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Bristol takes another step to ease COVID-19 restrictions

The city continues to slowly open up as Bristol took another step to easing COVID-19 restrictions.

As of today (Monday 12 April), non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality and self-contained holiday accommodation is allowed to reopen.

Care home residents will be now able to have two regular visitors. People can meet outdoors in a group of either six people (Rule of Six) or as two households.

People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise journeys where possible.

From 12 April:

Many businesses and venues can reopen including:

  • Non-essential retail
  • Personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons
  • Public buildings such as libraries and community centres
  • 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
  • Indoor leisure and sports facilities for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble
Filwood Community Centre can reopen today.

Other changes:

  • Care home residents can nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits
  • Self-contained accommodation can open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble
  • All childcare and supervised activities are allowed indoors (as well as outdoors) for all children
  • Parent and child groups can take place indoors (as well as outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number)
  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events can take place for up to 15 people

Director for Communities and Public Health Christina Gray said: “Being able to take this next step in easing COVID-19 restrictions is down to our collective and individual efforts. I want personally thank everyone for continuing to follow the public health guidance, to help drive down infection rates in the city and protect our communities.

“This next step is positive for our businesses and high streets, but it’s really important that throughout this phased unlocking we continue to keep our distance from others and not giving the virus an opportunity to spread.

“We also need to be mindful that some of us, particularly those who have been shielding, may be feeling anxious. Remember that support is available to you if you need it…”

Operations Director at Bristol City Centre BID, Keith Rundle said: “We are excited to welcome and encourage everyone back to the city centre to enjoy the activities they love…

“Today also marks the start of our #LoveBristol campaign. We have painted 375 socially distanced hearts across College Green, Castle Park and Queen Square, to celebrate the relaxing of restrictions and to ensure that everyone returning to the city centre can enjoy it safely.

Operations Director at Bristol City Centre BID, Keith Rundle,  in Queen Square with the socially distanced hearts.

“We know that many people are really excited to come back and enjoy the city centre, whether through shopping or socialising over a drink and some food, or maybe both. As people return, they will not only see old favourites and will also find many exciting new businesses and experiences across the city centre over the coming months.”

10 Days of Action

COVID Marshall out in Broadmead today. (Image Bristol City Council).

To support businesses to reopen safely for staff and members of the public, the council will also be starting ‘10 Days of Action’ from today.

COVID marshals, Environmental Health Officers and the Neighbourhood Enforcement Teams will be on the ground over the next ten days to advise, provide guidance on keeping premises COVID-secure and help with any issues that may arise.

If you are a Bristol business and would like any advice on reopening or support from the COVID marshals email

Rapid Testing

Regular lateral flow (rapid) testing is part of the government’s policy to support opening up the economy and getting back to normality.

This helps to identify infection early and to prevent the virus spreading. There are a number of ways that you can access tests; through local pharmacies, testing centres and online. 

For more details and further guidance on COVID-19, visit the Bristol City Council website.

Support is on offer through the We Are Bristol helpline for anyone who needs emergency assistance getting food, medicines or guidance about financial support to self-isolate. Call 0800 694 0184 for free if you need help.