COVID-19 – Information and Advice
Update: 12th April 2021
In his statement to the House of Commons on Monday 22nd February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the Government roadmap outlining how lockdown restrictions will be eased in England.
The roadmap is in four steps. Before proceeding to the next step, the Government will examine the data to assess the impact of previous steps.
This assessment will be based on four tests:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
- Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern
There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the data to reflect changes in restrictions, followed by seven days’ notice of the restrictions to be eased.
The full roadmap document is available here. A simplified table of the steps is available on pages 47 to 48. See below for a summary of the key points.
Step One (Two Parts Split Between 8th and 29th March)
From 8th March:
People will be allowed to spend time in outdoor public spaces for recreation on their own, with one other person, or with their household or support bubble. People must continue to maintain social distance from those outside their household. This is in addition to outdoor exercise which is already permitted.
There will continue to be restrictions on international travel. Holidays will not be a permitted reason to travel. Those seeking to leave the UK must complete an outbound declaration of travel form ahead of departure.
From 29th March:
People will no longer be legally required to stay at home, but some restrictions will remain such as continuing to work from home where possible and minimising all travel. The rule of six will return for outdoors, and meetings of two households will also be permitted. This includes in private gardens.
Outdoor sports and leisure facilities will be able to reopen and formally organised outdoor sports will be able to resume, subject to guidance.
Step Two (From 12th April at the Earliest, Subject to an Assessment of the Data Against the Four Tests)
Outdoor gatherings must still be limited to six people or two households as in Step One, and no indoor mixing will be allowed unless otherwise exempt. Additional premises will be able to reopen but should only be visited alone or with household groups:
- Non-essential retail
- Personal care premises such as hairdressers, salons and close contact services
- Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and spas (but not including saunas and steam rooms, which are due to open at Step 3)
- Public buildings such as libraries and community centres
- Hospitality venues for outdoor service, without any curfew or the requirement for alcohol to be accompanied by a substantial meal – customers must order, eat and drink while seated
- Most outdoor settings and attractions including outdoor hospitality, zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas/performances/events will reopen
- Domestic overnight stays will be allowed and self-contained accommodation – those that do not require shared use of bathing, entry/exit, catering or sleeping facilities – can also reopen, though must only be used by members of the same household
- Weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open)
- International holidays will not be permitted
All newly open settings must abide by the social contact rules. This will be accompanied by mitigations including workforce testing and continued social distancing guidance. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise domestic travel where they are able. International holidays will still be prohibited.
Opening up business:
More businesses will be open from 12th April, but indoor settings should be visited alone, or with household groups. Outside, six people or two households can meet.
- All shops are allowed to open
- Restaurants and pubs allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
- Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
- Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation
- Weddings - up to 15 people
- Hairdressers, beauty salons and other close-contact services can open
- Non-essential journeys between England and Wales are allowed
- Funerals - up to 30 people, with 15 at wakes
- Children will be able to attend any indoor children's activity
Step Three (From 17th May at the Earliest and at Least Five Weeks After Step Two)
Most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted, but gatherings of more than 30 people outdoors will remain illegal. Indoors, people will be able to meet socially in a group of six, or with one other household (though it may be possible to go further than this at step three depending on the data). COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits.
Sectors which will reopen include:
- Indoor hospitality, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain
- Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas
- Indoor entertainment, such as museums, cinemas and children’s play areas
- Remaining accommodation, such as hotels, hostels and B&Bs
- Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes
- Some large events, including conferences, theatre and concert performances and sports events
- Controlled, indoor events of up to 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower, will be permitted, as will outdoor events with a capacity of either 50% or 4,000 people, whichever is lower
The Government will also make a special provision for large, outdoor, seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed, allowing up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower
Furthermore, pilots will run as part of the Events Research Programme to examine how such events can take place without the need for social distancing using other mitigations such as testing
- Weddings, receptions, funerals, and commemorative events including wakes can proceed with up to 30 attendees
- A broader range of stand-alone life events will also be permitted at this step, including bar mitzvahs and christenings
Step Four (From 21st June at the Earliest, and at Least Five Weeks After Step Three)
With appropriate mitigations in place, by Step Four, the Government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact, reopen the remaining closed settings, including nightclubs, and enable large events, including theatre performances, above the Step Three capacity restrictions, and remove all limits on weddings and other life events, subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme.
Read the press release here.
In Parallel to These Steps, Four Formal Reviews Will Also Take Place on the Issues of:
- Social distancing and face masks
- The resumption of international travel – the Global Travel Taskforce will report on 12th April with recommendations aimed at facilitating a return to international travel as soon as possible while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants of concern. Following that, the Government will determine when international travel should resume, which will be no earlier than 17th May
- COVID status certification to enable reopening of businesses, mindful of discrimination and privacy
- The return of major events
Further details of business support will come from the Chancellor’s budget next Wednesday. A plan for reacting to local outbreaks will also be published next month, with measures to tackle new variants. The Prime Minister could not rule out implementing restrictions at a local level if required.
Please continue reading below for some FAQs.
Update: 5th January 2021
On Tuesday 4th January 2021, the Government announced a nationwide lockdown would take place to tackle the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. All non-essential retail, attractions, leisure and sports facilities, plus restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and accommodation across Bath have closed.
For more information see the Government's National Lockdown: Stay at Home page.
The health and safety of residents, visitors and staff is of paramount importance to us all and we want to share ongoing information and advice related to COVID-19.
We are working hard to ensure that information on the Visit Bath website is relevant and up-to-date. However, this cannot be guaranteed due to the ever-changing nature of the current situation. Please check with restaurants, hotels, attractions, pubs and restaurants before visiting by calling ahead or checking their website directly. We will be updating listings on our website, to give information about closures/reopenings (once lockdown is lifted), in due course.
- Find the latest information on the official UK Government website
- Please check directly with venues, businesses and attractions for up-to-date information
Latest advice from Bath and North East Somerset Council.
(Correct as of 23rd February)
Can I Visit Bath Now?
Bath is under a national lockdown, meaning that accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, holiday lets and guesthouses have closed. Certain premises can only stay open to accommodate guests under specific circumstances.
Visitor attractions and entertainment venues within Bath and North East Somerset have closed.
Find out more here.
Are Businesses Open?
Hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, cafés, restaurants, and social clubs have closed except for takeaway, delivery and click-and-collect services.
I Am Travelling for Essential Business. Where Can I Stay?
We are currently working with the local accommodation sector, and have the following list of hotels currently open. Please remember to check directly with them in advance for the latest updates.
- Bailbrook House Hotel
- Beechfield House
- Haringtons Hotel
- Holiday Inn Express Bath
- Hotel Indigo
- Premier Inn Bath City Centre
- Travelodge Bath Waterside
- Travelodge Bath Central
- Travelodge Bath City Centre
- Z Hotel
Am I Able to Dine Out?
All hospitality businesses must close for on-site consumption. Takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through, and delivery services may be available.
Find out more here.
Exploring Bath's Beautiful Outdoor Spaces
Even during winter, heading outdoors seems more appealing than ever. Bath is a green city with plenty of parks and gardens to explore, and the compact nature of the city makes it ideal to explore on foot. And with the countryside on the city’s doorstep, you can easily take to the rolling hills and tranquil surroundings of Bath.
Travelling to and Around Bath
Travelling, unless for specific essential reasons, such as work, is not allowed under lockdown.
There are some changes to the public transport network to and within Bath. Please check this page on the Travelwest website for further information.
Click here to watch GWR's Safety Guidance video.
Bristol Airport have a comprehensive COVID-19 page with FAQs.
- Information about coronavirus guidelines and measures in the region can be found via Bath and North East Somerset Council's website.
- Guidance on prevention measures can be found at NHS.uk and more information can be found via the UK Government website.
- Advice for tourism businesses is regularly updated by VisitBritain.
We are working hard to ensure that information on the Visit Bath website is relevant and up-to-date. However, this cannot be guaranteed due to the ever-changing nature of the current situation. Please check with restaurants, hotels, attractions and shops before visiting by calling ahead or checking their website directly.