Latest Covid 19 Advice
England has moved to Step 4
Although most legal restrictions have been lifted at Step 4 and many people have been vaccinated, it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated.
COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others.
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it is important that we all use personal judgment to manage our own risk. All of us can play our part by exercising common sense and considering the risks. No situation is risk free, so we all need to understand the factors and settings that increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission and the actions that we can all take to reduce COVID-19 infection, both for ourselves and for others.
Following this guidance will help you to understand situations where there is a greater risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 and the steps that you can take to stay safe and protect others. Every action to help reduce the spread will reduce any further resurgence of the virus in the coming months.
What has changed
Most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 have been lifted at Step 4. This means that:
- You do not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. There are also no limits on the number of people you can meet. However, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts. You should meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
- The government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
- The requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted. However, the government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
- There are no longer limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There is no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing.
- There are no longer restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship.
What you should do
COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. While cases are high, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.
This is why it’s important to:
- get a test if you develop COVID-19 symptoms, even if your symptoms are mild
- isolate if you test positive for COVID-19 or when told to do so by NHS Test and Trace
- meet others outside or let fresh air in
- minimise the number, proximity and duration of social contacts
- quarantine when returning from red list countries and for those people not fully vaccinated arriving from amber list countries
In addition, the government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
Whilst the 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.
You can read more about the government’s plan to keep people safe at Step 4 in the Moving to Step 4 of the roadmap publication.
The government is also maintaining key protections, including targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk. The government is 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.
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