Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updates on council services, health advice, and support available for residents and businesses.

COVID-19 - Visiting shops in Swindon

As lockdown restrictions start to ease, more retailers will begin to re-open their doors across the town. The Government has advised that non-essential retailers can re-open, as long as they make sure customers and staff are able to follow social distancing and public safety measures. If you are planning to visit the town centre or other shopping areas, you might find the key information below helpful. However, remember that Government advice remains in place and you should only do so if absolutely necessary.

We will continue to work with businesses and partners to implement safety measures such as floor stickers, signage and queuing systems to allow shopping areas to re-open safely.

What have you put in place to make sure visitors and staff are kept safe?

We’ve been working closely with our partners and local businesses both in the town centre and at other shopping areas across the town to ensure measures are in place to keep the public safe. This includes clear signage and floor markings to remind people to socially distance and regular cleaning regimes, particularly for shared spaces such as benches.

Are any roads going to be affected?

College Street (near Tesco Metro) will be closed until further notice to allow safe queuing systems to be in place in this area of the town centre.

If I go into the town centre, where can I park?

All council-run car parks are open. Please pay by phone where you can. More information about our car parks can be found in the car parks directory.

Can I get the bus into town?

As far as possible, we would ask residents to walk, cycle or drive in to the town centre and only use public transport for essential journeys. We have been working closely with bus companies to make sure safety measures are in place and those using buses are asked to follow the advice given on the buses and bus shelters. Social distancing measures will be in place at the bus station, too.

Will public toilets be open?

You can find out the latest information here:

Are you going to be monitoring the town centre to make sure people are observing guidance?

Our partners at inSwindon will be monitoring this. We’ll also be monitoring footfall numbers around peak times and encourage people to shop at less busy times wherever possible.

Will emergency vehicles be able to get into the town centre?

Yes, emergency vehicles will have access to all areas of the town centre at all times.

I’m a business owner re-opening my shop, how do I mark out queuing areas?

Marking tape imageThe only tape or markings that are permitted to be used to mark out queuing systems is the black and yellow diagonally striped tape, see picture. This should have a tape width of 50mm, cut to 400mm to mark points at 2 metres apart for customers to wait. If you have any questions or need any support with this, please email

What safety measures are shops taking and how can I find out which are open?

Shop poster imageIndependent and national retailers are deciding when they are able to open, please check their websites or social media for further information. Each retailer is putting a range of safety measures in place, based on Government guidance, and are required to display a sign like the one pictured, to say they have completed a risk assessment.

I’m a business re-opening, can I put tables and chairs outside my premises?

New government guidelines have removed the need for businesses to obtain planning permission to create outdoor seating areas, with a new fast-track temporary pavement licence now in place. Applications can now be processed in five working days to help businesses such as pubs, restaurants and cafes to open and operate in a safe and economically viable way. Hospitality businesses can submit their applications to the team or ask any questions by emailing

Further advice about working safely can be found on the Government’s website.

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