Reopening St Ives after COVID

Re-opening St Ives

On 22nd February, Boris Johnson announced the government’s four-step roadmap for relaxing Coronavirus restrictions in the UK, highlighting key dates that, providing the conditions are met, will allow businesses, hospitality, and tourism to work their way towards full functionality once again. The dates, beginning on 29th March and ending on 21st June, and the plans in place are wholly dependent on following the strict guidelines that have been in place since last year.

Despite the overwhelming resilience of the businesses and their owners, the decline in tourism has hit St Ives hard, but the plan gives a much-welcomed morale boost to accommodation, shops, bars, restaurants, and attractions in the town.

Step One: 29th March

The roadmap’s first and smallest step, restrictions on travel will be eased, meaning that people can venture beyond their immediately local area. Two households (or six people) will be also be allowed to meet outdoors.

Step Two: 12th April

  • ‘Non-essential’ retail can open.
  • Personal care businesses can open.
  • Museums and public buildings can open.
  • Outdoor hospitality can open.
  • Self-contained accommodation can open.

An important date for St Ives, 12th April marks the first time when ‘non-essential’ retail can reopen, with personal care businesses such as hairdressers, barbers, and salons and museums and public buildings such as the Tate St Ives and St Ives library following suit. Although all of these places are expected to open seamlessly, there is a high probability that there will still be guidelines and restrictions put in place to maintain social distancing where possible.

At this point, hospitality can open outdoors. This means that venues will be able to serve people in outside areas and, like last year in St Ives, customers must order, eat, and drink while seated without mixing with other tables and households. Despite these formalities, there will be no need to order a substantial meal if you are drinking and there will no longer be a curfew.

The second step also signifies the earliest point at which the accommodation sector can be reopen. At this step, however, only self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday cottages where indoor facilities are not shared with other households can welcome guests. If these properties have outdoor spaces, demand will be high, and it is important to

that you book and prepare your trip early. It is also important to note that although many businesses can open at this point, not everything will be available in the town, and there will be a shortage of pubs, restaurants, and bars that lack areas for outdoor seating.

Step Three: 17th May

  • Further freedom for outdoor socialising.
  • Most businesses can open.
  • Indoor hospitality can open.
  • All accommodation can open.

Step Three will see restrictions on gathering being relaxed. The impetus will be on those socialising, and they will have to decide for themselves on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstance. Gatherings of over thirty people, however, will remain illegal, the rule of two households (or six people) will still be imposed indoors.

Improving further on Step Two, businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen. Indoor hospitality will also get the go-ahead with table-service remaining protocol, and secure COVID guidelines being put into place.

The 17th May also marks the biggest step forward for the accommodation sector. Hotels, hostels, and B&Bs will be permitted to reopen. Similarly to before, demand is expected to be high, especially because international travel will still be ruled out. Aside from booking websites, tourists can check availability on the St Ives Tourism Association website. Alternatively, tourists can phone around to check availability. The volatility of the current touristic sector means that rooms often become available – almost too quickly to be updated online!

Step Four: 21st June

  • All legal limits on socialising to be lifted.
  • Nightclubs can open.
  • Larger-capacity events may get the go-ahead.

On 21st June, all legal limits on social interaction are set to be lifted. All remaining restrictions are set to be eased, ranging from the reopening of nightclubs to larger-capacity events. Guidelines will still be in place and it is important that both locals and tourists follow the procedures put into place in St Ives in order to keep the transmission rate as low as possible.


With the latest announcements there is a very high demand for all Accommodation, please try and search our exclusive list of Self-CateringB&B’s and Hotels from our St Ives tourism association members.

We also have a Stay Tonight and Stay Next Week services which you can check back on for last-minute availability.  (Please note, this feature will not be functioning until the appropriate reopening step has been reached)

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