Significant changes to the lockdown measures designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus will come into force on Saturday, as the Government allows more businesses and activities to reopen to the public.

From 4 July, people will be able to go to a pub, cafe or restaurant, the hairdressers, museums, theme parks, bingo halls, cinemas and places of worship, or stay in a hotel, bed and breakfast or on a campsite, as long as the venue in question is able to operate in a Covid secure way. 

‘Close proximity’ venues, such as swimming pools, gyms, nightclubs, casinos, bowling alleys, soft play centres, spas, nail bars, beauty salons and tattoo parlours will remain closed at this time. 

Not all venues which are permitted to reopen from Saturday will do so, and people are advised to check before travelling. Please note that the City of Wolverhampton Council’s museums, art galleries, libraries and archives service will not be reopening this weekend; announcements about plans for their reopening will follow in due course.

Social distancing guidelines will also change from Saturday, from 2m to '1m-plus'. People should continue to remain at least 2m away from anyone who is not a member of their own household but, in instances where this is not physically possible, members of the public can be 1m away from each other as long as other measures are put in place to limit the transmission of the virus.

These include wearing a face covering, installing screens, making sure people face away from each other and providing extra handwashing facilities.

In addition, from Saturday, people will be able to spend time indoors or outside with another household. Outside, up to 6 people from different households can meet, while inside 6 people from no more than 2 households can meet. Social distancing should apply in all cases.

John Denley, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Director of Public Health, said: "The changes which come into force from this coming Saturday are another step on our journey back towards some sense of normality – but they are not without risk and so it is vitally important that we all continue to do everything we can to help prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

"Covid-19 remains a very real threat, and if were to allow the reproduction rate to increase, we risk a second wave of cases and, tragically, more deaths.

“We know that local lockdowns may be enforced where there is a spike in cases. We need to do all we can to ensure this doesn’t happen in Wolverhampton – and we all have a key role to play in this.

"So while it is good that the leisure and hospitality industry will be able to reopen to customers from this weekend, it is essential that businesses only do so if they are able to operate in a Covid-secure way, and that everyone – staff and customers alike – follow the social distancing measures so that they reduce the risk of transmission as much as possible."

Residents are reminded they must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Everyone must: 

•    stay at home as much as possible
•    work from home if you can
•    limit contact with other people
•    keep your distance if you go out, at least 2m or 1m-plus if 2m is not possible
•    wash your hands regularly

Anyone, irrespective of age, should be tested if they have symptoms of Covid-19, including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. For more information, and to apply for a test, please go to GOV.UK. If you do not have access to the internet, please call 119. All appointments must be booked in advance.

Anyone in Wolverhampton who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to isolate and share information about people that have been close contacts recently. 

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information.  There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Coronavirus (COVID-19).  

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind.