Coronavirus Guidance

As of 19th July 2021, England is in Step 4 of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown. To find the full set of guidance to what you can and cannot do in Step 4 go here. 

On this page, you’ll find information related to the coronavirus pandemic and relevant national measures which will affect any planned visit to Southampton. Given the fast-changing nature of the current situation, the information on this page may change at any time. 

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 (caused by coronavirus) is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. If you are unsure of what COVID-19 is or need medical advice please go to the NHS page here. If you think you may have any of the symptoms please call 111.

What's open in Southampton?

As of 19th July 2021, all businesses, including nightclub are able to reopen providing they follow the latest Government guidance. This includes:

  • Retail shops 
  • Hospitality businesses: nightclubs, pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants
  • Health & beauty businesses: hairdressers, tattooists, beauty salons and gyms
  • Accommodation: hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, self-catering 
  • Cultural venues: theatres, galleries, museums, concert halls, music venues
  • Leisure businesses: Cinemas, bowling alleys, indoor play areas, arcades 

Hospitality venues

Ennios Food 8

All restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs can open with no capacity limits meaning they can seat more people inside and outside. Some businesses may ask you to sign in using the NHS Test & Trace app and continue with social distancing measures.

Providing Covid Passes in nightclubs and events


From 15th December 2021, you will need to provide your NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App in all nightclubs and places with larger crowds including unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees. An NHS Covid Pass will need to show your vaccination status or a negative test result.

Please have these passes ready when entering a venue and please be respectful of staff members. Each business will have different procedures in place, so we recommend checking with individual businesses before booking/attending.

City of Culture images3

Much like businesses, events will run differently from each other all with the main goal of keeping everyone safe whilst having fun. Some events with a large capacity will ask you to provide an NHS Covid Pass, which shows vaccination status or a negative test result. Please check the policies at each venue before booking/attending and we recommend you take your face covering and hand sanitiser to events in case you need them.

Wearing face coverings

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From 10th December 2021, face-coverings will be mandatory in the following indoor settings (unless exempt):

  • On all public transport
  • Shops including supermarkets and pharmacies
  • Shopping centres
  • Post offices, banks, estate agents
  • Cinemas and theatres
  • Places of worship

If you are unsure of where you need to wear a face-covering please go to the Government guidance page here. In Plan B, it will not be mandatory to wear a face-covering in hospitality settings but please be respectful to other customers and members of staff who may choose to wear one.

Social distancing


From 19th July all remaining rules on social distancing will be lifted. However, the Government advise thinking about limiting contact with others and think about how you interact with those who you do not usually spend time with, i.e people in a shop or cinema. Please remember the risk of close contact may be greater for some more than others. You can read more information on the changes in Step 4 here.

Getting tested and vaccinations

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Testing twice a week will help make sure you don’t have COVID-19, reducing the risk to those around you. Rapid lateral flow testing is now available free to anybody without symptoms. You can get your tests from pharmacies, testing sites, employers, schools, colleges and universities. You can also order tests to be delivered to your house. Find out more and order your tests here. 

Please remember, if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 you should continue to get a PCR test - book one here. 

Vaccinations are now available to take and booster jabs are available for certain age groups. Although not mandatory we encourage you to get your vaccination as soon as you can to help protect yourself and others.

Getting Here / Getting Around

Please note from 19th July it is not mandatory to wear face coverings on any form of public transport, but Government advises and expect people to wear one in crowded areas (unless exempt for medical reasons). In terms of operators serving Southampton, please see links below for some specific updates:


South Western Railway

Southern Rail


Great Western Railway

Bus & Coach Travel

National Express 


First Southampton

Xela Bus


Southampton Airport ­

Ferry & Crusie

Red Funnel Ferries

Hythe Ferry

Cruise Travel - the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently advises against all but essential travel abroad, including cruises, until further notice. If your planned cruise is essential travel please contact your cruise line to check if you can still travel.

Business Information

If you are a business in Southampton and need information head to our GO! Southampton COVID-19 page for businesses support and guidance. 

You can also find the latest guidance and support for tourism businesses during COVID-19 on the Visit England Business Advice Hub. 

*Information correct as of 9th December 2021*

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