What are the current restrictions? Find out what you can and cannot do!

Many coronavirus restrictions have been lifted in England and Wales and more venues and activities have opened up. Follow the guidance on this page to find out what this means for you, and what you can and cannot do.

Protecting yourself and others 

Face coverings 

From 19th July, face coverings will be voluntary in some settings, including shops and hospitality. While the legal requirement to cover your face will be lifted, people are advised that wearing a mask can reduce the risk to themselves and to others.

Face coverings will remain compulsory on public transport and NHS settings.

Social distancing 

  • All businesses that remain closed will be allowed to open 
  • Mass events, such as music festivals, can restart
  • There will be no limit on the number of people at weddings and funerals
  • Customers in pubs will be able to walk to the bar and be served there
  • There will be no requirement to scan a QR code when entering a restaurant, gym, or any other venue


A requirement to self-isolate after testing positive or after coming into contact with an infected person will remain in place for those who are not fully vaccinated.

From 16th August, those who are double-jabbed - as well as under 18s in England - will no longer have to self-isolate. However, you must wait at least two weeks after the second jab before they are allowed to be exempt.

If you have been pinged by Test and Trace and are worried about the financial repercussions, you can claim financial support under the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

If you test positive for COVID-19 but have been double jabbed, you must self-isolate.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you are no longer advised to shield. However, you should continue to follow the guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and are advised to continue taking extra precautions to protect yourself, such as limiting close contacts, shopping or travelling at quieter times of the day, keeping rooms ventilated and washing your hands regularly. Your employer is required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.

If you have been vaccinated against COVID-19

To help protect yourself and your friends, family, and community you should continue to follow all of the guidance on this page even if you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The vaccines have been shown to reduce the likelihood of severe illness in most people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so those who have received the vaccine should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection.

Whilst emerging evidence suggests vaccines are having an impact on transmission, we do not know by how much the vaccine stops COVID-19 from spreading. Even if you have been vaccinated, you could still spread COVID-19 to others, even if you do not display symptoms.

Businesses and venues

All remaining closed businesses and venues such as nightclubs 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 are no longer required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules.

Going to work and school

Going to work 

The requirement for people to work from home if possible has been dropped. 

There is further financial support if you are self-employed or employed but cannot work.

Going to school

The school bubble system will be scrapped from 16th August. 

Children who are contacted by Track and Trace as being a contact of someone who has tested positive will be advised to take a PCR test - but will only have to self-isolate if they are positive.

Secondary and college pupils will be required to take two tests on-site at the start of the autumn term and continue to take two tests a week at home until the end of September, when the policy will be reviewed.

From the autumn term, teachers who are fully vaccinated can remain in school if a close contact tests positive.

Care home visits

Limits to number of visitors at care homes have been dropped, but there will be limits on the number of visits per day.


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