As we approach Monday 19 July 2021, the date when all Covid restrictions are expected to be lifted, the UK is bracing itself. The government is thought to confirm on Monday 12 July if the last stage of lockdown will come to an end. Here’s everything that will change if it does.
Quarantine for amber list countries will be scrapped for fully vaccinated people
After two months of a slim green list of countries, 19 July marks a huge moment for the travel industry, as it’s the date from which fully vaccinated UK residents will not need to quarantine after returning home from places on the amber list. On Thursday 8 July, transport secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the news, telling the House of Commons: ‘I can confirm today, from 19 July UK, residents who are fully vaccinated through the UK vaccine rollout will no longer have to self-isolate when they return to England.’
Travellers will still have to take a pre-departure test three days before they go and a PCR test on or before day two of returning home. They will also no longer be required to take a day eight test, meaning the regulations for green and amber list countries will be the same.
This new rule only applies to people once they’ve been fully vaccinated for 14 days.
Social-distancing rules will be lifted
The legal requirement to socially distance from others will be removed, with people instructed to ‘use common sense’. This means that bigger events, such as festivals, will be able to go ahead once more. Guidance on social distancing will remain in force for those who are required to self-isolate after contracting Covid-19.
Face masks will not be compulsory
Legal regulations requiring face masks to be worn indoors in the UK are expected to be removed from 19 July; however, prime minister Boris Johnson says he expects the public to ‘exercise judgement’. In a press conference on Monday 5 July, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty gave three scenarios in which he will still wear a mask: in crowded indoor spaces, when required to by an authority, and to make someone else feel comfortable.
More than six people can meet indoors again
While restaurant and pub bookings are currently limited to six people indoors, this rule will lift on 19 July and the number will be unlimited. As a result, celebrations will be able to go ahead as normal.
Working-from-home guidance will be lifted
Employees will no longer be told to work from home where possible, although it is up to businesses to set their own rules on returning to the office. However, the government has not yet encouraged a return to office working, instead leaving it up to individual employers and employees.
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