What is Freedom Day in England and what changes are in place and what guidance remains?

Monday July 19th 2021 has been dubbed Freedom Day as most remaining covid restrictions have been lifted, so what has changed and what does it mean for things like social distancing, events and gathering and travel?

Social distancing rules

  • There is no limit on how many people can meet indoors or outdoors
  • 1m-plus guidance removed (except in some places like hospitals and passport control when entering) but companies like social groups will decide if they still want to do the 2metre rule
  • 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

Events and gatherings

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

Travel

  • Guidance recommending against travel to amber list countries removed. (Those returning from France to England, Wales and Scotland must still quarantine for 10 days)
  • Under-18s and fully vaccinated adults no longer have to self-isolate after visiting amber list countries which changes regularly so people need to check if they are going abroad what zone the country is in.

Other changes

Limits on visitors to care homes will be removed.

From 16 August, most Covid restrictions in schools – including “bubbles” – will end.

From the same date, fully vaccinated adults will not need to self-isolate after contact with a positive case.

There is guidance that still remains in England such as:

People should continue to meet others outside where possible in places like parks, gardens etc

Businesses such as nightclubs – and large events such as theatre shows, sports 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.

So in summary here are the changes:

  • No limit on meeting people, but people should try and still meet others outside if possible
  • People who are currently working from home will be invited to return to the workplace in a gradual way
  • Nightclubs can reopen, and venues such as cinemas and theatres can reopen with full capacity
  • Businesses and large events are encouraged to use covid certification such as the Covid pass to limit the spread of the virus
  • Face masks are still recommended on public transport or supermarkets etc
  • Social distancing is no longer mandatory, but some businesses may still choose to use it

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