Coach Trips and Tours
Q: When can coach tours take place?
Step 1b from 29 March - Private hire coach tours are only permitted for a private group of a single household/support bubble. The coach driver and tour guide do not count towards the single household/support bubble rule.
Only day trips are permitted at this point. Large coach trips and tours with multiple groups are not permitted at this step.
Step 2 no earlier than 12 April - Private hire coach tours are only permitted for a private group of a single household/support bubble. The coach driver and tour guide do not count towards the single household/support bubble rule.
Large coach trips and tours with multiple groups are not permitted at this step.
Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May - Large coach trips and tours with multiple groups in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage - in a group of 6 people or 2 households indoors - are permitted.
Business events, meetings, training and education
Q: When can show rounds for business events take place?
From the 29 March, when the stay at home restriction is lifted, visiting a business event venue for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking for a work-based event (even if the venue is otherwise closed) is permitted if this cannot be reasonably done from home. Safety guidelines for workplaces should be adhered to. Viewings where there is not a permitted exemption for work purposes or otherwise, should not be taking place in closed venues at this time
Q: When can wedding show rounds take place
Wedding show-rounds, viewings and site visits can only take place at venues when the venue is permitted to open for leisure purposes at each step of the Government's Roadmap to reopening. This means whether an in-person viewing can take place will depend on the step, and if the venue is open at that time. For example; for hotels (that are not self-contained accommodation) and indoor visitor attractions at stately or historic homes, castles, or other heritage sites, in-person viewings can only take place from Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May when these venues are permitted to reopen.
People must not visit a closed venue for the purposes of a wedding viewing, and would have to have a virtual tour or other alternative prior to the venue reopening. You should refer to the BEIS Government COVID-19: Guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships guidance and Guidance for wedding and civil partnership receptions and celebrations for further details
Outdoor, leisure, attractions, events and venues
Can outdoor guided tours take place from 29 March and if so can these be for multiple groups of 6?
From the 29th March, outdoor, socially-distanced, organised activities including workshops such as photography, gardening, and crafts at heritage sites and other outside spaces will be permitted.
Other outdoor activities such as themed walking trails will also be permitted, including guided walks consisting of either a single permitted group or multiple permitted groups that are kept separate throughout the tour. These types of activities are subject to the gathering limits set out in the Roadmap - i.e. outside in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (the Rule of 6) or with one other household, though people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other. Support bubbles will continue to be counted as part of the same household. The tour guide does not count towards the Rule of 6 or 2 household limits.
Q. When can indoor elements of outdoor attractions such as botanical gardens, heritage homes, zoos and other animal attractions and landmarks open?
Before Step 3, indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes, zoos and other animal attractions and landmarks must close, though the outdoor attractions of these premises can open from Step 1 or 2 (depending on the attraction). Indoor toilet facilities can open at outdoor attractions at Step 2.
Q. When will zoos be opening up? Can animal attractions and displays such as falconry take place at outdoor events when outdoor events are permitted to open from Step 2?
DCMS is seeking for outdoor attractions at zoos and other animal attractions to reopen at Step 2. Indoor attractions at these venues will follow at Step 3. Operators of these businesses must take reasonable steps to ensure that bookings and admissions follow the social contact rules, and that groups do not mix within the premises.
Zoos and other animal attractions should not be operating demonstrations or any other events, such as feedings sessions scheduled for public viewing, until Step 3.
Zoos will also be able to reopen outdoor hospitality and non-essential retail at Step 2, provided that these are in self-contained units and are directly accessible from the outdoors (i.e. without going through indoor elements). Although visitor centres and other indoor attractions must remain closed at this step, this does not include toilets or through spaces to toilets or to outdoor areas, such as ticket halls. DCMS will seek to reopen indoor hospitality within animal attractions at Step 3, alongside indoor attractions.
Licensed animal attractions and stand-alone bird of prey displays/performances at outdoor events (away from where the birds are kept, which would not be licensed as animal attractions but likely to have a separate animal exhibition licence) are not permitted to take place until Step 3.
Q. Can multiple permitted groups (e.g. multiple groups of 6 on an open air vessel in Step 2) go on a large sightseeing boat tour if they are kept separate on the trip and if the capacity of the boat is capable of ensuring social distancing?
This is permitted if the boat is open air using the permitted organised gathering exemption (where organised by a business/organisation, risk assessment completed which will take into account capacity limits, COVID-Secure guidance adhered to, and people do not mingle outside of their qualifying groups - 6 people / 2 households). Where a boat is partially enclosed, people must only go inside for use of / access to the toilet. The boat skipper and/or guide would not count in capacity limits if they are employed as they would be exempt under the work exemption.
Q. When can recreational boating take place?
From the 8th March self-drive day hire of boats is permitted for the purpose of open air recreation in a public outdoor place (the vessel must be open air) for single household/bubble only. People should minimise time away from home and stay local. From the 29th March self drive day hire of boats is permitted for 6 people / 2 households per boat if the vessel is open air and for a single household if the vessel is enclosed. People should minimise time away from home.
From 12 April earliest, 6 people / 2 households per boat (if vessel is open air), single household/support bubble (if vessel is enclosed). Overnight stay only permitted with single household/support bubble on a self-contained boat. People should minimise time away from home. From 17 May earliest, if for day use, up to 30 people (if vessel is open air), or 6 people or 2 households (if vessel is enclosed). If for overnight use, 6 people / 2 households. People should minimise time away from home.
Q. When can funfairs and circuses be permitted to open?
Outdoor funfairs and fairgrounds can reopen in Step 2 - no earlier than 12 April. These events will be subject to local authority approval. Groups must be limited to up to 6 people or 2 households. Outdoor circuses can reopen in Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May - with other outdoor performance events. Outdoor circus events will be subject to local authority approval. Funfairs, fairgrounds and circuses will also need to be organised by a business, charity or similar organisation; comply with COVID-Secure guidance with reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission and the completion of a 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).
Q. When can active outdoor leisure activity such as ziplining restart?
Ziplining and other active outdoor leisure activities can restart in Step 2 - no earlier than 12 April, with outdoor attractions such as adventure parks in line with social contact rules - in a group of 6 people or 2 households outdoors.
Indoor, leisure, attractions, events and venues
Q. When can Heritage Railways reopen?
Heritage railway services going from place to place (i.e. point A to point B) are permitted from 29 March for the purposes of transport, providing all social distancing and face covering requirements are followed
Heritage railway services provided primarily for dining or other recreational purposes; or for the carriage of passengers from the same start and end point (a loop) must remain closed alongside other indoor attractions until Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May, when they can reopen in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage - in a group of 6 people or 2 households indoors; and multiple groups are permitted.
Q. Please confirm that communal changing for pools and indoor sports can reopen from 12 April?
Changing rooms can open at Step 2 - no earlier than 12 April but guidance is that people should arrive at gym/leisure facilities ready and should minimise use of changing rooms.
Q. Can Visitor Information Centres open in Step 2 from 12 April with non-essential retail?
Visitor information centres that are not located within an indoor attraction can reopen from Step 2 - no earlier than 12 April along with non-essential retail. Visitor centres within indoor attractions must remain closed at Step 2, this does not include toilets or through spaces to toilets or to outdoor areas, such as ticket halls. DCMS is seeking to reopen Visitor centres within indoor attractions at Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May, alongside indoor attractions.
Q. When can swimming pools with slides open?
Outdoor sports facilities such as swimming pools and water sport venues can reopen in Step 1b from 29 March. This is in line with the government's sport and exercise public health objectives. Outdoor water parks, aqua parks and inflatable parks (whether on water or on land) which will be permitted to reopen from Step 2, no earlier than 12 April. Indoor water parks and aqua parks will reopen in Step 3, no earlier than 17 May in line with other indoor entertainment and visitor attractions. Indoor swimming pools will reopen with other indoor sports and leisure facilities in Step 2, no earlier than 12 April. 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 and for the purposes of exercise, therefore indoor water slides at these settings should close. The indoor water slides at these settings can reopen in Step 3, no earlier than 17 May when indoor entertainment and water parks reopen.
Q. Why is there a distinction between outdoor watersports & swimming (Step 1b) and outdoor aqua parks used for water sports and swimming (Step 2)?
As it will be difficult to separate sporting from leisure activities taking place in outdoor aqua parks, only outdoor water sports and swimming pools are allowed to open in Step 1b from 29 March for sporting activity. Outdoor aqua parks can open in Step 2 when outdoor leisure entertainment activities are permitted.
Q. When can outdoor and indoor swimming pools reopen?
From 29 March outdoor sports facilities such as swimming pools and gyms will be open. People can use outdoor pools and gyms in a group of six people, or with members of up to two households. Indoor facilities, such as changing rooms, should not be used at this time, although toilet facilities can be accessed. At this stage, these gatherings must only include participants - not spectators. Indoor swimming pools can open in Step 2 - no earlier than 12 April. This is in line with indoor gyms, leisure centres and sports courts. 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
Q. When can flying lessons and flying for recreation take place?
From 29 March, private aircrafts are permitted for single household/bubble use. People should minimise time away from home.From 17 May earliest, private aircrafts are permitted for 6 people or 2 households for leisure flying. People should minimise time away from home. From 29 March, hired self-fly aircrafts are permitted for single household/bubble use. People should minimise time away from home. From 17 May earliest, hired self-fly aircrafts are permitted for 6 people or 2 households for leisure flying. People should minimise time away from home. Flying lessons and tests are permitted from Step 2 (as equivalent to driving tests) for formal flying lessons delivered by a qualified instructor. Informal flying lessons are permitted from Step 3.
Stay at home/minimise Travel advice
Q. From 29 March, will people travelling without a valid reason be fined over Easter or is this being downgraded to advice to stay local? Therefore, are people allowed to take day trips from 29th March outdoors, once the Stay at Home no longer applies?
Stay at Home restrictions will be in place until 29 March. Until then, you will require a reasonable excuse to leave home. From 29 March and until Step 2, people are advised to minimise travel and not stay overnight away from home. At Step 2, guidance on overnight stays will be lifted and people should minimise travel where possible but they should not be fined. Guidance will be to minimise travel from Step 1b until Step 4 - this means avoiding making unnecessary journeys, combining trips and avoiding travel at peak times where possible. People should avoid travelling further than is reasonably necessary to take part in their activity. From Step 2 and in accordance with rules in place for each step, it will be possible to go on holiday/overnight stays for leisure, but people should avoid making unnecessary journeys to do so
Q. Does the June end to social limits also mean an end of trading restrictions?
The roadmap sets out a gradual, phased reopening where each step proceeds following an assessment of the impact of the preceding steps. The ambition in Step 4 is to remove all legal limits on social contact, reopen remaining settings, and publish accompanying guidance on how best to reduce the risks. Whether and which measures remain at Step 4 will depend on the reviews announced in the roadmap, the impact of the earlier steps, and the scientific data closer to the time.
Q. Is the roadmap/steps set in stone and is the roadmap guidance or law?
The timings outlined in the roadmap are indicative, and the Government will be led by data, rather than fixed dates. Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data and will only ease restrictions further if it is safe to do so. The indicative, ‘no earlier than’ dates in the roadmap are all contingent on the data and subject to change. The roadmap will be underpinned by regulations, though these are yet to be made. As set out in the roadmap, it is hoped restrictions are eased, incrementally, over a period of time. Until those points people must continue to follow the rules set out in law.
Accommodation update (23 March)
- From Step 2, no earlier than 12 April, separate and self-contained accommodation will be open for leisure stays. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities (kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as: lifts, staircases, lounges, sitting areas and internal corridors for entry and exit) are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. A reception area is not to be treated as a shared facility or indoor communal area if they are required in order to be open for check-in purposes.
What can open
- At Step 2, accommodation in which all facilities listed above are for the exclusive use of a single household/support bubble may open. This will mean that holiday parks, ‘standalone’ holiday lets such as houses and cottages, chalets, yurts, holiday boats, and motels which do not rely on sharing those facilities listed may open.
- Campsites and caravan parks will be permitted from Step 2 provided that the only shared facilities used by guests at the campsite or caravan park are washing facilities, toilets, water points and waste disposal points. These facilities should be operated so as to ensure no household mixing takes place. This would involve either assigning shower facilities to one household group/support bubble, (i.e. making them private), or running a reservation and clean process (whereby one household can exclusively book the shared facilities for a fixed time, and the facilities are cleaned between reservations and kept well-ventilated).
- All accommodation may continue to open for the current permitted reasons, such as to provide accommodation for those who are unable to return to their main residence; for the homeless; for those who need accommodation for work, education or training purposes; for those who need to attend medical appointments; or for those self-isolating as required by law including for the Managed Quarantine Service for high risk international arrivals.
What cannot open
- This phased approach to reopening means that the rest of the sector will follow at Step 3. Between now and Step 3 this means a continued closure of hotels, hostels, B&Bs, guest houses and any other accommodation that relies on sharing these facilities. This will also require the continued closure of any holiday lets or serviced accommodation within apartment buildings that share any of the facilities listed above.
- From Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, all remaining accommodation will be permitted to reopen for leisure stays.
Further information on step 2
Step 2 will also see the reopening of non-essential retail; personal care facilities and close contact services such as beauty salons, spas and massage centres (except for steam rooms and saunas); and indoor sports and leisure facilities such as gyms and swimming pools. Where these facilities are located within a hotel or other guest accommodation, they are permitted to reopen and can be accessed - if necessary - from inside the building i.e. without the requirement for direct street access, though businesses should continue to comply with COVID-secure guidance to mitigate transmission risk. Outdoor hospitality which is permitted to open at Step 2, located on a hotel premises or other guest accommodation, may also reopen, and customers will be permitted to use indoor toilets as required. The guidance for Hotels & Other Guest Accommodation will be updated in advance of each step of the roadmap with further detail.