The government is further easing COVID-19 restrictions from today

Shops, hairdressers and libraries are reopening in Herefordshire today (12 April 2021) as England moves to Step 2 of the government’s ‘roadmap out of lockdown’.

A range of well-known retailers and much-loved independent businesses will reopen in Hereford and the market towns. Residents are reminded that when supporting local business they should wear a face covering, keep social contact to a minimum and to limit outdoor socialising to a maximum of 6 people or two households. The Maylord Orchards toilet facilities will also be available to shoppers.

Hereford, Leominster and Ross-on-Wye libraries will open from 12 April for browsing, choosing books and pre-booked computer sessions, with Ledbury library reopening the following Monday (19 April 2021). Library click and collect services will continue in the meantime, with preparations being made to reopen remaining libraries in May. Customers will be required to wear face coverings when visiting the library, unless they are exempt.

The council’s remaining cultural services will reopen in a cautious, COVID-secure way. From Tuesday 13 April, Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre search room will open for pre-booked sessions. The Black and White House Museum shop will also reopen from 13 April. The council is preparing to reopen museums in line with Step 3 of the government’s ‘roadmap out of lockdown’ (not before 17 May 2021).

Further Step 2 changes include:

  • The number of care home visitors can increase to two per resident (following individual care home guidance);
  • Weddings will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees;
  • Funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners;
  • Pubs and restaurants will open for outdoor service; and
  • Outdoor attractions such as farm parks, and self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets will also reopen where indoor facilities are no shared with other households.

Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones, Herefordshire’s Acting Director of Public Health, said:

“Thank you to everyone for playing your part and following government guidance. We are now able to further ease lockdown restrictions in the county. Your actions, the availability of regular rapid COVID-19 testing and the continuing vaccination rollout have all played a central role in driving down case rates to enable the gradual lifting of restrictions.

“We ask that you continue to work from home where possible, and minimise domestic travel too. Many people in Herefordshire have been looking forward to seeing more family and friends and resuming some of the activities they enjoy. For your health and that of your family and your friends please do so safely. Social contact rules are still in place; outdoor socialising is limited to 6 people or two households, and you must not socialise indoors unless it is with your household or support bubble.”

Published: 12th April 2021