Boris Johnson has announced from Monday 19th July 2021 England will be moving to the fourth and final stage of the roadmap on lifting lockdown restrictions that we have be adhering to over the last 16 months.
The Government have said that the pandemic is not over and that proceeding with caution is needed, life from the 19th July simply cannot just ‘go back to normal’.
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, has said he hopes that the fourth and final stage of the roadmap is irreversible, but rising case numbers and hospital admissions will continue to be monitored.
What does this mean?
Social distancing and rules and the limits on social contact will be removed across England.
All remaining businesses that have been closed throughout the pandemic will be allowed to reopen.
What will be changing?
- Legal requirement to wear face masks will end.
- Employees will no longer be required to work from home.
- All businesses will be allowed to reopen.
- Rules inside hospitality businesses will end.
- Capacity limits are to be scrapped.
- No restrictions on Social contact or the number of people you can meet.
Large event organisers will be encouraged to use Covid19 passport systems, to prove double vaccination status and that negative tests results have been obtained to minimise the risk of spreading Covid19 in high risk settings such as crowded places. The use of the NHS app will be strongly encouraged to be used for this.
What will remain?
Self-Isolation will continue if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid19, until the 16th August 2021, after this date it will be relaxed for those who have been fully vaccinated or under 18.
Anyone testing positive for Covid19 will still have to self-isolate as this will remain a legal requirement.
Use of face masks
The legal requirement to wear a face mask on public transport or in shops will end on 19th July, however the government have stated that they recommend that people continue to do this on public transport and in crowded areas.
Working from Home
The government instruction for employees to work from home on 19th July will end, however they have suggested that employers undertake a gradual return to the workplace for their employees and not to rush to bring them all back at once.
Employers need to mindful that employees may be anxious and nervous about a return to the workplace after such a long time working from home and not mixing with many others, especially now the social distance rules no longer need to be in place.
As with a return to work from a spell of sickness, employers are encouraged to talk to employees to listen to any concerns they may have and to help to reassure them that everything is still being done to keep all employees safe.
Employers can consider the option of allowing employees a phased return to the workplace, to help ease any anxiety and concerns they may have.
Ensuring the correct policies and procedures are in place regarding flexible working and working from home is strongly recommended also to ensure that things can be dealt with correctly.