More lockdown rules are cautiously lifted from today Monday 29 March
From today 29 March, England has moved to the next stage of the roadmap out of national lockdown.
The changes mean that we will get to see our families and friends again in a limited way, which will mean a huge amount to so many of us.
To make sure the roadmap stays on track, it's important that we all continue to follow the rules to stop the spread of the virus and avoid undoing all our hard work.
Below is a short explanation of what is changing from today:
The evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors. And this is why from today, outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will be allowed.
Business and activities
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
The ‘stay at home’ rule ends today, but many restrictions will remain in place.
People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.
Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme.
Visit the Government website to find out what you can and cannot do
Our Council services
In accordance with the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, the following Council-owned parks and countryside facilities are re-opening for use by the general public.
- Horsham Park outdoor gym areas, tennis courts and ball courts. The benches alongside the Park Podium bandstand are re-instated.
- Southwater Country Park café is open for takeaway use. Please note that the beach area remains closed.
- The Pump Track at Highwood has re-opened.
- Broadbridge Heath Skate Park, ball courts and play areas.
- Warnham Local Nature Reserve remains open as usual and the Heron’s Rest Café is open for a limited takeaway service only. The hides, however, remain closed.
Visit our website for full updates about our services
Respect, protect and enjoy parks and open spaces safely
We've all missed being able to meet up with friends and family in our parks and open spaces.
As the weather improves and restrictions begin to relax, we're asking everyone to respect our parks, protect the landscape and enjoy public spaces safely.
The vast majority of us are following the rules, so if you do begin to meet up with friends in public spaces continue to:
- Socially distance
- Take your litter home with you
- Only meet up with two households or up to six people
Respect wildlife. When exploring the countryside, it is best to keep dogs on a lead or under close control in fields of livestock, and do please stick to footpaths and bridleways so as not to disturb ground nesting birds and other wildlife. Nature may have recolonised some areas, so please tread carefully and look out for wildlife that has moved into unexpected places during lockdown.
Protect the landscape by ensuring you are following the Countryside Code, which sets out how visitors to rural areas can behave safely and responsibly.
Enjoy our beautiful parks and countryside by exploring local walks and cycle paths while maintaining social distancing. We know everyone has their favourite places to go – but if too many people go at once then social distancing becomes more difficult.
Other ideas to get out and enjoy the sun
Alternatively you can enjoy our local countryside by getting out and about taking part in some of our selected short circular walking routes around the District.
Or you can try a cycle ride at your pace on any of these 44 recommended circular cycle routes.
The spring weather is a great opportunity to explore the rich history of our District by taking part in our new Heritage Trails; some 20 different trails have been created involving engaging walks around our District.
Help to find employment and jobs
Many people in our District have been adversely affected by the pandemic, including the loss of jobs and livelihoods.
To help the District bounce back, we have produced a range of programmes to help people of all ages and backgrounds to get back into work or start their own business.
Visit our website to find out how we can help you
Test and Trace Support Payment: Now available for eligible parents and carers
Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate on or after 8 March 2021 by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace are now able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria.
The extension of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, which is administered by district and unitary local authorities in England, ensures that parents receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.
Find out more and apply for the payment