Following the COVID-19 alert level being changed from level four to level three (meaning transmission of the virus is no longer judged to be “high or exponentially rising”) on 19 June, the Government has issued guidance on the easing of lockdown measures for England only.


This also excludes many parts of Leicester which is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where local lockdown measures have been imposed. The government's local lockdown restrictions page can be consulted for guidance on whether restrictions are in place in specific areas.  

FACE COVERINGS 

Wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England will be mandatory from 24 July. Failure to comply with the new rules may result in a £100 fine. It has been compulsory on public transport in England since 15 June. While shop workers will be encouraged to prompt customers to comply, they will not be expected to enforce the rules. 

GATHERINGS, PUBLIC SPACES AND ACTIVITIES  

From 11 July the following activities are permitted:-

  • participation in team and other grassroots sports where the sports governing body has issued guidance on how to do so safely.
  • use of outdoor swimming pools and outdoor water parks. 
  • outdoor performances in front of a live audience, outdoor rehearsals can take place in COVID-19 secure venues. Indoor rehearsals and indoor performances for broadcast should only happen where no audience is present. 

From 13 July the following activities are permitted:-

  • Nail bars, salons, tanning booths, spas, massage parlours, tattoo parlours and body piercing studios, can open. Only services that do not involve work directly in front of the face, should be made available, in line with government guidance

From 25 July:

  • Sports facilities and venues, including indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks, can open. 

SEEING FRIENDS AND FAMILY

As was already the case, you can continue to:

  • Meet in groups of up to two households. This can be with different households at different times. 
  • Continue to meet outdoors in groups of up to six people from different households.
  • Stay overnight away from your home with your own household, support bubble, or with members of one other household.

It is still against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes. Businesses and venues can host larger groups provided they comply with the law on social distancing. This includes weddings, funerals, religious ceremonies, community activities and support groups.

WHAT BUSINESSES REMAIN CLOSED?

The following businesses remain closed: 

  • Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques
  • Casinos
  • Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars
  • Bowling alleys
  • Indoor skating rinks
  • Indoor play areas, including soft-play areas
  • Exhibition halls or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences.

In other businesses, people who can work from home should continue to do so. Employers should decide, in consultation with their employees, whether it is viable for them to continue working from home.  See Addleshaw Goddard's Guidance Notes on Working Safely During Coronavirus available under the health and safety tab at our COVID-19 space for further details of how the rules apply in each sector.

TRAVEL 

  • You can travel irrespective of distance. You can also stay overnight in a second home, hotels, bed and breakfasts or campsites.
  • You should still avoid using public transport if you can. It is a legal requirement to wear a face covering on public transport.
  • If you wish to travel internationally, upon return to the UK, you must by law self-isolate for 14 days, unless you have come from one of the countries listed below: 

 

Andorra

Germany

The Netherlands

Antigua and Barbuda

Greece

New Zealand

Aruba

Greenland

Norway

Australia

Grenada

Poland

Austria

Guadeloupe

Seychelles

The Bahamas

Hong Kong

St Barthélemy

Barbados

Hungary

St Kitts & Nevis

Belgium

Iceland

St Lucia

Bonaire St Eustatius and Saba

Italy

St Pierre and Miquelon

Croatia

Jamaica

San Marino

Curaçao

Japan

South Korea

Cyprus

Réunion

Spain

Czech Republic

Liechtenstein

Switzerland

Denmark

Lithuania

Taiwan

Dominica

Luxembourg

Trinidad & Tobago

Faroe Islands

Macau

Turkey

Fiji

Malta

Vatican City State

Finland

Mauritius

Vietnam

France

Monaco

Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are exempt as part of the Common Travel Area

French Polynesia

New Caledonia

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING 

The Government advises that people should stay 2m apart or 1m plus. It also discusses other mitigations measures including installing screens etc. The Government's COVID-19 Secure guidance can be consulted to ensure businesses are taking the right measures. We have produced further guidance for each sector which can be found on our COVID-19 space

SHIELDING

From 1 August shielding will be paused, meaning it is no longer Government guidance that those at higher risk must shield. From this date, the Government is advising those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. The guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable group remains advisory only. 

HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATIONS 

Where HSE or a local authority identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, they will consider a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. This includes giving specific advice to a business, or issuing an improvement or a prohibition notice. Failure to comply is a criminal offence, which can lead to fines or imprisonment for up to two years, giving the COVID-secure guidelines indirect legal enforceability in addition to the strict prohibitions created by the relevant regulations.

Key Contacts

Adrian Mansbridge

Adrian Mansbridge

Legal Director, Global Investigations
Leeds, UK

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India Haresign

India Haresign

Associate, Global Investigations
Leeds

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