We use essential cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set analytics cookies that help us make improvements by measuring how you use the site. These will be set only if you accept.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our cookies page.

Essential Cookies

Essential cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. For example, the selections you make here about which cookies to accept are stored in a cookie.

You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics Cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify you.

Third Party Cookies

Third party cookies are ones planted by other websites while using this site. This may occur (for example) where a Twitter or Facebook feed is embedded with a page. Selecting to turn these off will hide such content.

Skip to main content

Dorset Council guidance/information

Update 14.06.20

Following government guidelines, on Monday 15 June many of Dorset’s shops will be re-opening for business, and they need your support.

Most shops and high streets across the county have been closed since the government introduced lockdown measures in order to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Now that restrictions have started to be relaxed, shoppers are able to return to their local high streets. This is vital for shop owners, who need Dorset residents to help get their businesses back on their feet by shopping locally.

But as the threat of the virus has not passed yet, Dorset Council together with town and parish councils have been working with local businesses and organisations to ensure that people can keep safe while they’re out and about.

Shops that may reopen include those that sell clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books and electronics. Hairdressers, beauty salons and leisure facilities like cinemas currently remain closed. Cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars are also closed unless they are offering a take-away service.

Businesses will only be able to open if they are confident about managing the risks and are able to follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.

To keep people safe, Dorset Council has been working with town and parish councils across the county. Work is underway and will continue over the coming weeks to implement various measures on the high street designed to help shoppers stay safe: –

  • Stencilled markings and signs around busy areas, including bus stops, helping people to observe social-distancing
  • Widening footways and cycleways by temporarily closing parking bays and cutting back vegetation
  • Scheduled partial road closures to provide more space for pedestrians, especially around food huts and vans
  • Creating additional cycle parking and new cycle routes
  • In the longer-term, pedestrianising busy areas with large numbers of cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars.

More info:



Update 21.05.20

Dorset Council news on visitors, coronavirus in Dorset, car parks opening and payment methods

Find out more

Update 13.05.20

Dorset Council press release in response to government easing of lockdown restrictions.

Dorset Council has decided that car parks at visitor destinations including beaches and country parks across Dorset will stay closed for the time being. 

Some council-run car parks in town and village centres have remained open through the COVID outbreak for local residents. These will continue to remain open but parking charges will now be reintroduced.

Details in the press release - link below


Sources of help and advice for vulnerable people and carers

Dorset COVID-19 Response Helpline: 01305 221000

Referral into the Dorset Council COVID-19 response will reduce the likelihood of vulnerable people going without support.

Guidance for referring into responses:

 Care and safeguarding concerns, urgent food/meds requests - no other support network available

Dorset COVID-19 Response Hub. Call 01305 221000, 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week

or email

Ongoing food/meds/befriending help - no other or limited support available

Voluntary and community support for vulnerable and shielded people in Dorset area (including East Dorset).

Age UK (North, South and West Dorset) are co-ordinating requests for help with issues relating to loneliness and isolation, or support in accessing items such as food, cash or medication. Call 01305 269444 or email 

Carer concerns not fitting into above categories

Support for carers across the Dorset Council area linking into local groups – online resource and advice centre. 

Carers Support Dorset: Call 0800 368 8349, email or visit