What can I do from 12 April?

As England prepares to move into Step 2 of the government's Roadmap out of Lockdown, we update you on all the changes and what they mean for you and our venues/services.

With lockdown restrictions lifting, venues reopening, and meeting up with our friends and family allowed again, we’ve put together a brief guide of what you can do in England after 12 April.

On 29 March, the government began to ease a few lockdown restrictions. Finally, this welcome change meant we could meet up outdoors with either six people (the Rule of Six) or as two households allowing us to have that longed-for catch up with our friends and family in person (rather than online!). These rules will remain in place as restrictions continue to ease while moving into the second step of the government's Roadmap out of Lockdown will see the reopening of non-essential retail, hospitality venues with the capacity to serve outdoors, close-contact services, public buildings, and gyms. Meaning that much-anticipated haircut, pint in the pub, or workout in the gym will all be available to us as of Monday 12 April.

Non-Essential Retail

While essential shops, such as supermarkets, have remained open throughout the lockdown, all other retail has, unfortunately, had to close. However, as the second step of the Roadmap has been confirmed to go ahead, all shops can reopen from 12 April. 

The Union Shop, which has been open throughout the pandemic, will remain open 08:00-18:00 until Monday 26 April (the start of Summer Term) where we revert to our standard opening hours of 08:00-23:00.

Close-Contact Services

If you’ve been able to hold off cutting your own hair, you might be (like us) be in desperate need of a haircut. Luckily, hairdressing salons and barbers can reopen as of Monday so get your booking in quick! 

Hospitality Venues

With the weather getting warmer and Summer Term on the horizon, the lifting of some restrictions on hospitality venues and services means that bars and pubs with outdoor seating capacity can reopen to serve customers. However, there are still some regulations in place:

  • Customers must be seated and served outdoors 
  • All service will be ‘table service’ 
  • Social distancing measures must be in place to prevent indoor mixing between different households

As for our venues, The Packhorse will be reopening for outdoor dining seven days a week. Entry will be completely FREE although, online booking will be required to guarantee you and your friends a table. 

Tommy’s Kitchen will also be reopening as a student study space Monday-Friday with food and non-alcoholic drinks available to order via our app.

For those of you who can’t make it to campus, for whatever reason, you can order online via the Uber Eats app, which will deliver straight to your door.

In case you missed it, you can read the full rundown of all our on-campus services that are reopening.

Public Buildings

Although the University’s library has remained open throughout the lockdown, the easing of restrictions means that public libraries and community centres can also reopen as well. 

Indoor Leisure Facilities 

If you’ve missed hitting the gym (those daily walks might be getting a bit tedious at this point), don’t worry they will be reopening as of 12 April too. Depending on your local gym, it’s likely you will have to book slots in advance and social distancing must be maintained. You will also only be allowed to use the gym on your own or with your household.

Following the government guidelines, on-campus outdoor facilities such as tennis courts have been available for booking and use since 29 March. However, step 2 of the Roadmap out of Lockdown means we can also reopen our on-campus gym. Sessions must be pre-booked online via the online booking system and can be booked up to two days in advance. To access this, you can purchase a student fitness membership for term three which includes the Royal Holloway Sports Pass, offering pay-as-you-go access to the gym and its facilities. 

Staying Safe

While venues may be reopening, we must remember to follow the rules, maintain social distancing, and get our twice-weekly asymptomatic Covid-19 testing (located on campus in the Picture Gallery). This will help ensure that we keep everyone in our community safe and reduce the spread of infection. 

Keep a look out for further updates on our website or social media pages (@SURHUL) as we move into the Summer Term (starting 26 April) and as we continue to follow the government’s guidance and Roadmap out of Lockdown.