Lockdown restrictions in Oxfordshire – what’s changing from 17 May


Lockdown restrictions in Oxfordshire - what's changing from 17 May

What are the new lockdown restrictions in Oxfordshire from 17 May?

In line with the rest of England, lockdown restrictions in Oxfordshire are being eased from 17 May, and here’s just about everything that you need to know about how lockdown restrictions are changing in Oxfordshire.

  • People can now meet indoors in groups of up to six or two households or in groups of up to 30 outdoors
  • Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen and serve customers indoors
  • Museums, cinemas, children’s play areas, theatres, concert halls and sports stadiums can all reopen, as can hotels
  • Social distancing guidance is changing, and contact with other households like hugs is a matter of personal choice

Personal gatherings

Gathering limits have been eased. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 30 people, and indoor gatherings are limited to 6 people or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible). New guidance on meeting friends and family emphasises personal responsibility rather than government rules.

Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, you are encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Remember that the risks of close contact may be greater for some people than others, and in some settings and circumstances, there will be specific guidelines that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family.

You should continue to minimise the number of people you meet within a short period of time to limit the risk of spreading coronavirus (COVID-19).

Hospitality and entertainment

Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas are permitted to open with COVID-secure measures in place. Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can also reopen and serve customers indoors.

People can attend indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events. Attendance at these events is capped according to venue type, and attendees should follow the COVID-secure measures set out by those venues.

Organised indoor sport can take place for all. This includes gym classes. It must be organised by a business, charity or public body, and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.

All holiday accommodation can open, including hotels and B&Bs. This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).

Weddings, funerals and other life events

Funeral attendance is no longer limited to 30 people but will be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing. Limits at weddings, wake keepings and other commemorative events have been increased to 30 people. Other significant life events, such as bar/bat mitzvahs and christenings, can go ahead with up to 30 people.

Education and care homes

The rules for care home residents visiting out and receiving visitors have changed, allowing up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for COVID-19.

All higher education students can access in-person teaching. Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits have been increased to 30 people (not including under 5s).


There is no longer a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally. A traffic light system for international travel has been introduced, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.

Face coverings

You must wear a face covering in many indoor settings like shops and places of worship and public transportation unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse.

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. Testing twice a week will help make sure you don’t have COVID-19, reducing the risk to those around you.

Finally, you should continue to work from home if you can. When travelling within the UK, you should aim to do so safely and plan your journey in advance. And you should get a test and follow the stay at home guidance if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

You’ll find further details on the government’s coronavirus guidance pages on the gov.uk website.

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