With many retailers and restaurants now being open, a number of initiatives have been implemented to ensure Southampton city centre is a safe, comfortable place to visit. The city might look a little different but it's still the same at heart. You will find some helpful information and updates to help you have an enjoyable visit.
Please enjoy our city responsibly and help keep you and others safe by following all current Government guidelines.
Throughout the city centre, you will see floor markers to help you follow social distancing guidelines whilst queuing outside stores. These have been installed for your safety and to help minimise the spread of coronavirus.
You may also notice:
Preparations for the safe reopening of Southampton city centre have been jointly managed by GO! Southampton and Southampton City Council. Similar measures are also being put in place in selected district centres. You can read more about these measures here.
To help ensure Southampton is a safe and enjoyable place for all to visit, please follow both government advice and regulations, and local guidance in the city.
When shopping, please:
It is now mandatory to wear a face covering in shops, supermarkets, theatres, museums, cinemas, galleries, beauty salons and hairdressers unless you have a medical reason not to. Please be aware that businesses can refuse your entry if you do not comply and the Police can fine you up to £100. You can find the full list of where to wear a face covering and how to make your own here.
In line with national guidance, pubs, restaurants and cafes are allowed to reopen from Saturday 4 July, provided they have taken appropriate safety measures. Most businesses have now reopened in the city but customers should be prepared for changes compared with pre-lockdown. Please be aware that under new Government law, all hospitality venues must close at 10pm.
If you’re planning to visit Southampton’s pubs, restaurants and cafes please:
As well as other sectors, hairdressers, barbershops and beauty salons are also reopening in the city as long as they have a number of necessary safety measures in place. Customers must also wear face coverings in these businesses and most places will be on an appointment-only basis.
Please be aware that close-contact service businesses must take your details for the NHS Test and Trace system or they may ask you to scan a QR code on your phone, to 'check in' on the new NHS COVID app.
Hotels and guest accommodation are also reopening but like other sectors, many are taking a phased approach so please check with individual businesses on their reopening plans and procedures. Some businesses may have the official 'Good To Go' mark/logo which means they have followed specific Government guidance and are COVID-secure, ready to welcome customers safely.
Please be aware that tourism and leisure venues must take your details for the NHS Test and Trace system or they may ask you to scan the QR code displayed in their business on your phone, to 'check-in' on the new NHS COVID app.
A dedicated cleaning team, provided by GO! Southampton and Southampton City Council, has been working hard to ensure our city centre is safe for businesses to open and visitors/residents to return. The cleaning team is disinfecting high contact areas of the city centre with antiviral spray on a daily rotation which includes public furniture such as benches, fingerposts and bins as well as ATMs, phone boxes and gates. They are also cleaning contact areas of car parks such as handrails, lifts and ticket machines. You should still continue to wash your hands and use hand sanitiser regularly.
Over the last month, most non-essential retailers have opened in line with Government guidance, although not all shops are open yet. The city centre market is now back up and running, you'll find them in front of the Bargate every Friday and Saturday. To avoid disappointment, please check with individual businesses for reopening dates, current opening times and any specific measures they may have put in place. For a list of shops that are open in Westquay please check their website here.
Where possible and appropriate, walking and cycling to and around Southampton is encouraged. If you are using public transport remember that face masks must be worn when travelling and providers will be operating with reduced capacities in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Please check with individual providers for more details.
Some of the safety measures have been implemented using some of the £225,000 from the England European Regional Development Fund. This marketing campaign aims to reassure, encourage and inspire residents in Southampton and the surrounding areas to visit the city which is safe and ready for their return. Visit Southampton and Southampton City Council will also be using some of the grant funding to amplify these messages through paid-for channels, such as: digital, local press, radio and leaflet drops. We will publish outcomes and results on this page once the campaign comes to an end.