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Information on Coronavirus COVID-19

While cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.

Most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 have now been lifted as England enters step four on the roadmap out of lockdown. This means:

  • You do not need to stay two metres apart from people you do not live with. There are also no limits on the number of people you can meet.
  • However, in order to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, 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. You should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.
  • There are no longer restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship. COVID-19 has not gone away, so it's important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. Everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.

Businesses and venues

All remaining closed businesses and venues such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues are able to reopen. All capacity limits at sporting, entertainment, or business events have been lifted.

Hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and bars are no longer required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules.

All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance. 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.

Keeping yourself and others safe

There are still cases of COVID-19 in England and there is a risk you could catch or pass on the virus, even if you are fully vaccinated. You are encouraged to exercise caution and consider the risks. While no situation is risk free, there are actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us.

If you are worried about going back to a more 'normal' life, there is information from the NHS on how to cope with anxiety about lockdown lifting.

Get tested and self isolate

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are mild. You should self-isolate at home while you book the test and wait for the results.

You must self-isolate if you test positive. Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. This is the law.

The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above, even if your symptoms are mild, stay at home and arrange to have a test.

You must also self-isolate if you are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace, for example if you have come into contact with someone who has tested positive. This remains the law, regardless of your vaccination status.

Get vaccinated

All adults in England have now been offered at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective. They give you the best protection against COVID-19.

If you have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, you should get vaccinated. It usually takes around two to three weeks for an antibody response to develop. You need two doses of vaccine for maximum protection against COVID-19.

However, even if you have been fully vaccinated, you could still get COVID-19 and get sick - a recent PHE report shows that around 1 in 5 people who are double-vaccinated are still vulnerable to getting infected with the Delta variant and showing symptoms.

You can also still spread COVID-19 to others. We all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to protect others and to reduce the risk of new variants developing and spreading.

This advice will help us protect our friends, families, and communities, including those who have been vaccinated.

Wearing a face covering

COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person. The government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.

Fresh air

When a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, talks or breathes, they release droplets and aerosols which can be breathed in by another person. Fresh air blows away these particles, reducing the chances of COVID-19 spreading.

It's always worth considering if you can meet outdoors or, if you're indoors, thinking about how you can improve ventilation by letting fresh air in.

The more fresh air you let into your home or other enclosed spaces, the less likely a person is to inhale infectious particles.

You can let in fresh air by uncovering vents and opening doors and windows.

International travel

The government has introduced a traffic light system for international travel. You should not travel to countries or territories on the red or amber lists.

Travelling to England from outside the UK

What you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the last 10 days before you arrive. People planning to travel to England should follow the guidance on entering the UK

Find out which list the country you are travelling from is on and what you need to do. From 19 July, fully vaccinated people returning to England from amber list countries will not need to quarantine.

Travelling in the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands

There are no restrictions on travel within England.

You should check the rules at your destination if you're planning to travel to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, or to Ireland or the Channel Islands as there may be restrictions in place.

Do not travel if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are self-isolating. Get a test and follow the stay at home guidance.

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