Tips for planning the perfect post-lockdown Valentine’s Day
Reviewed by our clinical team
Cast your mind back to February 2021 and you’ll probably remember that the UK was in the middle of its third lockdown, introduced on the 6th January to curb the spread of the COVID-19 Alpha variant.
The rules for this lockdown were for people to stay home and avoid gatherings, and for non-essential businesses such as restaurants and bars to close. In short, it wasn’t a great year for celebrating Valentine’s Day!
One year on, with restrictions easing and a total of 138 million vaccine doses given, many of us are excited to finally make some romantic plans with our other halves that don’t rely on Netflix and takeaways.
While COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, and while we all still need to be cautious to avoid picking up and spreading the virus, there’s no denying we could all use some TLC this February. With that in mind, read on for some of our top tips for planning your first post-lockdown Valentine’s Day.
Get the vaccine or vaccine booster
First things first, the best way to stay protected as you prepare to socialise outdoors and in bars and restaurants is to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
There are three main types of vaccine being used in the UK currently – Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech – and all three are really effective in reducing your risk of catching the virus and getting seriously ill from it. They’re also very safe, and in the vast majority of people only cause mild, temporary side effects.
You can learn more about the vaccine at the NHS website. To book an appointment, check out the guidance for your region:
Check out restrictions for your region
Across the UK, virtually all COVID-19 restrictions have eased. This means bars, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, nightclubs, theatres and music venues will be open for Valentine’s Day once again. However, some rules will still be in place, in particular with regards to face coverings.
In England from 27th January 2022, masks won’t be mandatory – although the government recommends that people continue to wear them when in public.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, masks remain mandatory in lots of settings, including public transport, pubs and restaurants.
In short, there shouldn’t be any restrictions that scupper your Valentine’s Day plans – but it’s worth bringing a face covering wherever you go.
Make reservations in advance
With so many people keen to celebrate Valentine’s Day properly this year, it’s likely that restaurants, hotels and live events will book up and sell out fast. We recommend making your booking in advance so you’re not disappointed on the day.
Plan outdoor excursions if you’re not ready for indoor venues
Whether you’re clinically vulnerable or not, it’s OK to still be nervous about going into places with lots of people. The good news is, the perfect Valentine’s Day event doesn’t have to involve candlelit restaurants and intimate music venues.
Instead, research some outdoor areas nearby with a romantic vibe – we’re thinking twinkly riverside walks, beachside picnics and tours of windswept castles. You can battle the chilly February weather by cosying up to your other half!
Enjoy a self-catered weekend away
Another great option if you’re not ready to face the crowds is a self-catered holiday. Book a scenic cottage with a hot tub and log fire, stock up on plenty of good food, wine and candles, and enjoy a restful and romantic weekend.
Organise a virtual date if you’re isolating
Just because you’re stuck at home isolating, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Valentine’s with your partner or loved ones.
Communication tools have come a long way in the past two years, which means now’s the time to embrace long video calls, virtual quizzes and games, and browser extensions like Teleparty, which let you watch your favourite movies and shows in sync with other people.
Keep things fun and safe in the bedroom
Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with your partner and enjoy some quality time together – both in and out of the bedroom. Just remember: Online Doctor is here if you need to stock up on contraception last minute.
We also stock erectile dysfunction tablets for men who need a boost between the sheets – find out more by visiting our secure online clinic.