Last updated Monday 16 August 2021 at 12:01am

The Government’s roadmap to exit lockdown began on 8 March 2021. On 19 July, England will move to the final stage (Step 4) of the Roadmap and most legal restrictions will be removed.

Key points

  • all social distancing measures are removed and there are no restrictions on how many people can meet in any setting, indoors or outdoors
  • face coverings are no longer mandatory indoors. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport
  • COVID-status certification is no longer required by law as a condition of entry for visitors to any setting
  • working from home can end and people can start to return to workplaces if required. However, the Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer
  • limits on number of visitors to care homes are removed – you can check the guidance at - Covid-19 - visiting a care home
  • fully vaccinated people will not need to self-isolate after returning from amber countries
  • fully vaccinated people and those under 18 do not need to self-isolate if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive


  • must not require a self-isolating worker to come to work and should make sure staff and customers feeling unwell do not attend the workplace. If staff test positive they are required by law to self-isolate even if they are double vaccinated
  • are encouraged to ask staff and customers to clean their hands and clean surfaces that people touch regularly. Using outdoor space is encouraged where practical and make sure indoor spaces are kept well ventilated with lots of fresh air
  • are encouraged to display QR codes for customers to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app although it’s no longer a legal requirement
  • COVID-secure measures on businesses, such as table service and distancing between tables are no longer in place

Sport and Leisure

  • all settings can open, including nightclubs
  • large events, such as music concerts and sporting events are allowed – there are no limits on attendance or any social distancing requirements


  • when travelling, over 18s that are double vaccinated do not need to isolate when returning from an amber country. However, a PCR test is required pre-departure and on day two after arrival in England when travelling and returning from an amber country
  • children aged 5 to 10 years old will not need to provide a pre-departure test. However, they will need to complete a PCR test on day two after arrival when returning from an amber country
  • children under 4 years old do not need to test when arriving or travelling to an amber country

Places of worship and ceremonies

  • no restrictions on the number of attendees at life events such as weddings, funerals, bar/bat mitzvahs and baptisms
  • no requirement for table service
  • no restrictions on singing or dancing


  • If you are fully vaccinated against COVID, you will be exempt from the requirement to self-isolate if you are a contact of a positive case. You will instead be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible. If you test positive, you must self-isolate
  • those under the age of 18 will also be exempt from self-isolation if they are a contact of a positive case
  • people who turn 18 will be treated in the same way as under 18s until six months after their 18th birthday, to allow them the opportunity to get fully vaccinated

Our advice

  • when meeting people, continue to consider the risks of close contact with others, particularly if you are clinically extremely vulnerable or not yet fully vaccinated
  • we strongly recommend wearing face coverings in crowded spaces and on public transport. This will help continue to keep everyone safe and help reduce COVID transmission
  • outdoors is still the safest way to meet people. When indoors, open doors and windows (if safe to do so)
  • do not use fans or air conditioning that recirculate stale air, set air exchange settings to full
  • wash hands and clean surfaces regularly
  • take up the vaccine when you are offered it and encourage others to as well 
  • if you travel, walk or cycle where possible
  • remember the risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe

More information

Full information on the roadmap out of lockdown can be found on the government’s website.

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