This month there will be a further relaxing of the lockdown guidance that has been in place in England since mid-March.
Following on from the re-opening of schools and non-essential shops in June, many pubs, cafes and restaurants opened their doors on Saturday 4th July.
Here’s what else is changing:
- The 2-metre social distancing rule will be reduced to ‘1 metre plus’. This means you should keep a minimum distance of 1 metre from others, and further if possible.
- 2 households will be able to meet indoors as long as they maintain social distancing (if they are not part of a support bubble).
- Groups of up to 6 people can meet outdoors, providing social distancing is followed.
- There is no restriction on outdoor activity or exercise, although swimming pools and gyms will remain closed.
While measures like contactless payments and screens between tables will be in place, we all must do what we can to keep ourselves and others safe.
Social distancing and good hand hygiene remain the strongest tools we have to reduce the rate of infection. We should all be following the 1 metre plus and regularly washing our hands for 20 seconds.
Since mid-June masks or facial coverings have been recommended in public places, and are compulsory on both public transport and in NHS settings, including GP surgeries. You can read out guide on facial coverings here.
Changes to shielding – the extra level of protection for people at higher risk from coronavirus– will come into effect today, 6th July.
- You no longer need to stay 2 metres away from people you live with.
- If you live alone or are a single parent, you can form a support bubble with another household without the need for social distancing
- You can meet people from other households in groups of no more than 6, but you need to maintain the 2 metres distance.
After 1st August, those at high risk of coronavirus will no longer need to shield.
Life has been very different for everyone over the last in the past 3 or 4 months, and while these changes are a step toward normality, we all must take personal responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe.