Coronavirus - the latest information

Updated 3rd July 2020, 10:05. For the latest medical advice, visit

On the left hand side of this page (or at the bottom, if you're on a mobile device) you can see a number of links which set out the support for businesses and individuals, as well as more information on the Coronavirus outbreak.

Latest Updates

North Devon Council launch advice site for local businesses to reopen safely

To help local businesses manage any issues arising from the latest lockdown easing measures, the council has set up dedicated webpages for reopening businesses. The council urges business owners to read the guidance to ensure they are following the regulations and reopening their business safely and lawfully.

Click here to find out more

New Guidance published for businesses who can open on 4th July

This morning a range of guidance has been published for businesses who have been given the go ahead to reopen from the 4th July. 

Click here to see the official list of businesses that can open.

Click here for guidance for a range of sectors, including hospitality, about working safely within the new rules.

Further measures to be eased from 4th July

Today the Prime Minister gave a statement in the House of Commons outlining a list of restrictions due to be lifted from the 4th July, including the reducing of social distancing recommendations to 1 metre. 

For FAQs on the planned changes click here


From 6th July measures will change for "Shielded" persons

The lockdown has been particularly challenging for those who have been shielding, but as virus infection rates begin to fall, advisory guidance can be eased. 

  • From Monday 6 July, those shielding from coronavirus can gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors and form a ‘support bubble’ with another household.
  • From Saturday 1 August, the guidance will be relaxed so clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield, but support will remain available from NHS volunteers and local councils. People will retain their priority for supermarket delivery slots, and still be able to access help with shopping, medication, phone calls and transport to medical appointments.

Further measures to ease the lockdown

The government has announced further measures to lift the lockdown in England. That means from Saturday: 

  • Households containing one adult (including those with children under 18) can join another household to form a 'bubble' to act as if they live within the same household. This means they can spend time together inside, and do not need to stay 2m apart. These bubbles must be exclusive, meaning you cannot switch the bubble you are within, or mix with multiple households. If any member of the support bubble develops symptoms, all members of the bubble will need to follow the normal advice and self-isolate. This does not apply to those who are shielding, however, more details will be unveiled next week about the arrangements in place for those shielding beyond the end of June.
  • Places of worship can open for individual prayer, with social distancing in place. 

Shops & Zoos can open from Monday 15th June

From Monday 15th June, retail outlets will be allowed to open again, however they must put in place social distancing measures for the safety of both staff and customers. 

Also, thanks to constant lobbying of Defra and Ministers by Selaine and others, Zoos and Safari Parks can reopen from Monday also, as long as social distancing measures are put in place.

Stay safe from scams

There have been concerning reports of NHS contact tracing scams by those trying to take advantage of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Contract tracers will NEVER:

❌ ask you to make payment.

❌ ask any details about your bank account.

❌ ask you for any passwords or PINs.

❌ ask you to download anything.

Places of worship can open for individual prayer

From Monday 15th June, places of worship can now open for individual prayer. New guidance will be published shortly to ensure the limited re-opening can be done safely and in line with social distancing guidelines.

Face coverings to be mandatory on public transport

The government is asking transport operators in England to make the wearing of face coverings a requirement of using public transport from 15th June. 

This will coincide with the next stage of easing restrictions, and more people will be using public transport. 

Further details can be found here. 

Statement from Director of Public Health for Public Health Devon, Dr Virginia Pearson about the rise in the R number in the South West.

“The R value is an important regional barometer based on modelling data, but while it provides an estimate of ongoing transmission, it alone cannot determine the rate of growth of coronavirus and does not accurately reflect Devon’s local data on the ground. As such it should be treated with a little caution.

“The South West R value spans from Isles of Scilly to Bristol, and while there have been hotspots in other parts of the region that increase the R value, Devon’s figures have remained low.

“We have the fifth lowest number of recorded cases when comparing Devon to all 150 upper tier local authorities and the consistency of the numbers suggest that levels have plateaued recently. That’s in part due to our residents adhering to lockdown, and heeding national guidance around staying home and social distancing. We have done well in that regard and need to keep that up.

“We continue to work closely with our Public Health and NHS colleagues to ensure the safety of our Devon residents, and we wait to hear the Government’s response to this latest R rate announcement.”

Changes to advice for the 'shielded'

12:03, 31/05/2020

The extremely vulnerable who have been “shielding” in England can now safely go outside with members of their household while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines. Those who live alone can meet outside with one other person from another household.

This updated guidance will provide a much-needed boost to the shielded, many of whom have had no face-to-face contact since they were first advised to shield. 

Resumption of outdoor sports

22:10, 30/05/2020

The government has announced plans for the resumption of outdoor sports behind closed doors from 1st June. 

Click here for more information. 

Flexible Furloughing and extension to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

17:28, 29/05/2020

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced to extend the Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, with those eligible able to claim a second and final grant capped at £6,570. 

Details on the extension to the Job Retention Scheme have also been announced, with employers able to use flexible furloughing to bring back employees part-time from July, with a new taper system meaning employers can contribute modestly to furloughed workers salaries from August.

Meeting family and friends outdoors

18:30, 28/05/2020

At today's Coronavirus Daily Press Conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced new measures so people family and friends, providing they are maintaining social distancing. 

From Monday, you can meet up to six people in a public place, or in a garden, providing you are maintaining social distancing.

Retail to open throughout June

Today, the Prime Minister has set out a timetable to re-open high street shops, department stores and shopping centres throughout June once they can show customers will be kept safe. 

  • Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. As with garden centres, the risk of transmission of the virus is lower in these outdoor and more open spaces. Car showrooms often have significant outdoor space and it is generally easier to apply social distancing.

  • All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines, giving them three weeks to prepare.