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Prime Minister sets out plan to ease restrictions at step 4 Published Date: 05/07/2021

Today, the Prime Minister set out how "life will soon return close to normal".

The decision to open up will be made in a balanced and careful way, with the Prime Minister being clear that people’s personal judgement will now be key in learning to live with the virus.

Subject to a final review of the data next week, legal restrictions will end on Monday 19 July. In particular:

  • Limits on social contact will end, meaning there will be no restrictions on indoor or outdoor gatherings. Weddings, funerals and other life events able to take place without limits or restrictions.
  • All venues currently closed will be allowed to reopen, including nightclubs, and there will be no legal requirement for table service in hospitality settings.
  • Face coverings will no longer be legally required in shops, schools, hospitality, or on public transport although guidance will be in place to suggest where people might choose to wear one, such as where you come into contact with people you don’t usually meet in enclosed and crowded places.
  • The government reviews into social distancing and Covid-status certification have also now concluded. The 1m plus rule will be lifted other than in specific places such as at the border to help manage the risks of new variants coming into the country.
  • There will be no legal requirement on the use of Covid-status certification as a condition of entry for visitors to any domestic setting.

The Prime Minister made clear that learning to live with the virus meant cases would continue to rise significantly, even if the success of the vaccination programme meant hospitalisations and deaths will rise at a lower level than during previous peaks.