A GUIDE TO EASING LOCKDOWN 2021
Wow, what a 12 months that has been.
Rewind to these days, last year. As the dark winter turned to spring sunshine, none of us knew what lay before us.
One year on, who would’ve thought this would still be affecting our lives the way it has been. But. Better days are coming. The roll-out of the vaccine means that, in some places at least, countries are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Senior economists think that many economies are set to rebound, like a coiled spring. We certainly hope it does. And there are many reasons to suggest it will. People will be yearning to start spending again. Visiting your stores, scoffing in your restaurants, going to your events.
To help with the rapidly changing landscape out there, we’ve pulled together some information and signposts to help you plan with marketing and outreach when it comes to lockdown easing. Because of how quickly plans are changing we’ll keep this article up to date for a reference guide to help with your planning.
We have listed the major dates and key points for each of the regions (some regions have been more specific than others). These are especially important for outreach. So we’ve included some advice on a few of the key sectors that will be opening at these different stages.
We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re here to help and so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve questions or to discuss the best ways for you to grow your business going forward.
29 March 2021
Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people or 2 households will also be allowed.
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place
12 April 2021
Opening of non-essential retail; hairdressers, nail salons libraries and community centres, gyms zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas.
Hospitality venues (table service outdoors only).
Funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners.
Weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15.
17 May 2021
Most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal. Indoors, the Rule of 6 or 2 households will apply. Most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen.
Other indoor locations to open up include indoor entertainment venues such as:
• Cinemas and children’s play areas.
• The rest of the accommodation sector (hotels, hostels and B&Bs).
• Indoor adult group sports and exercise classes.
• Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues.
Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, and other types of significant life events including bar mitzvahs and christenings.
21 June 2021
By Step 4 which will take place no earlier than 21 June, the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.
2 April 2021
5 April 2021
Hairdressers, garden centres and some other non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen.
Resumption of outdoor contact sports for 12-17 years.
Phased return for universities and colleges.
19 April 2021
Full-time return to school for all pupils following Easter holidays.
26 April 2021
Domestic travel ban lifted.
All shops, gyms, libraries, museums, galleries and tourist accommodation to reopen, as well as some indoor hospitality, including pubs, restaurants and cafes.
Further re-opening of hospitality: bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can stay open with time restrictions in place.
Adult outdoor contact sport and indoor group exercise.
Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls.
Small scale indoor and outdoor events can resume (tbc).
Colleges and universities can start to return to normal.
17 May 2021
More in-person support services can resume. Non-professional performance arts can resume outdoors.
28 June 2021
All restrictions lifted.
12 April 2021
All pupils in Wales will return to schools for face-toface education.
All remaining shops can reopen.
All remaining close contact services can resume, including mobile services.
Viewings at wedding venues can resume by appointment.
Outdoor canvassing for elections can begin.
26 April 2021
The Welsh government is also planning further easings of lockdown rules in April and May, but warned these will only happen “should public health conditions remain favourable”.
Outdoor attractions, including funfairs and theme parks, will reopen.
Outdoor hospitality can resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants.
3 May 2021
Wedding receptions with up to 30 people can take place outdoors.
10 May 2021
Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can reopen. This will include individual or one-to-one training but not exercise classes. Two households will be able to meet indoors.
17 May 2021
Children’s indoor activities, community centres and organised indoor activities for up to 15 adults – including exercise classes – will be able to resume*.
*However, this step will have to be signed off by the new Welsh government, following elections on 6 May, along with the possible reopening of indoor hospitality ahead of the bank holiday at the end of May.
NO SPECIFIC DATES YET
An example of one of the Hospitality sector’s timelines goes as follows:
All hospitality closed, except for takeaway sales which have an 11pm curfew.
Curfews lifted on takeaway services, and venues where alcohol cannot be consumed open again, with table service.
Venues where alcohol can be consumed, excluding pubs that do not serve food, reopen with table service.
Non-food-serving pubs open with table service, at which six people from two households can meet. Some entertainment relaxations will also occur here, such as outdoor events with a limited number of tickets allocated.
Bar service is permitted in “wet” pubs once more, with any number of people allowed to meet both indoors and outdoors.
Live entertainment will be permitted in hospitality venues and nightclubs will reopen.
22 March 2021
Primary four to Primary seven will return to fulltime face-to-face teaching on 22 March.
Students in years 12 to 14, who will be awarded qualifications this summer will return to full-time face-to-face teaching on 22 March.
It is anticipated that students in years 8 to 11 will return to face-to-face teaching on April 12, subject to a review of the public health situation at the end of March.
1 April 2021
Up to six people (including children) from no more than two households can meet up outdoors in a private garden, but you should maintain social distancing. Garden centres and plant nurseries are permitted to open for contactless click and collect
12 April 2021
Up to 10 people (including children) from no more than two households can meet up outdoors in a private garden, but you should maintain social distancing. Contactless click/phone and collect will be permitted for all non-essential retail businesses.
15 April 2021
The current regulations will be reviewed on 15 April 2021.
HAIR, BEAUTY & CLOSE CONTACT SECTORS
Hairdressers, nail salons and barbers are some of the most eagerly awaited non-essential retailers to open.
Most people haven’t been able to get pampered and groomed professionally for weeks now, so expect these to be flat out. Some will already have everything they need from the COVID essential range, but not all.
COVID safe products are essential to opening.
You may be offering bookings already, either via web or into your diaries on reception. Opportunities exist to automate that process and make it easier for you to cope with demand.
Where demand maybe hasn’t been as expected, more traditional forms of marketing could help, letting your clients know about the availabilities you have.
HOTELS, B&B TRAVEL & OTHER ACCOMMODATION
Many independent hotels use a lot of online marketing to push their availability.
You may use reservation systems, such as Sabre or SynXis.
This allows you to push availability to wholesale or discount sites like Lastminute.com or Travelocity. But offline marketing is quite often forgotten.
Similar to other elements in the hospitality sectors, COVID elements are still required and likely to be the case until the summer.
But aside from those elements menus, feedback/reviews and social media are just some of the elements we can assist with.
NON-ESSENTIAL INDEPENDENT RETAILERS
Non-essential retailers cover a wide array of businesses and many independent businesses will fall into this category.
Some will have jumped online and have been taking advantage of elements like click and collect if they have been able to do so.
But some will have been closed and need to get the message out loud that they’re open for business again.
Think of ways of catching the attention of passers-by. Balloons, flags, banners, signage and more to display that you are open.
Postcards, flyers and newsletters help to communicate to your customers what changes have been made for their safety and convenience.
CAFES, BARS & RESTAURANTS
Hospitality has been one of the hardest-hit sectors in the last 12 months.
Some locations have had a limited opening, some are opening in a different capacity and some will not open at all.
COVID ranges are still essential at the start of lockdown easing, however, consider ways to grow business and encourage patrons to use your business long term.
What is your website like? How about offering integrated ordering for takeaways, does the site take bookings? How are you reaching out to clients, do you have a database to reach out to?
Menus and placemats: Guidance to start is that these are disposable. What opportunities are there for a revamp?
GYMS, HEALTH & FITNESS CLUBS
Another non-essential retail section opening soon is gyms, personal trainers and health activities (in various stages).
A few of us have put on that couple of extra pounds during lockdown we now want to shift ready for our summer holidays at the nearest beach this summer.
New timetables of classes if you run them, online bookings of fitness instructors and visitor information should be available, with membership opportunities and online payment.
With plenty of options for outside the front doors, look to ways of attracting attention and letting everyone know you are back open.
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