Business support and advice
Ongoing support and advice for businesses as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

FAQ on COVID restrictions - the latest information on restrictions and the government's roadmap

Coronavirus germ

Step 2 - roadmap out of lockdown

This content was last updated on 12 April 2021.

Roadmap out of Lockdown

Government has announced a 4 step plan to ease lockdown in England.

We will update our website with further information about restrictions as they change. You can find out more information on these changes by visiting GOV.UK - National lockdown.

This page is accurate based on the information and guidance we have received from government. We will update this page with any further information we receive.


When you are eligible for a vaccine you will be contacted by your GP or doctor's office. If you are not registered with a GP or doctor's office please register through the NHS website.

You can find out more information on vaccines and see whether you're eligible at this time by visiting the NHS website.

You can find answers to common questions and misinformation about vaccines in a range of languages on the British Islamic medical Association website.

Changes from 12 April 2021

Some restrictions, specifically those around what businesses can open, have changed. From 12 April:

  • Non-essential retail may open
  • Personal care businesses (such as hairdressers and beauticians) may open
  • Public buildings including the Harris, libraries and community centres may open
  • Bars and restaurants may open providing table service outdoors only
  • Outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks and drive in cinemas may open
  • Some small outdoor events such as fetes, makers markets and fairgrounds may open
  • Indoor leisure including gyms and swimming pools may open for individual exercise or exercise with your household/support bubble
  • All childcare and supervised activities will be allowed indoors - more information is available below
  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events will be able to take place for up to 15 people - more information is available below

  • Self-contained accommodation can open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble

  • Care home residents can nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test) - further information will be available from your care home

For more detailed information on what businesses may open, including what you need to do as a business owner, please visit our Covid-19 Business support and advice page

Meeting family and friends

You must not meet indoors with anybody you do not live with, unless they are part of your support bubble or another legal exemption applies, such as for care, volunteering or work.

Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.

Meeting family and friends outdoors (rule of 6)

You can meet up outdoors with friends and family you do not live with, either:

  • in a group of up to 6 from any number of households (children of all ages count towards the limit of 6)
  • in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible)


  • Groups of six can now meet up outside - this includes for exercise, but you must follow social distancing rules
  • Both indoor and outdoor sports facilities can now reopen including gyms and swimming pools
  • You can take part in formally organised outdoor sport such as football, rugby, hockey etc. Please contact your relevant sporting body for further information.
  • Indoor sport may only take place for disability sport or as part of education.

For more information visit GOV.UK - grassroots sports guidance for the public and sport providers.

Support and childcare bubbles

  • You have to meet certain eligibility rules to form a support or childcare bubble. Unfortunately this means not everyone will be able to form a bubble.
  • A support bubble is a support network which links two households. You can form a support bubble with another household of any size only if you meet the eligibility rules.
  • You are permitted to leave your home to visit your support bubble (and to stay overnight with them). However, if you form a support bubble, it is best if this is with a household who live locally. This will help prevent the virus spreading from an area where more people are infected.
  • If you live in a household with anyone aged under 14, you can form a childcare bubble. This allows friends or family from one other household to provide informal childcare.
  • You must not meet socially with your childcare bubble and must avoid seeing members of your childcare and support bubbles at the same time.

For up-to-date information please visit the government's website below:

Communal worship

You can leave home to attend or visit a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or event related to a death, a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony. You should follow the guidance on the safe use of places of worship and must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble when attending a place of worship.

For more information visit, GOV.UK - guidance for the safe use of places of worship and special religious services and gatherings during the pandemic.

Weddings and funerals

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 15 people.

Anyone working is not counted in this limit. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people, but must take place outdoors, not including private gardens.

For more information visit, GOV.UK - Guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships.

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people and may take place indoors.

Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events, such as wakes, stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance.

For more information visit GOV.UK - guidance for arranging or attending a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic.


  • You are allowed to travel further for work, education and other reasons such as volunteering, caring duties or for a family emergency.
  • Self-contained accommodation can open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble
  • Please aim to minimise the number of journeys you take and where possible avoid busy times.
  • If you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practice social distancing while you travel.
  • Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble. See the guidance on car sharing.
  • If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance.
  • Travel abroad remains prohibited with some exceptions. For more information visit GOV.UK - Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions

Where can I get tested?

For the latest information on coronavirus testing in Preston, please visit our Coronavirus testing page, using the button below.

View our Coronavirus testing page

I've been asked to self-isolate, how do I get the support payment?

You may be asked to self-isolate for a number of reasons including a positive test for you, someone in your household, if you've been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service or whether you are experiencing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

For more information on the importance of self-isolating as well as accessing the Test and Trace Support Payment for people on low income who are required to self-isolate, please visit our self-isolating page.

View information on self-isolating due to coronavirus

How can I report a Coronavirus concern?

If you are concerned about the implementation of COVID secure measures in a business, workplace or other public building please report this by using our Coronavirus report form.

Report a coronavirus concern

COVID-19 symptoms

For a comprehensive list of COVID-19 symptoms visit NHS - COVID-19.

If you are displaying these symptoms or feel unwell please get tested as soon as possible.

Where practical please avoid the use of taxis or public transport to attend a testing site.

Can I still access help?

Help for vulnerable people is still available via Preston Together.

Face coverings

What is the latest guidance on face coverings?

For the latest guidance and exemptions visit GOV.UK - Face coverings - when to wear one and how to make your own.

An image relating to Residencies affected by area of intervention measures
Following the announcement from Government that Preston is an area of intervention, new restrictions apply to residents within the area administrated by Preston City Council.

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