Open for Business
As of 4th July, non-essential businesses - including shops, pubs and restaurants - are allowed to reopen, with social distancing measures in place - although some are remaining closed (or keeping their services online for now). Please check businesses' websites for reduced hours and other safety measures before heading out - pre-booking for food and drink is strongly recommended.
Loads of Oxfordshire venues are participating in the government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme, offering £10 off food and non-alcoholic drinks on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August. Find out if your favourites are taking part, in our dedicated blog.
Museums and galleries are starting to reopen, and are the perfect activity to enjoy at a social distance. The Ashmolean Museum re-opens its doors on 10th August, followed by Modern Art Oxford on 11th. Both remain free to visit but pre-booking is essential. As of 8th August, wearing a face covering is compulsory in museums and galleries (in addition to shops and public transport).
Bitten Oxford are compilling an extensive list of restaurants and pubs reopening for dining. Check it out and keep an eye on it for all the latests opening venues. And if you're not quite ready to venture, out take a look at what delivery and takeaway options there are for you.
Oxford City council have introduced a one-way system in Oxford city centre and on Cowley Road, to encourage people to socially distance as they shop. Signs will encourage people to walk on the left hand side of the road, with a number of crossing points introduced, to allow people to maintain 2m distance from one another as much as possible. There’s also a raft of additional measures, including a heightened cleaning regime, stewards, and hand sanitising stations - click here to find out more.
All seven of Oxfordshire’s household waste recycling centres (Alkerton, Ardley, Dix Pit, Drayton, Oakley Wood, Redbridge, and Stanford in the Vale) have re-opened with reduced hours (8am-4pm) and social distancing guidelines.
Oxford City Council is resuming bookings for its bulky waste collection service from Monday the 18th of May, with collections resuming from Tuesday the 26th of May. For more information, a list of accepted items, and to book a collection, please visit the City Council website.
Indoor leisure and sports facilities will see a phased reopening, starting with Ferry Leisure Centre and Rose Hill Community Centre, whose gyms will be open from Monday 3rd August (though the pool at Ferry Leisure Centre remains closed). More details on the Oxford City Council website. Hinksey Outdoor Pool, which was due to reopen on 8th August, remains closed indefinitely due to the discovery of a leak in the underground pipes.
At a time when staying fit, not coming into close contact with others, and avoiding public transport where possible are of paramount importance, bikes are a great option for people who need to get around.
Active Oxfordshire have just launched a scheme to provide free bikes for key workers. If you’re an NHS or social care key worker and would like to request a donated bike, you can email [email protected] - otherwise, you can support the scheme through their appeal on JustGiving.
While Bike Zone in the city centre is closed, its sister business, Summertown Cycles, remains open, with extra measures in place to minimise face-to-face contact.
Walton Street Cycles is open and offering all normal services for folks who rely on their bicycles, with have extra safety measures in place in store. The team are extending their mobile services to all key workers outside of standard working hours – if you are a key worker or know someone that relies on their bike, please get in touch on 01865 311 610 and the team will do their best to help.
In line with the new regulations, The Covered Market is reopening on 15th June, with reduced hours of Monday-Sat, 9am-5pm. Measures to ensure social distancing will include: a marked one-way system; reduced number of entrances (currently Market Street and High Street); hand sanitiser available at entrances and stalls, social distancing stewards; removal of A-boards and other potential obstacles, for maximum space; an enhanced cleaning regime. See the full list of traders reopening on the The Covered Market website.
A number of farm shops in Oxfordshire are operating with modified opening hours, click and collect, and delivery services. Some are even operating socially distanced pick-your-own produce. Similarly, many of Oxford's farmers' and community markets have adapted, offering click and collect, delivery services, and streamlined hours.
The Cherwell Boathouse are trialling a community grocery shop to alleviate pressure on supermarkets. This will operate on Wednesdays and Fridays with collection from the Boathouse. You can find more information and request and order form here.
COOK in Summertown are open 9.30 to 5.30 Monday to Saturday and 9.30 to 4.30 on Sunday, and are also open for click and collects. You can find them at 237 Banbury Road, OX2 7HN.
East Oxford Farmers and Community Market remains open from 10am-1pm every Saturday, stocking fresh, local food, including veg, fruit, meat, eggs, bread, flour, olive oil, apple juice, cheese, milk, fish, and other goodies. You can pre-order from SESI Food and Household refills for collection at the market, and details of the weekly stalls are available online.
Flo's - The Place in the Park are open as a plastic-free shop, selling food and washing detergents, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 12:30-6pm, and their cafe is now operating a take-away service.
Local Coffee Roasters The Missing Bean have re-opened their Roastery Hole-in-the-wall, where you can buy beans (with a click and collect service) and fresh Gatineau pastries. Opening hours are 9am-2pm, Wednesday to Saturday, and only card payments will be accepted.
Who's not drinking gallons of coffee in current times? Might as well drink good coffee! Local roasters New Ground in Headington are open for online sales, offering free delivery over £20, and even a special discount: IN_IT_TOGETHER gets you 10% off all coffee. Ordering their coffee is good for everyone, as they use ethically sourced beans, provide opportunities and training for ex-offenders, roast each coffee differently to showcase its flavours, and sell single origin chocolate and coffee brewing equipment too.
SESI Food and Household refills allow you to order store-cupboard foods and household essentials online and without packaging, for collection at one of five locations: Added Ingredients in Abingdon, East Oxford Farmers' Market, Sandy Lane Farm, South Oxford Farmers' Market, or Willowbrook Farm. Pre-orders are necessary - and if you're ordering liquid items (e.g. soy sauce or detergents) please bring empty containers!
Wolvercote Community Market is closed, but is serving as a collection point for pre-ordered veg boxes, eggs, and some dried goods. Delivery around the village can be arranged. Obviously the most vulnerable get priority services. Veg boxes and eggs must be ordered by Thursday lunchtime, and payment is contactless. Dried goods must be ordered by Friday lunchtime, payment online. And if you're missing the market and the beauty of Wolvercote on a sunny day, check out the market video.
If weeks of staying in the same space are starting to make your home environment feel boring, you may want to liven things up with some new furniture or home accessories. Little Clarendon Street-based interiors emporium Central Living have moved business online for now, offering free delivery on all orders.
Computer Care Oxford are providing remote computer support from Summertown to homes and businesses during the Covid 19 pandemic. No need for a personal visit - they can solve most problems in the Apple, Microsoft and Linux worlds and have been since 2002. Drop off your device or allow them remote access - your choice! Check out their website or phone 01865 463463 to get in touch.
Daisies Flower Shop is offering an online delivery service, and click-and-collect from their Walton Street shop.
Frog Orange Party are selling balloons and balloon bouquets for celebrations at home. Customers can click-and-collect (with strict social distancing and hand sanitising) or select home delivery.
Although the Covered Market remains closed to visitors, The Garden of Oxford are offering deliveries of cut flowers, plants, and seeds. You can order over the phone (on 01865 240709) or online, with delivery to your doorstep.
Minuteman Press printing services have changed their business hours to the following: Mon - Fri: 10am - 1pm, Sat - Sun: closed. You can stay in touch via telephone and email for all your design needs.
Bike-based laundry collection, cleaning, and delivery service Oxwash are still open for business, and have launched a Donate-A-Wash scheme, where NHS workers as well as elderly and vulnerable individuals can access up to three free washes.
Oxford-based Stone Pine Design sell beautiful art cards, perfect for reaching out to distant friends in a pre-digital way. You'd normally see the cards in Blackwell's, The Bodleian, or indy bookshops round the county. But you can currently buy direct from their website or Etsy store. No delivery charge.
Between 9 - 10am on Wednesdays and Sundays, Tesco stores will be open specifically for the elderly, and those most vulnerable to coronavirus, as well as NHS staff. This excludes Express stores.
Sainsbury's are open 8 - 9am Monday, Wednesday and Friday for elderly customers, disabled customers and carers.
Between 7.30 and 8am, Monday to Saturday, priority access will be for NHS and Social Care workers with a relevant pass or ID.
Waitrose are dedicating the first hour of trade ever day to elderly and vulnerable customers, whilst NHS and Social Care workers will receive priority access to stores.
Marks & Spencer is setting aside the first hour of trading for older and vulnerable customers as well as NHS and Social Care workers. This will apply to older and vulnerable customers on Mondays and Thursdays, and NHS and Social Care workers on Tuesdays and Fridays - see M&S stores page for more details.
Morrisons stores are open from 6-7am Monday - Saturday specifically for NHS workers.
Asda will be prioritising NHS workers in larger stores every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am - 9am.
Food Banks and Community Larders
In addition to what's below, see Oxford City Council's page for food access services. Another useful point of contact food food provision (especially if you're self-isolating) is SOFEA. If you're unsure where or how to access help from a food bank, you can call the City Council Contact Centre on 01865 249 811 or use this online form.
OX4 Free Food Crew is a new partnership between Flo's - The Place in the Park, Ark-T, Waste2Taste and Oxford Hub which has been set up to alleviate food poverty for people affected by COVID-19. They are providing cooked meals for: isolated people over 70 and those with underlying health conditions; isolated single-parent families; people who are homeless or vulnerably housed. Find out more here.
Cowley Community Larder, The Venue, Barns Road OX4 3RQ - 11-2 Tuesday; 11-2 Thursday
Rose Hill Community Larder, Rose Hill Community Centre, 2-4 Tuesday
Rose Hill Methodist Church Community Cupboard - delivery only, follow link for details.
Barton Community Association, Barton Neighbourhood Centre - 2.30-4.30 Tuesdays
Blackbird Leys Community Larder, Blackbird Leys Community Centre - 3-5 Wednesdays
Botley Community Fridge - now running a food parcel delivery service, with deliveries made on Thursdays, and they also provide one-off/emergency parcels on most other days of the week - sign up to receive a parcel here.
Abingdon Community Fridge - current opening hours are Mon-Thu and Sat, 10.30-11.30am. On Fridays, they deliver to people who are self-isolating and in financial need.
Abingdon Community Larder (run by SOFEA) - runs on Fridays from 2:30pm for approximately 2 hours, at the Carousel Family Centre, OX14 5GZ
Abingdon Food Bank is still running. Sessions are on Tuesdays and Fridays 11am-1pm, from their main site at Christ Church on Northcourt Road, OX14 1PL, and on Wednesdays 1-2.30pm at Preston Road Community Centre, OX14 5NR. You need to have a voucher to receive food.
Witney and West Oxfordshire Food Bank at Cottsway House, OX28 4YG, 10am-12 noon, Mon-Fri (open for receiving donations and honouring vouchers). You will need to register in advance for a voucher.
Witney Community Fridge - Open on Tue, Thu and Sun, 11.30am-12 noon, and giving away pre-packed bags of surplus food to anyone in need (just turn up and queue, maintaining a 2m distance, no referral needed) free of charge. Based at Witney Community Support Service on Moorland Road, OX28 6LS. For people who are in financial need but unable to get out (due to self-isolating), they offer a free delivery service in partnership with Witney Land Army. Please email your name, address and any relevant dietary details to [email protected]