Covid-19 - Latest UK Update

19th July 2021

Last week the milestone of more than 35 million adults receiving both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine (more than two thirds of the adult population) was passed. 

From today, 19 July, all remaining limits on social contact are 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.

The legal requirements to wear a face covering is now lifted. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, published guidance will advise that wearing a face covering will reduce your risk and the risk to others, where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.

Masks do remain compulsory on London transport and other transport providers are imposing similar  requirements. Social distancing rules are now removed.  

It is no longer necessary for Government to instruct people to work from home. Employers can start to plan a return to workplaces.

Regulations that place COVID-secure requirements on businesses, including table service, and distancing between tables, are now removed. ‘Working Safely’ guidance will be updated to provide examples of sensible precautions that employers can take to reduce risk in their workplaces. Employers should take account of this guidance in preparing the risk assessments they are already required to make under pre-pandemic health and safety rules.

Businesses must not require a self-isolating worker to come to work and should make sure that workers and customers who feel unwell do not attend the setting.

Businesses will be encouraged to display QR codes for customers to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, to support NHS Test and Trace, although it will no longer be a legal requirement.

The following protections at step 4 remain from today:

  • testing when you have symptoms 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.
  • border quarantine: for all arriving from red list countries and for those people not fully vaccinated arriving from amber list countries.
  • cautious guidance for individuals, businesses and the vulnerable whilst prevalence is high including:
    • whilst government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, the government would expect and recommend a gradual return over the summer
    • the government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport;
    • being outside or letting fresh air in
    • minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
    • encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the NHS COVID Pass in high risk settings. The government will work with organisations where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of this. If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the government will consider mandating certification in certain venues at a later date.

For the full list of changes see: COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)