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What’s set to reopen following easing of national restrictions

Published: 26 March 2021

Reopening What’s set to reopen

With restrictions starting to ease and Step One of the government’s Roadmap out of lockdown starting on Monday (29 March), people in Exeter will be wanting to know which City Council facilities and services will be open.

Next week sees the start of outdoor gatherings of six (the Rule of 6) or two households being allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.

Outdoor sports facilities will also be allowed to reopen and people will also be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.

In Exeter this means:

  • Skate parks, tennis courts and basketball courts will reopen. Tennis courts will be for singles and doubles play only – see the LTA website for further advice. Fencing will be removed at skate parks and floodlights turned back. Rule of 6 still applies and social distancing is advised
  • Council owned football pitches will be available for organised matches
  • Bowling greens are set to reopen on 4 April with the Rule of 6 applying

From 12 April, all City-Council-run leisure centres will reopen to members only, who will need to book activities in advance. More details are set to follow in the coming weeks.

The following services stayed open during the third national ‘lockdown’ and remain open now:

  • All City Council-run car parks (apart from Mary Arches multi-storey section and John Lewis Car Park, which have stayed closed due to demand. These will open up as footfall increases in the city)
  • Parks (including Valley Parks) and open spaces
  • Play areas within these parks
  • Allotments (with certain restrictions)
  • Cemeteries
  • Matford Centre – open for livestock auctions only
  • Recycling centres operated by Devon County Council are open but reuse shops remain closed
  • Exeter Farmers’ Markets

Exeter Corn Exchange is monitoring the situation closely regarding the return of live events. For further information and tickets go to the Exeter Corn Exchange website at

The Topsham Ferry is set to reopen on 1 April, taking card payments only. Covid precautions will be in place and there will be a limit of six persons or two families per crossing. For all other queries on the waterways, people are advised to check out the information on the City Council website at

Exeter’s free Red Coat Guided Tours will start up again on 1 May.

Exeter’s Custom House Visitor Centre will also be reopening on 17 May. For opening times and visitor restrictions visit

Although the above facilities remain open, people are expected to follow government guidelines and maintain social distancing. 

Waste and recycling collections (including brown bin garden waste and bulky waste collections) continue to operate as normal and people are advised to present their bins on their usual collection dates. Recycling bring banks also remain open.

The following facilities are set to reopen over the coming weeks. Look out for further announcements:

  • Exeter’s historic Guildhall
  • Underground Passages (likely to be later in the summer)
  • Matford Sunday Market and Car Boot Sale
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery

For more information on Exeter City Council services and for updates go to

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