From 19 July 2021
You are strongly discouraged from all unnecessary travel to red or amber list countries or territories, for example for leisure purposes.
A new COVID-19 variant is spreading in some parts of England. Find out what you should do.
Move to Step 4 of the 'roadmap' Easing of COVID-19 restrictions
On 19 July England moved to Step 4 of the ‘roadmap’. The UK Government has emphasised that COVID-19 remains a serious health risk and that it is important to remain cautious to help protect one another.
Legal limits on the number of people allowed to meet outdoors and indoors, including in places of worship have been removed. The 1m+ social distancing rule has also been removed.
It is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering, though the UK Government recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings to protect themselves and others.
There are no longer legal limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other life events or the receptions that follow.
All restrictions on chanting and singing have also been removed.
Although most legal restrictions have been lifted at step 4, and many people have been vaccinated, it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated, and we are still in the third wave of this pandemic in the UK.
COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others.
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it is important that we all use personal judgement to manage our own risk. All of us can play our part by exercising common sense and considering the risks. While no situation is risk free, there are actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us. Following this guidance will help you stay safe and protect others by controlling the spread. Every action to help reduce the spread will reduce any further resurgence of the virus in the coming months.
Most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 have been lifted at step 4. This means that:
- You do not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. There are also no limits on the number of people you can meet.
- However, in order to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
- You should meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
- The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
- The requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
- There are no longer limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There is no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing. You should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.
- There are no longer restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship. COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. Everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.
Keeping yourself and others safe
There are still cases of COVID-19 in England and there is a risk you could catch or pass on the virus, even if you are fully vaccinated. You are encouraged to exercise caution and consider the risks. While no situation is risk free, there are actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us.
If you are worried about going back to a more ‘normal’ life, there is information from the NHS on how to cope with anxiety about lockdown lifting.
If you do travel, follow the expert advice on handwashing and other health measures.
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