Two-thirds of UK adults have now received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
England will move to Step 4 of the roadmap on 19th July 2021.
The decision on whether to move to Step 4 on 19th July was taken on the basis of an assessment of the four tests below:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
- The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern
In relation to the 19th of July, these tests have been met.
On Monday 12th July in the House of Commons the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care said:
‘We have looked closely at the data against these four tests and we firmly believe that this is the right time to get our nation closer to normal life, so we will move to the next stage of our road map on 19 July.’
Therefore, on 19th July at Step 4, many of the legal restrictions that were in place due to the coronavirus pandemic will be lifted and cautious guidance will remain.
The Government will:
- 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 changes at Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap include:
- All remaining legal limits on social contact will be removed and there will be no more legal 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 legal limits on attendance or social distancing requirements.
- All legal restrictions on life events such as weddings and funerals will be removed, including the Step 3 restrictions on the number of attendees. There will be no legal requirement for table service at life events, or legal restrictions on singing or dancing.
- In relation to education, children under 18 will no longer need to be in ‘bubbles’ and social distancing will no longer be necessary.
- COVID-status certification will not be required in law as a condition of entry for visitors to any setting. Organisations are already able to ask visitors for proof of COVID-status, as long as they meet existing legal obligations including under equality law.
- In care homes, the Government will lift restrictions in law that limit each resident to five named visitors.
- The legal requirements to wear a face covering will be lifted in all settings. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, you are encouraged to wear a face covering when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.
- Social distancing rules (2 metres or 1 metre with additional mitigations) will not be required in law. You should continue to consider the risks of close contact with others, particularly if you are clinically extremely vulnerable or not yet fully vaccinated.
In relation to travel:
- The Government has implemented a traffic light system for international travel, established by the Global Travel Taskforce which sets out the measures applying to arrivals from Red, Amber and Green countries.
- These risk ratings are kept under regular review, updated every three weeks, or more urgently if the health picture dictates.
- For up to date travel guidance regarding the traffic light system please click here.
All measures in relation to coronavirus continue to be monitored and assessed in relation to the scientific data. In September 2021, the Government will undertake a review to assess the country’s preparedness for autumn and winter. The review will consider whether to continue or strengthen public and business guidance in relation to coronavirus as winter approaches.
For further information regarding Step 4 of the Government’s coronavirus roadmap as of 19th July please click here.