Covid-19 Updates

At every point we have said our plan to reopen society and the economy is conditional – that it relies on continued progress against the virus, and that we would not hesitate to put on the brakes if required. With those numbers creeping up, our assessment is that we should now squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep the virus under control.

We have carefully lifted some lockdown measures:

  • Non-essential retail is now open provided they have been made ‘COVID-secure’.
  • Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers as well as museums and places of worships are now able to reopen provided they are ‘COVID-secure’
  • Holidays in England are allowed – with hotels and B&Bs opening.
  • Sports and leisure businesses can reopen, as well as close contact services, such as tattoo parlours and nail salons, provided they are ‘COVID-secure’.
  • Indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities have reopened, ensuring millions of people can get back into more sport and fitness activities.
  • Anyone may now use public transport.

From the beginning of August, we will:

  • Update our advice on going to work – giving employers more discretion to decide how their staff can work safely.
  • And as planned, schools, nurseries, and colleges will re-open fully from September, with universities also opening as fully as possible for the new academic year.

The update made on the 31st of July means:

  • Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services must remain closed. Our initial plan to reopen these services on 1 August will not go ahead, and they must remain closed until 15 August at the earliest.
  • Pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centres will not take place.
  • Wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted, but ceremonies can continue to take place, in line with COVID-Secure guidelines.
  • We will extend the requirement to wear a face covering to other indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship. We now recommend face coverings are worn in these settings, and this will become enforceable in law from 8 August.

Relaxing social distancing carefully so people can see friends and loved ones.

  • You can socialise indoors with members of up to 2 households (includes dining out or going to the pub)
  • You can socialise outdoors in a group of up to 6 people from different households or up to 2 households.
  • You cannot hold or attend celebrations of any size where it is difficult to social distance.
  • You can visit loved ones in care homes.
  • Those asked to shield themselves can now safely spend time outside with members of their household or, if they live alone, with one other person – and from 1 August people will no longer have to shield.

Changing the two-metre social distancing rule.

  • Where it is possible to keep 2 metres apart people should.
  • Where it is not possible, people should keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’ while taking mitigations to reduce the risk of transmission  We have published guidance on how businesses can reduce the risk by taking certain steps to protect workers and customers.

Now, we must remain alert to the virus to keep it under control.

  •  Everyone must continue following social distancing and hygiene rules.
  •  We must all wash our hands, cover our faces, make space.
  •  If you have symptoms, you must get a test.
  •  If you test positive, you must engage in NHS Test and Trace – because by doing this we will defeat the virus.
  •  Everyone should wear a mask in shops and supermarkets, on public transport and in the NHS. From 8 August, people must wear a mask in other indoor settings, such as museums and cinemas.

We are going to succeed and we are going to beat this – if each and every one of us plays our part.

Page Last Updated: 31/07/20.