Step 4 announced

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, outstanding legal restrictions on social contact and life events are to be removed from 19 July and remaining closed settings can open.

However, Step 4 does not mark the end of the need for caution and restraint and is not a return to normal. While cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.

From 19 July:

  • All remaining limits on social contact will be removed and there will be no more restrictions on how many people can meet in any setting, indoors or outdoors. However, people should still try to minimise the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
  • Social distancing rules will be lifted but you should continue to consider the risks of close contact with others, particularly if you are clinically extremely vulnerable or not yet fully vaccinated. 
  • All settings will be able to open, including nightclubs. 
  • All restrictions on life events such as weddings, funerals, bar/bat mitzvahs and baptisms will be removed. Including table service, singing and dancing. 
  • COVID-status certification will not be required in law as a condition of entry for visitors to most businesses or organisations, but high-risk settings, such as nightclubs and large events, will be encouraged.
  • The Government expects and recommends people to wear face coverings in crowded areas such as busy public transport
  • People will no longer be required to work from home but a gradual return over the summer is recommended.

The Government also announced there would be some ongoing key protections:

  • Symptomatic testing and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high-risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk.
  • Isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace. However, from 16 August, if you’re fully vaccinated or under 18 you will no longer need to self-isolate following close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You will still need to take a PCR test and self-isolate if positive.
  • Border quarantine: for all arriving from red list countries, and for those people arriving from amber list countries, other than those UK residents fully vaccinated through the UK vaccine programme.
  • Encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use certification in high-risk settings. Government will work with organisations where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage use of certification. If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating certification in certain venues at a later date.

More information on the Government’s spring roadmap

13 July 2021