Since 19 June, the UK’s COVID-19 alert level has been at level three. This means that the government consider the virus to be in general circulation but that transmission is no longer high or rising exponentially.
On 4 July, additional businesses and venues reopened, including restaurants, pubs, cinemas and hotels, and people are now able to meet in groups of up to two households anywhere or in groups of six including people from different households outdoors.
Building upon these measures, from 11 July:
- you can participate in team and other grassroots sports where the sports governing body has issued guidance on how to do so safely
- outdoor swimming pools and outdoor water parks can open
- outdoor performances in front of a live audience can take place in COVID-19 secure venues. Indoor rehearsals and indoor performances for broadcast should only happen where no audience is present
- smaller-scale indoor performances can be piloted in COVID-19 Secure venues once approved by the government
From 13 July:
- close contact services, such as nail bars, salons, tanning booths, spas, massage parlours, tattoo parlours and body piercing studios, can open. Only services that do not involve work in the highest risk zone – directly in front of the face – should be made available to clients, in line with government guidance
And from 25 July:
- sports facilities and venues, including such as indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks, will open, subject to evidence closer to the time
In terms of seeing friends and family you can:
- meet in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) in any location – public or private, indoors or outdoors. You do not always have to meet with the same household – you can meet with different households at different times. However, it remains the case – even inside someone’s home – that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers
- when you are outside you can continue to meet in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines
- those who have been able to form a support bubble (i.e. those in single adult households) can continue to have close contact as if they live with the other people in the bubble, but you should not change who you have formed a support bubble with
- stay overnight away from your home with your own household or support bubble, or with members of one other household (where you need to keep social distancing)
It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces), or in a public outdoors space, unless planned by an organisation in compliance with COVID-19 Secure guidance.
From 24 July, face coverings will become mandatory in shops across England with fines of up to £100 for non-compliance. More generally, people should wear masks wherever possible.
The wearing of a face covering is also now a legal requirement for passengers using public transport unless they have an exemption to do so. This came into effect on 15 June and covers bus, tram train, ferry and air travel. The Government has issued more detailed guidance on where and how it applies here.