At Step 4, the Government will remove the final restrictions on social contact and life events, and open the remaining closed businesses and venues. These changes include:
Removing restrictions on how many people can meet in any setting, indoors or outdoors
The opening of all settings, including nightclubs. Large events like music concerts and sporting events can resume without attendance limits. Organisers are encouraged to use vaccine certification
All restrictions on life events such as weddings, funerals, bar/bat mitzvahs and baptisms will be removed
The legal requirement to wear a face covering will be lifted in all settings, though it will still be expected and recommended that you wear one if you are coming into contact with people you don’t normally meet in crowded, indoor areas like public transport
Social distancing rules will be lifted, although you should continue to consider the risks of close contact with others, particularly if you’re clinically extremely vulnerable or not yet fully vaccinated
The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home. It is expected and recommended that a gradual return to the workplace will take place over the summer
For more information, including what you need to know, visit the Government’s website.
How to keep yourself safe
Moving forward, people and businesses will be encouraged to make informed decisions about how to manage the risk to themselves and others. While most restrictions will be removed, there are still things we should all do to keep ourselves and others safe as COVID-19 remains in our community:
Meet in well-ventilated areas where possible, such as outdoors or indoors with the windows open
Wear a face covering where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces
Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze; stay at home if unwell to reduce the risk of passing on illnesses onto other people
Test when you have COVID-19 symptoms and isolate when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace
About one in three people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others. Getting tested regularly can help protect the ones you love, so it’s important to continue testing even if you’ve had the coronavirus vaccine.
Find out all the different ways you can access regular testing here.
If you experience any of the below symptoms of COVID-19, you and everyone you live with must immediately self-isolate:
a high temperature
a new, continuous cough
you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
If you have symptoms, you can book a free PCR test here to confirm if you have COVID-19. Do not leave home until you get your test results, except to post a test kit or for a PCR test appointment.
Check the latest guidance if travelling abroad
Before travelling abroad, make sure you are aware of the latest government travel guidance. You can check which countries are rated as red, amber or green for coronavirus and the rules you must follow here.
Future dates to remember
On 16 August, the rules on self-isolating as a contact will change for people who are fully vaccinated, and for under 18s. Those not fully vaccinated will still need to isolate if they are contacted, and everyone will still have to isolate if they test positive
In September, the Government will review public and business guidance as we approach the winter, including on face coverings and test, trace and isolate, as well as any remaining regulations