We must continue to stay alert, control the virus and save lives.
We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- Wash your hands regularly
- Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
We must not relent now – or else there is a very real risk of a second peak of the disease that could overwhelm the NHS and throw away all of our achievements to date. This is not the time simply to end the lockdown this week. Instead, the Government has taken the first careful steps to modify our measures.
The UK Government is continuing to ease restrictions in a manner that is safe, cautious and consistent with our plan. This follows the incredible work by the public to follow the lockdown restrictions and maintain social distancing. This has helped to ensure that the NHS has not been overwhelmed and to reduce the rate of transmission of the virus.
In recent weeks, a wide range of sectors and activities have been able to restart, in line with COVID-19 secure guidelines, and we have eased the restrictions on social contact - enabling people to meet in groups of two households in any location or, as previous, in a group of any six people outdoors.
From 24 July:
- Face coverings are now required in shops and supermarkets – in addition to public transport where they were already required.
From 25 July:
- Sports facilities and venues, including such as indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks, can open
From 1 August:
- Employers will have more discretion, in consultation with their employees, on how to ensure people can work safely – working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines
- The clinically extremely vulnerable will no longer need to follow advice on shielding, though should still take particular care to follow the social distancing guidelines when meeting people
From 8 August:
- Face coverings will be required 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
Until 15 August at the earliest:
- Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services must remain closed
- Indoor performances will not resume
- 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
From 1 September:
- schools, nurseries and colleges will open for all children and young people on a full-time basis
- universities are working to reopen as fully as possible
From 1 October, if prevalence remains around or below current levels:
- we will bring back audiences in stadiums, and allow conferences and other business events to recommence in a COVID-19 Secure way
In November, the Government's ambition is to scale back remaining social distancing measures, but this is contingent on a number of factors, including consideration of the specific challenges as we move into winter.