Southampton makes preparations for easing of COVID-19 restrictions

Southampton is prepared to spring back as restrictions ease from Monday as part of the second stage of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Western Esplanade We've missed you

People will be able to shop safely in non-essential retail outlets, visit their local library, kickstart individual indoor leisure and sport exercise, or visit a local hairdresser or nail bar.

Reopening non-essential shops and outside hospitality will help the local economy recover and encourage customers back to the high street and shops.

From 12 April the following will be able to reopen:

  • non-essential retail
  • personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons
  • public buildings such as community centres and libraries
  • outdoor hospitality venues, with table service only
  • most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts)
  • some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds will be able to take place
  • indoor leisure and sports facilities for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble
  • Southampton City Council’s customer services at Gateway will also reopen for services to residents between 10am – 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care at Southampton City Council said:

“We all want to get back to doing more of what we love but we must remember that COVID-19 has not gone away. While it remains a threat, we must proceed with cautious optimism. We must stick to the guidance and when meeting other people outdoors and remember that the rule of six and two households meeting has not changed. To save lives, protect our amazing NHS and keep the reopening on track we must keep doing the basics well and stick to the guidance. A huge thank you to everyone who has sacrificed so much so far but let’s keep going.”

Southampton City Council, in partnership with GO! Southampton, the city centre’s Business Improvement District (BID), has worked on a number of safety initiatives for the city centre. These include:

  • Defined queue management areas within the precinct, Above Bar Street and other high footfall areas. Retailers will also be fully briefed on effective queue management.
  • Signage and supporting measures to promote and support ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Plentiful, secure and convenient cycle parking.
  • Enhanced street cleansing regimes for priority areas.
  • Measures to support the safe re-opening of the outdoor hospitality industry (12 April) and indoor hospitality industry (17 May).
  • Hand sanitisers at bus stops.
  • COVID marshalls to help enforce safety messages.

Safety measures have also been implemented in the five main district centres of Bitterne, Lordshill, Portswood, Shirley and Woolston.

Giles Semper, Executive Director at GO! Southampton said:

“The last year has been undeniably difficult for everyone in the city and it’s great to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have a way to go. Over the last year we have been providing key services to our businesses and shaped our projects in response to the pandemic and we strive to keep this momentum going into the recovery stages this year.

“Our cleaning, security and marketing services will continue whilst we look forward to exciting new projects that we believe, will make Southampton a safe and exciting place to visit. We cant wait to welcome residents, workers and visitors back to the city this year.”

From Monday, the ‘We’ve Missed You SO Much – Welcome Back’ campaign will be launching across the Visit Southampton channels. There will be a dedicated page with information on which businesses are open, key safety measures as well as things to see and do in the city.

Visit Visit Southampton and follow their social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to stay up to date with the latest information.

To find your nearest library and information on opening times from 12 April visit: Southampton Libraries

For more information on the rules from 12 April visit: Coronavirus rules

Keep safe