Last night the Prime Minister held a press conference outlining more details about Step 4, the final stage of the England roadmap, which is expected to start on 19 July (a decision will be made on 12th July).
At Step 4, the Government will remove outstanding legal restrictions on social contact, life events, and open the remaining closed settings. Guidance will be provided to the public and to businesses on how they can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. There are 5 principles for managing COVID-19 as England learns to live with the virus:
Reinforce the country’s vaccine wall of defence through booster jabs and driving take up
Enable the public to make informed decisions through guidance, rather than laws
Retain proportionate test, trace and isolate plans in line with international comparators
Manage risks at the border and support a global response to reduce the risk of variants emerging globally and entering the UK
Retain contingency measures to respond to unexpected events, while accepting that further cases, hospitalisations and deaths will occur as the country learns to live with COVID-19
The PM also announced that the Government will work with the travel industry on removing the need for fully-vaccinated people to isolate when entering the country from amber countries. The Transport Secretary is due to set out more details later this week.
COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021
The UK government has published the COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021 setting out the details of Step 4 of the COVID-19 roadmap in England. The Devolved Administrations are setting out plans for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In summary, at Step 4:
All remaining limits on social contact (currently 6 people or 2 households indoors, or 30 people outdoors) will be removed and there will be no more restrictions on how many people can meet in any setting, indoors or outdoors
All settings will be able to open, including nightclubs. Large events, such as music concerts and sporting events can resume without any limits on attendance or social distancing requirements
All restrictions on life events such as weddings, funerals, bar/bat mitzvahs and baptisms will be removed, including the remaining restrictions on the number of attendees. There will be no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing
COVID-status certification will not be required in law as a condition of entry for visitors to any setting. Organisations can choose to ask visitors for proof of COVID-status, as long as they meet existing legal obligations including under equality law. The Government is providing a way for individuals to easily demonstrate their COVID-status. This can be achieved by completion of a full vaccine course, a recent negative test, or proof of natural immunity - through the NHS COVID Pass on the NHS app
The legal requirements to wear a face covering will be lifted in all settings. Guidance will advise that wearing a face covering will reduce personal risk and the risk to others, when coming into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces