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Coronavirus: stay updated with trusted information

17 July 2021

Take a look at the Step Four of the Recovery Plan

Now that restrictions have been lifted, there are still some guidelines that you can follow to remain safe from the virus.

Key highlights - Step 4 summary

What's changing in England on 19 July?

Social distancing

  • No limits on how many people can meet.
  • 1m-plus guidance removed (except in some places like hospitals and passport control when entering)
  • Face coverings no longer required by law, although the government still ‘expects and recommends’ them in crowded and enclosed spaces.
  • Some shops and transport operators will still require masks so please check before travelling.

Events and gatherings

  • Nightclubs can reopen
  • Pubs and restaurants no longer table-service only
  • No limits on guests at weddings and funerals
  • No limits on people attending concerts, theatres or sports events
  • No restrictions on communal worship


  • Guidance recommending against travel to amber list countries removed
  • Under-18s and fully vaccinated adults no longer have to self-isolate after visiting amber list countries

Other changes

Limits on visitors to care homes will be removed.

  • From 16 August, most COVID restrictions in schools - including ‘bubbles’ will end.
  • From 16 August, fully vaccinated adults will not need to self-isolate after contact with a positive case.

What guidance remains in place in England?

  • People should continue to meet others outside where possible.
  • Businesses such as nightclubs - and large events - will be encouraged to use the NHS COVID pass to check people are fully vaccinated. However, they won't legally have to do so.
  • People working from home will be encouraged to return to the workplace gradually.