On 19 July 2021 every area in England transitioned to Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions. A lot of the restrictions which previously existed have now been relaxed.
There are now no restrictions on gatherings (inside or outside). Things like protests, music events, weddings and other large gatherings are all now lawful.
There are now no restrictions on leaving your home.
The government has produced guidance on the safest way to run businesses in different industries, but these are not legal requirements. Businesses are now allowed to open as normal.
Previous regulations made it a criminal offence not to wear a face covering in certain indoor places, including public transport, pubs etc. However, these regulations have now been removed and generally there is no longer any legal requirement to wear face coverings. Certain companies do operate a private policy of requiring face masks to be worn (such as Transport for London) but they are not permitted to enforce it by using Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN).
If you are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and are due to work somewhere other than your place of self-isolation, you have a legal duty to inform your employer as soon as possible before you are next due to work. Failure to do so could result in a £50 fine.
If the NHS Covid-19 app identifies that you have been in close contact with a confirmed case, it will ask if you are under 18 and 6 months or if you have been fully vaccinated. If so, you will be advised to get tested but not to self-isolate.
The requirements when travelling from green list and red list countries have remained the same. However, the rules have changed for those travelling from amber list countries. Please make sure you keep up to date and are aware of the most recent requirements as they are subject to change.
There are still some coronavirus regulations in place that can be enforced through FPNs. So you can be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for Covid-19, or if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive, and you are notified by NHS Test and Trace that you need to self-isolate. Similarly if you travel from an Amber list country (and don’t qualify for the vaccine exception) and do not self-isolate as required.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 has not been repealed. Therefore, many of the changes introduced, such as new police powers in relation to potentially infectious people, are still in place.
The government has produced extensive guidance about different elements of life under Coronavirus regulations. This guidance aims to identify how to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus, but it is not law. You cannot therefore be fined or arrested for failing to follow any of this guidance.