHS vaccine roll out and keeping infections down. Let’s take this next step safely.”

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council