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When can non-essential shops, hospitality and tourism reopen following 2021 lockdown?

Roadmap for businesses

The government's roadmap (announced on Monday 22 February), outlines four steps for easing restrictions.

The government have stated that the dates could change subject to data at the time.

Step One part One – Monday 8 March will see everyone return to school (primary and secondary), face to face lessons at college and before and after clubs reopening. You can meet one person from another householder outside for coffee or a picnic and care home residents will be able to nominate one visitor to see them regularly.

Step one, part two - Monday 29 March – Outdoor gatherings including in private gardens of either up to six people or two households, socially distanced, will be allowed. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, can reopen, and people will be able to take part in organised outdoor sports.

The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’, setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England.

Businesses can begin to reopen from Step 2 of the roadmap and a number of restrictions will remain:

Step two - no earlier than Monday 12 April 2021

  • Non-essential retail - non-essential shops and personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons can reopen.
  • Outdoor hospitality - pubs and restaurants can reopen outdoor tables and beer gardens for households and groups of up to six people. Customers will have to be seated but there will be no need to have a meal with alcohol and no curfew.
  • Indoor leisure facilities - gyms and swimming pools will reopen, but only for people to use alone or with members of their household.
  • Outdoor attractions - places like zoos and theme parks will reopen with social distancing rules and limits on outdoor mixing.
  • Holidays - self-contained holiday accommodation and campsites, where indoor facilities are not shared with others can reopen for individuals and household groups only.
  • Public buildings - libraries and community centres can reopen with social distancing measures and no indoor mixing between households.
  • Life events - up to 15 people can attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes

Step three - no earlier than Monday 17 May

  • Indoor hospitality - pubs and restaurants will reopen their indoor areas. Customers will have to order, eat and drink while seated.
  • Indoor entertainment - venues such as cinemas and children’s play areas can reopen.
  • Holidays - the rest of the accommodation sector, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs can open.
  • Life events - up to 30 people can attend weddings, receptions, funerals, wakes and other life events such as bar mitzvahs and christenings.
  • Exercise - indoor adult group sports and exercise classes can take place.
  • Businesses reopen - most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and businesses may not cater for groups bigger than the legal limits. (30 outside and rule of six or two households inside)
  • Large organised events - sporting events, concerts, theatres and conferences can go ahead with capacity limits.

Step four - no earlier than Monday 21 June

  • Businesses - remaining businesses such as nightclubs can reopen.
  • Life events - legal limits on the number of people attending life events such as weddings and funerals are lifted.
  • Large events - restrictions on large events and performances eased.
  • Holidays - international travel permitted.

European Regional Development Fund logoHow will the council support the high street?

We've been allocated £73,686 from the European Regional Development Fund to create a safe shopping environment for shoppers and businesses in our town centres. For more information about the fund and its criteria, see GOV.UK - Reopening High Streets Safely Fund guidance.

Our staff worked hard to ensure our larger town centres were safe to use while meeting the governments guidelines following the two previous lockdowns. We will continue to engage with Town Councils and established town centre business groups on proposals for promoting high streets and supplementing the safety measures.

Initial emergency phase was implemented in 2020.

Changes you can expect to see around the larger towns:

  • Signage to maintain social distancing - throughout our town centres, car parks and open spaces
  • Changes to some paths and walkways - you may see barriers indicating one-way systems and no entry points
  • Signs providing advice at gathering points - such as at bus stops/bus station/seating areas/bicycle parking and ticket vend machines
  • Space will be created on footpaths to allow queuing outside shops - shops will have their own markings and instructions for their customers that you'll need to follow

There will be circulatory systems in our three largest towns:

  • In Tiverton, the Pannier Market area will have separate entry and exit points on all sides; next to Boots pedestrians are asked to keep left, and; at Westexe North a one-way system will be in operation to and from the shops
  • In Cullompton, from Station Road (Forge Way) car park, a one-way system will be in place to the shop beside Clarks Court, returning via Higher Mill Lane
  • In Crediton, from the High Street (St Saviours Way) car park, pedestrians are asked to keep left in Silbury Place enroute to the shops, and on their return

Plan for re-opening:

Covid Safe checklist for licenced pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars

Print, complete and retain the following checklists to help you to ensure you reopen safely:

Covid Safe Checklist

Pre-Opening Checks - more information for Licenced premises

When I am allowed to re-open, what help is there for my business?BBfA logo

The Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership has used their knowledge and expertise to bring together resources from trusted organisations to help guide you through the main considerations for restarting your business safely. They've developed a toolkit, which is also available on the Heart of the South West Growth Hub Growth Hub website, along with useful documents including a risk assessment template and action plan, business checklists and useful guides to help you.

The toolkit has been well received by the business community with many positive comments from business leaders. What's more, the Federation of Small Businesses have said that it's the best they've seen, so do take a look at it.

What guidance is there?

Once the latest guidance is released we will publish the links here.

Showing your business is COVID-19 secure

We've created a template poster for your business to download and use to promote the necessary safety procedures for customers.

The Government has also produced a number of posters and social media images to show your business is COVID-19 secure. You can download these and display them in your windows to help build customer confidence.

What additional help is available?

Lots of useful resources are available for various workplaces. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has produced a number of webinars on how to make a workplace Coronavirus secure.

Financial support for businesses during national restrictions

There are a number of different grants available to Mid Devon businesses. For more information visit

Other financial support:

- Business rate relief:

- Covid-19 hardship fund -

- Government business support -

- Non-GOV business support:

Other business news

All Government guidance, information and announcements can be found at GOV.UK - Coronavirus (COVID‑19).

Of particular note, is a page with guidance for employees, employers and businesses which is being updated regularly with the latest advice. The BEIS issues regular e-bulletins with business updates relating to the Coronavirus and other business news. See their website for further details.

If your business is experiencing any issues relating to COVID-19 which aren't being addressed through other support channels, please contact our Economic Development team in confidence to help shape future activities responding to the outbreak.


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