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July 19, 2021

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Coronavirus: How to stay safe and help prevent the spread

The Government has released guidance that came into effect when England moved to step 4 of the roadmap on July 19.

hand sanitizerThe ‘How to stay safe and help prevent the spread‘ guidance acknowledges that although most restrictions will be lifted at step 4, and many people have been vaccinated, it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if fully vaccinated, and that the UK is still in the third wave of this pandemic.

It is stressed that COVID-19 will be a feature of everybody’s lives for the foreseeable future, so people need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others.

Step 4 of the Roadmap proceeded as planned on Monday 19 July.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on 12 July that moving to Step 4 is a balance of risks and that the public should continue to be cautious. The majority of COVID restrictions will end on 19 July and guidance will emphasise personal responsibility.

The need for personal judgement in order to manage risk is highlighted. While no situation is risk free, there are actions that can be taken to protect ourselves and others. Following this guidance will help you stay safe and protect others by controlling the spread.

You can read Boris Johnson’s full statement, here.

 Lifting restrictions

Most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 were lifted at step 4. This means that:

  • You will not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with.
  • There will be no limits on the number of people you can meet.
  • It will no longer be necessary for the Government to instruct people to work from home. Employers can start to plan a return to workplaces.
  • Face coverings will no longer be required by law in any setting.
  • There will no longer be limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations).
  • There will be no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing.
  • There will no longer be restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship.

Businesses and venues

All remaining closed businesses and venues such as nightclubs, discos, and adult entertainment venues are able to reopen.

All capacity limits at sporting, entertainment, or business events have been lifted.

Hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and bars will no longer be required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules.

All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance.

Employers will still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks identified. Working Safely guidance sets out a range of mitigations employers should consider including:

  • Cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly.
  • Identifying poorly-ventilated areas in the venue and taking steps to improve air flow.
  • Ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue.
  • Communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place.

The NHS COVID Pass will be made available on the NHS app as a certification tool if businesses and other organisations choose to use certification on a voluntary basis. Businesses should continue to ensure that they comply with all relevant legal obligations and guidance in doing so.

Venues are encouraged to continue displaying QR codes for customers wishing to check in using the app, to support NHS Test and Trace, but this will no longer be a legal requirement.

The guidance goes on to address the following:

  • Keeping yourself and others safe.
  • Understanding the risks of COVID-19.
  • If you are clinically extremely vulnerable.
  • If you have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • International travel.
  • Travelling in the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands.

Click here to view the ‘How to stay safe and help prevent the spread’ guidance‘.

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