Covid19 restrictions come to an end but caution advised19 July 2021
Today, 19 July, most legal restrictions will end including the removal of social distancing and social contact restrictions and remaining businesses will be able to reopen. Step 4 will mark a new phase of continued caution, whilst managing the risks of COVID-19.
Although most legal restrictions have been lifted at step 4, and many people have been vaccinated, it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated, and we are still in the third wave of this pandemic in the UK. Businesses can download a poster here to encourage usage of masks in their premises.
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.
Employers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify. Working Safely guidance sets out a range of mitigations employers should consider including:
- cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly
- identifying poorly-ventilated areas in the venue and taking steps to improve airflow
- ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue
- communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place.
Organisations are encouraged, by the government, in certain settings to use the NHS COVID Pass as a condition of entry, in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19. This will especially be the case in large, crowded settings (such as nightclubs) where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household.
Businesses are also encouraged to continue displaying QR codes for customers wishing to check-in using the NHS COVID-19 app, or to continue collecting customer contact details to support NHS Test and Trace, however this will no longer be a legal requirement. Further advice.