Government updates affecting the tourism industry
International Travel update for the UK
From Monday 11 October the UK will remove 47 destinations from the red list leaving a smaller red list consisting of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Venezuela in place to protect public health.
There are also changes in rules for travellers visiting the UK with vaccine certificates from more countries to be recognised to allow quarantine-free travel to the UK. Certificates from a further 37 countries will be recognised, as well as those issued under the United Nations vaccination programme. An ongoing four nations process will expand the policy to additional countries over coming weeks, where approved vaccines are administered and certificates meet the required standards. More information can be found in the proof of vaccination guidance.
The list of Additional Recognised Vaccinations programmes is: Albania, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Columbia, Chile, Egypt, Ghana, Georgia, Grenada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Maldives, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Pakistan, Serbia, South Africa, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Thailand, The Philippines, Turkey, Ukraine, United Nations and Vietnam.
Update on COVID-19 testing for arrivals into England
The UK Government has announced that later this month eligible fully vaccinated passengers arriving into England including under 18s returning from a rest of world country will have the option to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, followed by a free PCR test if positive, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England. The government can also confirm passengers taking postal tests will be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test as a minimum requirement to verify the test result.
Today, the Welsh Government confirmed it will merge the green and amber travel lists into one and remove the requirement for pre-departure testing for those fully vaccinated. A decision on moving away from PCR tests is still to be made. The Welsh Government is also considering which countries to expand the vaccine certification recognition system to over the coming weeks.
Please find below a summary of the changes to international travel to the UK from 4 October, following announcements made over the past 10 days or so.
Changes to international travel to the UK
From 4am Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to the UK will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world. The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on vaccination status.
There will be changes to rules for fully vaccinated travellers coming from non-red list countries.
Travellers from non red-list countries into UK if fully vaccinated
From 4am Monday 4 October, arrivals will qualify as fully vaccinated if they are vaccinated either:
- For arrivals to UK: under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, USA or UK vaccine programme overseas
- For arrivals to Northern Ireland, Scotland and England: with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan. England and Scotland have also confirmed that they will recognise the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Welsh Government is considering which countries to expand the vaccine certification recognition system to over the coming weeks.
Formulations of the 4 listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines.
You must have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive.
Where 2 doses of a vaccine are required for a full course, you will be able to:
- mix 2 different types of vaccine, for example Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna
- have the 2 vaccinations under 2 different approved programmes, for example Australia and Japan, UK and USA, EU and Canada
Until 4 October, mixed vaccines are only permitted if you are vaccinated under the UK, Europe, USA or UK overseas vaccination programme.
The rules for fully vaccinated people will also apply if the passenger is either:
- under 18 and resident in the UK or one of the listed countries or territories with approved vaccination programmes
- taking part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK or USA
If they qualify as fully vaccinated, they will have to:
- book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test
- complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before they arrive in the UK
- take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in the UK
Travel from the rest of the world to the UK if not fully vaccinated
From 4am Monday 4 October, passengers who do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules; are partially, or not vaccinated must follow these rules. Before they travel to the UK, they must:
- take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to the UK
- book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in the UK
- complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK
After they arrive in the UK, they must:
- quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days
- take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8
In England, quarantine can be ended early if they have paid for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.
Travel to the UK from red list countries
From 4am Monday 4 October, passengers arriving in the UK must follow these rules if they are fully, partially or not vaccinated. If the passenger has been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days, they will only be allowed to enter the UK if they are a British or Irish national or have residence rights in the UK.
Before travel to the UK, they must:
- take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to the UK
- book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 tests
- complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK
When they arrive, they must quarantine in a managed hotel, including 2 COVID-19 tests.
New system for international travel
- The UK Government has announced changes to international travel rules in England. From 4am Monday 4 October:
- The current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories
- The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on people’s vaccination status.
- Eligible fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to take a Pre Departure Test when travelling to England
- England will welcome fully vaccinated travellers from 17 new countries and territories These include arrivals from Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan.
From the end of October
- Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test. Anyone testing positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional cost to the traveller, these will be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.
- Passengers who change flights or international trains during their journey will be able to follow the measures associated to their country of departure, rather than any countries they have transited through as part of their journey.
Testing for unvaccinated passengers from non-red countries will include pre-departure tests, day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. Test to release remains an option to reduce self-isolation period.
Travel from the rest of the world if you are fully vaccinated
From 4am Monday 4 October, if you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days:
- under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas
- with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan – mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is also recognised
- under a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the US, Canada and Australia and have a proof of participation (digital or paper-based) from a public health body
- book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
- complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
- take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England
Countries removed from the red list
Autumn and Winter Plan for England
In the House of Commons this afternoon Health Secretary Sajid Javid set out the Autumn and Winter Plan for England. This was followed by a press briefing by Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the public. The plan sets out a Plan A scenario and outlines a Plan B contingency plan for England that would only be enacted if the data suggests that further actions are necessary to protect the NHS.
The 5 pillars outlined for ‘Plan A’ include;
- Building our defences through pharmaceutical interventions: including maximising vaccine uptake among those who are eligible and not taken up the offer yet, offering booster doses to those who received vaccinations in phase 1 of the vaccine programme, offering a first dose to those aged 12-15. Antivirals and therapeutics are already being used, and teams are researching further drugs that may assist.
- Identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission: PCR testing for symptomatic and contacts of cases will be available free of charge. Regular asymptomatic testing will also continue, focused on those who are not vaccinated or are on front line settings. Contact tracing will continue. Support will remain in place for those forced to self-isolate.
- Supporting the NHS and Social Care – managing pressures and recovering services. Linked to the announcement of further funding announced last week to clear the backlog of appointments.
- Advising people on how to protect themselves and others - For businesses the Government will continue to provide up-to-date Working Safely guidance on how employers can reduce the risks in their workplace. They are encouraging the public to let fresh air in when meeting indoors, wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed settings, getting tested and self isolating, staying home if they feel unwell, washing hands regularly and using the NHS COVID-19 app.
- Pursuing an international approach – playing a part in the global effort towards vaccination, and keeping strong defence at the border. The Government will shortly set out a revised framework for international travel, in advance of the next formal checkpoint review, with a deadline of 1 October.
If the data suggests the NHS is likely to come under unsustainable pressure, the Government has prepared a Plan B for England. The Government’s Plan B prioritises measures which can help control transmission of the virus while seeking to minimise economic and social impacts. This includes:
- Communicating clearly and urgently to the public that the level of risk has increased, and with it the need to behave more cautiously.
- Introducing mandatory vaccine-only COVID-status certification in certain settings.
- Legally mandating face coverings in certain settings.
If Plan B is implemented, at that point the NHS COVID Pass will change to display full vaccination only (exemptions will continue to apply). The Government expects that mandatory vaccine-only certification would be introduced for visitors to the following venues:
- All nightclubs;
- Indoor, crowded settings with 500 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to be in close proximity to people from other households, such as music venues or large receptions;
- Outdoor, crowded settings with 4,000 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to be in close proximity to people from other households, such as outdoor festivals; and
- Any settings with 10,000 or more attendees, such as large sports and music stadia.
There are some settings that will be exempt from requirements to use the NHS COVID Pass, including communal worship, wedding ceremonies, funerals and other commemorative events, protests and mass participation sporting events.
The Government would seek to give businesses at least one week’s notice before mandatory vaccine certification came into force.
CMA publishes recommendations to improve PCR testing market
The CMA has published advice to the UK Government on ways to make the PCR testing market work better for consumers.
A number of recommendations were made, including:
- Creating a one-stop shop list of quality, approved test providers by significantly improving the basic standards to qualify for inclusion and remaining on the GOV.UK list.
- Introducing a comprehensive monitoring and enforcement programme to ensure providers on the GOV.UK list meet these basic standards and rules, and swiftly removing and sanctioning those firms that don’t.
- Improving the provider listings on GOV.UK so consumers get the information they need to compare providers properly and find the best deals for them.
- Developing the NHS Test and Trace travel test as a benchmark for quality and price to drive higher standards and more competition across the sector.
- Monitoring prices and costs on an ongoing basis, in case price reductions are not seen on the back of other measures.
Although this advice has been provided at the request of the UK Government, it has the potential to improve the market for consumers across the UK nations where private testing for international travel is allowed. In addition to providing advice to the UK Government, the CMA is already using its powers to act where it can. On 25 August, it published an open letter to all PCR test providers warning them to stay on the right side of consumer law.
Headline scheme rules for the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme have been published by DCMS
The headline rules for the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme have been published here. Full scheme rules will be available on this page in due course.
International travel: country listings update
From 4am Sunday 8 August the following changes apply for entry into the UK
- Austria, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia will move to green list.
- Bahrain, India, Qatar and UAE will move to amber list. Arrivals from France will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated, aligning France with the rest of the amber list.
- Georgia, Mayotte, Mexico and Reunion will move to red list.
Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.
The change to the status for France means that the system is simplified to 3 categories, plus the green watchlist.
UK Government waives quarantine for arrivals fully vaccinated from Europe and USA to England and confirms international cruise restart
Today the UK Government has announced that passengers arriving from amber countries who have been fully vaccinated in Europe (EU Member States, European Free Trade Association countries and the European microstate countries of Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City) and the USA will not have to quarantine when entering England, as part of a range of new measures designed to reopen international travel, set out as part of the second Global Travel Taskforce checkpoint review.
From 4am on Monday 2 August 2021, passengers who are fully vaccinated in the EU with vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or in the USA with vaccines authorised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or in the Swiss vaccination programme, will be able to travel to England without having to quarantine or take a day 8 test on arrival.
Amber arrivals who have been fully vaccinated in the USA and European countries will still be required to:
- Complete a pre-departure test before arrival into England
- A PCR test on or before day 2 after arrival.
- Those vaccinated in the US will also need to provide proof of US residency.
- Passengers from all countries cannot travel to the UK unless they have completed a passenger locator form.
Those arriving from France should continue to follow the separate rule. If a passenger has been in France in the 10 days before arriving in England, they must quarantine for 10 days after they arrive and take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8, even if they are fully vaccinated. They must follow the advice on how to quarantine if you are not fully vaccinated.
Today, the UK Government also confirmed the restart of international cruise sailings from England in line with Public Health England guidance. International cruise travel advice will be amended to encourage travellers to understand the risks associated with cruise travel and take personal responsibility for their own safety abroad. Guidance has been published for British people about taking cruise ship holidays abroad during COVID-19.
All measures announced will be kept under review and be guided by the latest data. In their press release, the UK Government stated they will not hesitate to act should the data show that countries risk ratings have changed.
You can read the press release here or read the red, amber and green list rules for entering England.
NHS Test & Trace COVID-19 compliance checks
The Home Office has issued further advice for hotels and accommodation providers on facilitating COVID-19 compliance checks on individuals who have a duty to quarantine following international travel from amber-list countries.
Accommodation providers should take all reasonable steps to encourage guests to adhere to government restrictions, including informing guests of quarantine restrictions when taking bookings.
It is also good practice for accommodation providers to ensure guests are aware of their legal obligations to quarantine and that they may receive a compliance check during their stay if they are quarantining. However, it is not your responsibility to check guests’ test results or enforce quarantine rules; enforcement of the law remains a matter for the police.
Guests may receive a visit from Mitie staff on behalf of Test and Trace, who are conducting COVID compliance checks to ensure individuals who have returned from amber-list countries are quarantining at the address provided on their passenger locator form. To assist Test and Trace staff in confirming compliance of the individuals, accommodation providers should take reasonable and appropriate steps to facilitate Mitie’s visits to their customers, whilst ensuring that guests’ data is only shared with Mitie in compliance with existing data protection legislation.
If NHS Test and Trace staff suspect that a guest is not quarantining, the case may be referred to police, who may conduct another visit, and could potentially issue the individual with a fine of up to £10,000.
Further guidance on the compliance checks service and what to expect can be found here: Self-isolation compliance checks after international travel - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Further guidance for hotels and other guest accommodation to work safely during COVID-19 can be found here - Hotels and other guest accommodation - Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) - Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Or for further details for guests who are quarantining after travelling from an amber-list country: Quarantine and testing if you've been in an amber list country - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Today the Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference with Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van Tam.
The Prime Minister spoke about the move to step 4 in England and the importance of the test, trace and isolate system in identifying people who are more likely to be infected. He also mentioned that some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination. There are already countries that require you to be double-jabbed as a condition of quarantine-free travel and that list seems likely to grow.
He then went on to express the concern of the UK Government by the continuing risk posed by nightclubs, asking them ‘to do the socially responsible thing and make use of the NHS Covid Pass which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity – as a means of entry.’
He reiterated that the Government reserves the right to mandate certification at any point and gave notice now that by the end of September - when all over 18s will have had the chance to be double jabbed – of the intention to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. At this point proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient.
Updated guidance on the requirements to provide public health information to passengers travelling to England
Guidance on the requirements to provide public health information to passengers travelling to England has been updated. Transport operators are required to ensure that passengers travelling to England by sea, air or rail from outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) are provided with information about coronavirus, and related duties and public health guidance. From 4am 19 July 2021 changes are being made to information to be provided at stages 1 to 3 of the passenger journey and the onboard announcement. Operators should begin to use the new prescribed messaging as soon as possible. A reasonable timeframe for implementation is permitted.
Safe use and management of outdoor public places in England
Advice for local authorities, owners and operators in England has been published to support the safe use and management of outdoor public places, such as urban centres, green spaces, outdoor playgrounds, outdoor gyms, tourist hotspots (including beaches, the countryside and coastal areas) while the risk of COVID-19 transmission remains.
Government strategy to regenerate high streets announced
The Government’s long-term plan to support the evolution and regeneration of high streets has been published. The Build Back Better High Streets Strategy sets out the government’s long-term plan to support the evolution of high streets into thriving places to work, visit and live. As part of the plan the streamlined pavement licensing system will be extended for 12 months across England so more shops, cafes and restaurants can make use of outdoor areas, with an intention to make this permanent. See the press release for more detail.
Guidance reflecting the change to step 4 in England has been updated on the following pages:
- How to stay safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus
- Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS test and trace
- Safer travel guidance for passengers who are walking, cycling and travelling in vehicles or on public transport during the coronavirus outbreak. The safer transport guidance for operators has also been updated.
- Safer aviation guidance for operators and for passengers.
- Guidance to help inform the planning and business operations as per step 4 of grassroots sport participants, providers and facility operators.
- Domestic cruise ship travel
- Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations in England.
Staffing summit webinar
We are working in partnership with the Caterer who is running a staffing summit webinar on Thursday 22 July. The summit will explore how the industry can better promote the career options available in the sector and highlight the organisations that can assist businesses in finding new recruits. This webinar will be dedicated to equipping operators with the tools to attract new employees and revealing ways to keep staff in long-term sustainable careers. You can register for free here.
Updated working safely during coronavirus: guidance from step 4 in England
The working safely during coronavirus guidance for England has been updated to reflect the changes from step 4. Please see a summary of the contents of the guidance below:
Priority actions to take across all the guidance:
Six steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes risks from COVID-19. This should consider the points below in the rest of this guidance. It should also take into account any reasonable adjustments needed for staff and customers with disabilities. You should share your risk assessment with your staff. You can find more information in the section on risk assessments and HSE guidance. There is additional advice for event organisers in the section on event planning.
- Turn people with COVID-19 symptoms away. Staff members or customers should self-isolate if they or someone in their household has a new, persistent cough; a high temperature; or loses/has changes to their sense of taste or smell, even if these symptoms are mild. They must also self-isolate if they or someone in their household has had a positive COVID-19 result, or if they have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. If you know that a worker is self-isolating, you must not ask or make them come to work. It is an offence to do this. You can find more information in the section on reducing risk to workers.
- Provide adequate ventilation. You should make sure there is a supply of fresh air to enclosed spaces where there are people present. This can be natural ventilation through windows, doors and vents, mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both. You should identify any poorly ventilated spaces in your premises and consider steps you can take to improve fresh air flow in these areas. In some places, a CO2 monitor can help identify if the space is poorly ventilated. Heritage locations should take into account the preservation of the building or artefacts displayed. You can find more information in the on section on ventilation and the HSE guidance on ventilation and air conditioning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are touched a lot. Heritage locations should ensure cleaning materials and schedules are appropriate for historic surfaces and materials. You should ask your staff and customers to use hand sanitiser and clean their hands frequently, and provide them with advice to promote good hygiene. You can find more information in the section on managing your facility or event setting.
- Enable people to check in at your venue. You are no longer legally required to collect contact details, however doing so will help to support NHS Test and Trace to reduce the spread of the virus. You can enable people to check in by providing an NHS QR code poster, though you do not have to ask customers to check in or turn them away if they refuse. If you display an NHS QR code, you should also have a system to collect (and securely store) names and contact details for those who ask to check in but do not have the app. You can find more information in the section on reducing risk to customers.
- Communicate and train. Keep all your workers, contractors and visitors up-to-date on how you’re using and updating safety measures.
These are the priority actions to make your business safer during coronavirus (COVID-19). You should also read the full versions of the guidance relevant to your business.
Events and attractions
The visitor economy, heritage locations, organised events and performing arts guidance has been consolidated for step 4. The new events and attractions guidance will help businesses in these areas prepare for the move to step 4.
The guidance goes into detail on identifying risks and how to carry out a risk assessment (incl examples from Event Research Programme), managing your workforce including testing and vaccination and communications, reducing the risk for workers and visitors (additional measures such as face coverings, displaying NHS QR codes, considering using the NHS COVID pass to reduce transmission at venues or events), managing customers and audiences, practical advice on cleaning, hygiene and ventilation. There are also additional sections for heritage locations and event planning.
Restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs and takeaway services
To help businesses in England to prepare to move to step 4 of the roadmap, the updated guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, nightclubs or takeaways also suggests ways to help keep customers safe, including, the use of the NHS COVID Pass to reduce the risk of transmission at your venue or event, how to manage security, managing service of food and drink at a venue, etc.
Hotels and guest accommodation
The guidance has been updated to help owners and operators of hotels and other guest accommodation facilities (including hotels, motels, inn, pubs, holiday parks, B&Bs, short term lets, guest houses, caravans, boats, camp sites etc.) to help keep their customers safe, including information on communicating safety measures, displaying the NHS QR code, identifying areas of risk, considerations to avoid congestion, processes for guests who have to quarantine and practical information on cleaning, hygiene and ventilation.
New risk management template for event organisers
A resource to help event organisers to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in event settings. The template sets out examples of the types of risk mitigation measures event organisers can put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at events. This should be used in conjunction with the events and attractions guidance, which explains the types of events which may need to take additional measures and how these measures can help to reduce risk. It also includes more detail on how you can put these measures in place in different settings.
Move to Step 4 of the roadmap for England confirmed
In a press conference this evening Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that England will move to step 4 from 19 July. He said that we cannot return instantly to how life was before COVID-19 and while cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. The next steps have been set out in the moving to step 4 guidance published today. (see below)
Moving to step 4 of the roadmap guidance for England
The moving to step 4 guidance outlines the key protections that will remain in place, the pathway through the summer and the five-point plan to manage the virus in the next phase. At step 4, while many of the legal restrictions that the Government has imposed through the pandemic will be lifted, cautious guidance will remain, making it clear this is not yet a return to normal. The Government will continue to manage the virus and provide guidance over the coming months.
Key protections that will be kept in place:
- Testing when people have symptoms and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk.
- Isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace or when advised to by the NHS COVID-19 app.
- Border quarantine: for all arriving from red list countries, and for those people arriving from amber list countries, other than those UK residents fully vaccinated in the UK vaccine programme.
- Cautious guidance for individuals, businesses and the vulnerable whilst prevalence is high including:
- Whilst Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer;
- Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport;
- Being outside or letting fresh air in; and
- Minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
- Encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the NHS COVID Pass in high risk settings to help to limit the risk of infection. The Government will work with organisations that operate large, crowded settings where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of the NHS COVID Pass. If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating the NHS COVID Pass in certain venues at a later date.
Pathway through the summer
- On 12 July and in the days following, the Government will publish guidance on how to reduce risk through practising key behaviours:
- For individuals: while there is a move away from most legal restrictions, the guidance is there to help us all act responsibly. While prevalence is high, it is essential that everybody follows the guidance and takes action to protect themselves and others.
- For businesses, setting out advice for how to understand and mitigate risks as we start to live with COVID-19.
- For those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable.
- On 19 July, most legal restrictions will end, removing social distancing and social contact restrictions and enabling remaining businesses to reopen. All adults have now been offered a first dose of the vaccine.
- By the end of July, the Government will publish an updated COVID-19 contain outbreak management framework for local areas.
- On 16 August, the rules on self-isolating as a contact will change for people who are fully vaccinated, and for under 18s. Those not fully vaccinated will still need to isolate if they are contacts, and everyone will still have to isolate if they test positive, to protect themselves and others.
- In September, the Government will undertake a review to assess the country’s preparedness for autumn and winter, which will consider whether to continue or strengthen public and business guidance as winter approaches, including on face coverings and test, trace and isolate, and will review the remaining regulations.
The five-point plan to manage the virus in the next phase
The five point-plan also set out in the COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021 will help manage the risks of living with the virus on the careful and cautious pathway back to normality.
- Reinforce the country’s vaccine wall of defence through booster jabs and driving take up. Government will encourage vaccine take up among young adults and those yet to be vaccinated, ensure all adults have had the opportunity to receive two doses of the vaccine by mid-September, and offer booster jabs to the most vulnerable subject to final advice from the JCVI.
- Enable the public to make informed decisions through guidance, rather than laws. Government will reopen the remaining closed settings and remove regulations from 19 July, provide guidance for individuals, businesses, and those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable on the behaviours that can help to protect everyone. Government will look to operate public services in a way that supports everyone feeling safe to access them, and work with businesses to the same effect.
- Retain proportionate test, trace and isolate plans. Government will keep our testing system in place; continue to offer free lateral flow tests to help people manage their personal risk; maintain current domestic isolation requirements until 16 August before introducing an exemption for fully vaccinated contacts and under 18s; and maintain support for self isolation, with practical and financial support available until the end of September.
- Manage risks at the border and support a global response to reduce the risk of variants emerging globally and entering the UK. Government will continue to operate a traffic-light system for international travel, reassessing the red, amber and green lists this week, and every three weeks, through the summer; remove quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated UK travellers returning from amber countries from 19 July, while retaining PCR testing crucial for identifying new variants; and accelerate global vaccination by prioritising access to vaccines in developing countries.
- Retain contingency measures to respond to unexpected events, while accepting that further cases, hospitalisations and deaths will occur as the country learns to live with COVID-19. Government will continue to monitor the data on a regular basis to ensure there is no danger of the NHS facing unsustainable pressure; work with local authorities and provide national support to local areas that need an enhanced response to COVID-19; and maintain contingency plans for re-imposing economic and social restrictions at a local, regional or national level if evidence suggests they are necessary to suppress or manage a dangerous variant. Such measures would only be re-introduced as a last resort to prevent unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, set out plans for the final step of the roadmap in England
The Prime Minister held a press conference today outlining more details about step 4, the final stage of the England roadmap, which is expected to start on 19 July. At step 4, the Government will remove outstanding legal restrictions on social contact, life events, and open the remaining closed settings. Guidance will be provided to the public and to businesses on how they can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
There are 5 principles for managing COVID-19 as England learns to live with the virus:
- Reinforce the country’s vaccine wall of defence through booster jabs and driving take up.
- Enable the public to make informed decisions through guidance, rather than laws.
- Retain proportionate test, trace and isolate plans in line with international comparators.
- Manage risks at the border and support a global response to reduce the risk of variants emerging globally and entering the UK.
- Retain contingency measures to respond to unexpected events, while accepting that further cases, hospitalisations and deaths will occur as the country learns to live with COVID-19.
More details can be found in the COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021 (see summary below).
He also announced that the Government will work with the travel industry on removing the need for full-vaccinated people to isolate when entering the country from amber countries. The Transport Secretary is due to set out more details later this week.
‘COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021’ Published
The UK government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021’, setting out the details of Step 4 of the COVID-19 roadmap in England.
In summary, at step 4:
- All remaining limits on social contact (currently 6 people or 2 households indoors, or 30 people outdoors) will be removed and there will be no more restrictions on how many people can meet in any setting, indoors or outdoors.
- All settings will be able to open, including nightclubs. Large events, such as music concerts and sporting events can resume without any limits on attendance or social distancing requirements.
- All restrictions on life events such as weddings, funerals, bar/bat mitzvahs and baptisms will be removed, including the remaining restrictions on the number of attendees. There will be no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing.
- COVID-status certification will not be required in law as a condition of entry for visitors to any setting. Organisations can choose to ask visitors for proof of COVID-status, as long as they meet existing legal obligations including under equality law. The Government is providing a way for individuals to easily demonstrate their COVID-status. This can be achieved by completion of a full vaccine course, a recent negative test, or proof of natural immunity - through the NHS COVID Pass on the NHS app.
- The legal requirements to wear a face covering will be lifted in all settings. Guidance will advise that wearing a face covering will reduce personal risk and the risk to others, when coming into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.
- Social distancing rules (2 metres or 1 metre with additional mitigations) will be lifted. Social distancing will only be required in limited circumstances: ports of entry for passengers between disembarkation and border control in order to manage the risk of Variants of Concern being transmitted between individuals; and people who are self-isolating should also continue to socially distance from others, particularly where they have had a positive test.
- Regulations that place COVID-secure requirements on businesses, including table service, and distancing between tables, will be lifted. ‘Working Safely’ guidance will be updated to provide examples of sensible precautions that employers can take to reduce risk in their workplaces. Employers should take account of this guidance in preparing the risk assessments they are already required to make under pre-pandemic health and safety rules.
- The Government will no longer instruct people to work from home. Employers can start to plan a return to workplaces.
- Businesses must not require a self-isolating worker to come to work, and should make sure that workers and customers who feel unwell do not attend the setting.
- Businesses will be encouraged to ask staff and customers to clean their hands regularly and clean surfaces that people touch regularly. The Government will provide guidance on how businesses can reduce unnecessary contact in the workplace, where it is practical. Operators will still be encouraged to use outside space where practical, and to consider the supply of fresh air to indoor spaces. Carbon dioxide (CO2) monitors could be used to help identify where a space is poorly ventilated with businesses encouraged to take steps to improve ventilation if CO2 readings are consistently high.
- Businesses will be encouraged to display QR codes for customers to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, to support NHS Test and Trace, although it will no longer be a legal requirement.
Building on the updated guidance on meeting friends and family, announced as part of step 3, the Government will provide advisory guidance on how people can manage the risks to themselves and to others, including:
- Meeting in well-ventilated areas where possible, such as outdoors or indoors with windows open.
- Wearing a face covering where they come into contact with people they don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.
- Washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day.
- Staying at home if unwell, to reduce the risk of passing on other illnesses onto friends, family, colleagues, and others in your community.
- Considering individual risks, such as clinical vulnerabilities and vaccination status.
The Government will continue to urge people to get vaccinated, and to self-isolate and get tested if they have symptoms. It will remain a legal requirement for people to self-isolate if they test positive or are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace. The public will continue to be encouraged to download and use the latest version of the NHS COVID-19 app to help reduce the spread of the virus.
The Government intends to exempt people who have been fully vaccinated from the requirement to self-isolate if they are a contact of a positive case, with a similar exemption for under 18s. Anyone who tests positive will still need to self-isolate regardless of their vaccination status.
Travel restrictions will continue as part of the UK Government’s plan to prevent the continued emergence of Variants of Concern.
Other government updates
The social distancing review and COVID-Status Certification review reports have been published. These reviews, alongside other Roadmap reviews into events, have informed the approach to step 4.
New guidance to check if you need to change your Self Assessment return for SEISS
New guidance has been published to help individuals find out if and when they may need to make a change to their Self Assessment tax return for SEISS payments, and how to do it.
Individuals need to check their Self Assessment return if they have:
- Already submitted their 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax return online
- Claimed a Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant during 2020 or 2021
HMRC may have made an adjustment to individuals returns if:
- The amount of the SEISS payments put in the SEISS box does not match their records
- There was no SEISS amount entered
- A Self Employment or partnership page (SA103 or SA104) was not submitted and SEISS payments were received
Individuals need to check their Self Assessment tax return to make sure any adjustments are accurate. The adjustment (and how to check it) depends on individual circumstances and how returns were submitted. See the full guidance for more information.
Funeral and commemorative event guidance updated
From 21 June, the rules on funerals and commemorative events, such as stone setting ceremonies, the scattering of ashes or a wake, will change. There will no longer be a maximum number of attendees set out in law for funerals or commemorative events. Instead, the number of attendees will be determined by how many people the venue or outdoor space can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place. This will be based on the COVID-19 risk assessment of the venue or outdoor space, and the measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
In a COVID-secure venue, where the premises are operated or used by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body (such as a place of worship or a hospitality venue), venues will advise organisers the maximum number of people who will be able to attend.
Group size for out-of-school residential visits increased
From 21 June, limits for out-of-school residential stays have also been increased in England, meaning that hotels and other forms of group accommodation will be able to offer residential visits for groups of up to 30 children, rather than groups of 6.
Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) guidance updates
The guidance for businesses to check if they are eligible for the ARG grant has also been updated to clarify which sectors are eligible to receive it. Whilst local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants, the government has set out an expectation that the funding should help businesses that are severely impacted by the restrictions. Local councils are encouraged to support:
- Businesses from all sectors that may have been severely impacted by restrictions but are not eligible for the Restart Grant scheme, including those which do not pay business rates.
- Businesses from sectors that remain closed or severely impacted by the extended restrictions, even if those businesses have already been in receipt of Restart Grants. This may include the travel and tourism sector, wedding industries, nightclubs, theatres, events industries, wholesalers, English language schools, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses including caterers, events, hair, beauty and wedding related businesses.
The spending allocation deadline for the ARG has been extended to 30 July 2021 and the guidance for Local Authorities has also been updated.
Eviction protection extended for businesses
Businesses that have had to remain closed during the pandemic and are unable to pay rent on their commercial property will continue to be protected from eviction. Legislation will be introduced in this session to ring-fence outstanding unpaid rent that has built up when a business has had to remain closed during the pandemic.
Landlords are expected to make allowances for the ring-fenced rent arrears from these specific periods of closure due to the pandemic, and share the financial impact with their tenants. The legislation will help tenants and landlords work together to come to an agreement on how to handle the money owed – this could be done by waiving some of the total amount or agreeing a longer-term repayment plan. This agreement should be between the tenant and landlord and, if in some cases, an agreement cannot be made, the law will ensure a binding arbitration process will be put in place so that both parties can come to a formal agreement. This will be a legally binding agreement that both parties must adhere to.
In order to ensure landlords are protected, the government has said that businesses who are able to pay rent, must do so. Tenants should start paying their rent as soon as restrictions change, and they are given the green light to open. The existing measures in place to protect commercial tenants from eviction will be extended to 25 March 2022.
Temporary insolvency measures extended
The Insolvency Service has announced that regulations are set to be laid that will mean restrictions on statutory demands and winding up petitions will remain for a further three months until 30 September 2021 with a view to protecting companies from creditor enforcement action where their debts relate to the pandemic.
Other Government updates
- The domestic cruise ship travel guidance has been updated to say it is expected that England will move to Step 4 on 19 July, though the data will be reviewed after 2 weeks in case the risks have reduced. By step 4, the government hopes to remove all legal limits on social contact. This includes lifting capacity limits for domestic cruises.
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance has been updated with a reminder that from 1 July 2021, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough.
- Guidance has been published for people who are organising a wedding or civil partnership, or funeral, wake or commemoration, including in a private home or garden.
- Version 2 of the guidance and FAQs for local authorities have been published for the Welcome Back Fund which is to enable local authorities in England to put in place additional measures to create and promote a safe environment for local trade and tourism.
Updated guidance for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations
From 21 June the rules for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies; and wedding receptions and civil partnership celebrations will change. There will no longer be a maximum number cap for attendees set out in law. Instead, the number of attendees at weddings, civil partnerships and receptions will be determined by how many people the venue or space can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place. This will be based on the COVID-19 risk assessment of the venue or outdoor space, and the measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
In a COVID-secure venue, where the premises are operated or used by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body (such as a place of worship or a hospitality venue) venues will advise organisers the maximum number of people who will be able to attend.
Some restrictions on ceremonies and receptions remain in place to enable them to take place safely. These include Step 3 requirements on table service, face coverings, social distancing, and restrictions on dancing and singing.
Viewings can continue to take place at any venue which is not required in law to remain closed, so long as appropriate COVID-19 mitigation measures are in place. This includes, for example, any restaurant or indoor visitor attraction.
There is also new information available for those organising an event in venues such as private gardens or on private land.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson was joined by Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty, and Chief Scientific Adviser, Patrick Vallance, at a press briefing this evening.
As not all of four tests for proceeding to step 4 in the UK Government roadmap have been met, step 4 openings will be delayed until July 19th, with the exception of weddings and wakes of more than 30 guests which still can go ahead with social distancing.
The situation will be monitored daily and if after 2 weeks, the risk looks like it has diminished, it would be possible to move to step 4 earlier. In the meantime, pilots for sporting events, such as the Euros, and some theatre performances will continue.
The guidance on what you can and cannot do in England
The guidance on what you can and cannot do in England has been updated with a summary on changes from 21 June, including more information on weddings, civil partnerships and commemorative events.
From 21 June, the rules on the number of people who can attend a wedding or civil partnership ceremony, a wedding reception or civil partnership celebration, and a commemorative event following a funeral such as a wake, stone setting or ash scattering, will change.
The number of people who can attend these events in a COVID-Secure venue or other venue (such as a garden of a private home) will be determined by how many people a venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place, including guests of all ages and anyone working at the event.
Some restrictions on these events will remain in place to enable them to take place safely. This includes table service requirements, face coverings, social distancing, and restrictions on dancing and singing, as at present.
There is a little more information on these events if taking place in a private setting. The guidance on wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations is due to be updated by 15 June. The guidance on arranging or attending a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic is due to be updated by 17 June.
The heritage locations guidance has been updated for Step 3 of the roadmap (from 17 May). Please see some key information below;
From 17 May, the following will apply.
Heritage locations can open to the public.
- This applies to indoor and outdoor heritage locations including stately and historic homes and castles, historic parks, gardens, landscapes, ruins and monuments. Locations can open indoor and outdoor facilities, including visitor centres.
- Guests can visit these locations in line with the legal gathering limits. Outdoors, people can only gather in groups of up to 30 people (unless an exemption applies). Indoors, people can only meet in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of 2 households/bubbles (unless an exemption applies). Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a bubble.
Indoor and outdoor activities and guided tours are permitted, but must operate within the legal gathering limits.
- Activities and tours can be provided for a single permitted group of visitors (up to 30 people outdoors, or up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles indoors, unless exemptions apply).
- Activities and tours can also be provided for multiple groups, provided that the organiser takes the required precautions and groups are kept separate throughout the activity or tour. Each group must adhere to the legal gathering limits (up to 30 people outdoors, or up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles indoors, unless exemptions apply).
The rules on meetings and events will change:
- Indoor and outdoor events can take place, with COVID-secure measures and capacity limits in place. This includes business events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality. Events permitted from Step 3 should follow all COVID-secure guidance, adhere to all legal requirements, and take all reasonable action to mitigate risk to public health. Capacity restrictions will apply to both indoor and outdoor events. Further guidance can be found in the section on meetings and events, the guidance for visitor economy settings and the organised events guidance for local authorities.
- In-person meetings can take place when reasonably necessary. However, businesses should not hold meetings for the purposes of gathering staff if they are not necessary. Business show-rounds, viewings and site visits can take place at heritage locations. You can find more information in the section on meetings and events and the guidance for visitor economy settings.
- Weddings/civil partnerships, funerals and other life events can take place, however restrictions will apply to some types of event. Wedding show-rounds, viewings and site visits can take place at heritage locations. You should check the guidance on wedding and civil partnership receptions and celebrations and funerals and ensure you follow any relevant measures. You can find more information in the section on meetings and events.
- Hospitality venues such as restaurants, cafes and bars can open to the public for indoor and outdoor service (and can continue to offer takeaway food and drinks). Restrictions apply, including measures on table sizes and how customers are served.
- You can find more information in the section on changes to facilities and services and the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.
Visitor attractions and recreational venues:
- Visitor attractions and recreational venues can open both indoor and outdoor areas. You can find more information in the guidance for visitor economy settings.
Updates to the hotels and other guest accommodation guidance
The hotels and other guest accommodation guidance has been updated to include measures that will apply from Step 3 from 17 May in England. Please see a summary of the changes below, see the full guidance for more detail.
- All guest accommodation can open for leisure stays. This includes hotels, hostels, B&Bs and other types of accommodation that rely on sharing facilities (including kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation). More information on how to operate shared facilities is available in the section on changes to facilities and services.
- Overnight stays in guest accommodation are restricted to groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles. People should stay socially distanced from anyone they do not live with or share a bubble with.
- Where reasonably necessary, there is an exemption to the social contact limits for residential visits organised by schools, colleges, further education and higher education providers for educational or educational training purposes. See the full guidance for more information on educational bubbles. More information is also available in the guidance for schools, further education colleges and providers and higher education providers.
- Residential trips for out-of-school settings, such as youth groups and children’s extra-curricular clubs, should be restricted to groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/support or childcare bubbles, including supervising adults. More information is available in the guidance for out-of-school settings.
- All guest accommodation can open permitted businesses and services on-site for access by guests and by the general public, including where the entrance is within the guest accommodation. This includes indoor and outdoor sport facilities (such as swimming pools and gyms), spas and personal care facilities (such as hair, beauty, and massage services), and retail facilities. Saunas and steam rooms can reopen. Also check the guidance for sport facilities, close contact services and retail shops, stores and branches to ensure the relevant requirements are adhered to.
- This also includes indoor and outdoor hospitality facilities, such as restaurants, cafes and bars. At any premises serving alcohol, customers are required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (even if no alcohol is ordered). If a hospitality venue does not serve alcohol, then customers can order and collect food and drink from a counter, however the venue must take all reasonable steps to ensure that customers remain seated while consuming food or drink on the premises. Hospitality venues may continue to provide takeaway food and drink. Customers must not consume takeaway food and drink on the premises or adjacent to the premises.
- - Food and/or drink (including alcohol) can be provided through room service.
- Communal spaces such as lounges or lobbies may remain open to guests but no food or drink should be served in these spaces, people should not be encouraged to gather and social distancing should be observed.
- Indoor entertainment is permitted. This includes venues such as theatres, cinemas and concert halls, and performance/screening areas within the premises of another venue such as a pub, hotel or holiday park.
See the section on hospitality in the hotel guidance and the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services for other relevant measures.
- For existing bookings, if guests are not able to take a planned holiday due to coronavirus restrictions, accommodation providers should give guests a chance to cancel their bookings. If a booking is cancelled, either by the guest or the provider, we encourage accommodation providers to offer alternative dates if this can be agreed with the customer. If this cannot be arranged, we expect businesses to provide a refund depending on the terms of the booking contract.
Business meetings and events
- Permitted venues (including guest accommodation) can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training, where these events cannot reasonably be conducted remotely.
- Permitted venues (including guest accommodation) can host business meeting/event show-rounds, viewings and site visits for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking.
- Indoor and outdoor business events can take place. This includes conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality.
- More information is available in the section on meetings and events and the guidance for visitor economy settings.
Today the UK COVID-19 alert level was reduced from level 4 to level 3 following a joint statement by the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) recommending this change.
This afternoon the Prime Minister held a press briefing confirming England will move to Step 3 on 17 May. He outlined the measures that will change from that date. See changes below. The Prime Minister also said that subject to the impact of these relaxations on the data, we are on track to move to Step 4 on 21 June.
The what you can and cannot do guidance for England has been updated with measure that will change from 17 May.
- Gathering limits will be eased. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 30 people and indoor gatherings will be limited to 6 people or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
- Indoor entertainment and attractions will be permitted to open with COVID-secure measures in place including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas.
- People will be able to attend indoor and outdoor events including live performances, sporting events and business events. Attendance at these events will be capped according to venue type, and attendees should follow the COVID-secure measures set out by those venues.
- Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen.
- Organised indoor sport will be able to take place for all (this includes gym classes). This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.
- All holiday accommodation will be open (including hotels and B&Bs). This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
- Funeral attendance will no longer be limited to 30 people, but will be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing. Limits at weddings, wakes and other commemorative events will be increased to 30 people. Other significant life events, such as bar/bat mitzvahs and christenings, will also be able to take place with 30 people.
- There will no longer be a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally. There will be a traffic light system for international travel, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.
- New guidance on meeting friends and family will emphasise personal responsibility rather than government rules.
Updates to the visitor economy guidance
The visitor economy section of the working safely during coronavirus guidance has been updated to reflect step 3 (no earlier than 17 May) of the roadmap.
In Step 3, the following measures will apply:
Visitor attractions and recreational venues can open both indoor and outdoor areas.
- Games and recreation facilities, such as bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, laser quest, escape rooms, paintballing, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks) and trampolining centres.
- Water parks and theme parks.
- Animal attractions at zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife centres.
- Attractions such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks.
Most indoor and outdoor entertainment venues can open to the public. This includes venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, arcades and bingo halls.
Indoor and outdoor events can take place, but measures apply including following COVID-secure and social distancing guidance.
- Events permitted from Step 3 (which include business events such as conferences and exhibitions, live performances, and sport events) should follow all COVID-secure guidance, adhere to all legal requirements, and take all reasonable action to mitigate risk to public health. An event cannot take place in either Step 2 or Step 3 if it is unlikely that social distancing between groups of attendees can be maintained, or if other COVID-secure requirements cannot be met. This may be the case for events such as music festivals and carnivals.
- Capacity restrictions apply to both indoor events (1,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower) and outdoor events (4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower).
- Further guidance can be found in the sections for business meetings and events and other events and attractions, and in the organised events guidance for local authorities.
Tours and transport services:
- Indoor and outdoor guided tours are permitted, but must operate within the legal gathering limits and follow COVID-secure guidance. Tours can be provided for a single permitted group of visitors (up to 30 people outdoors; up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles indoors), or multiple permitted groups (of up to 30 people outdoors; groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles indoors) that are kept separate throughout the activity. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.
- Private hire coaches are permitted for a private group of a single household/bubble, and may also accommodate groups containing multiple households travelling together to the same destination or making the same journey (e.g. for the purposes of a leisure tour). This can only take place under certain conditions and where coaches operate in line with social contact limits, meaning that permitted groups (of 6 people or 2 households/bubbles) must be kept separate at all times whilst indoors on the tour. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.
- All heritage railway services are permitted to operate. This includes heritage railway services operating as public transport (journeys from point A to point B), as well as those provided primarily for dining or other recreational purposes, or for the carriage of passengers from the same start and end point. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations and the guidance on safer travel.
- Private aircraft and hired self-fly aircraft are permitted for groups of up to 6 people or 2 household/bubbles. You can find more information in the guidance on safer travel, and guidance on international travel.
- Self-drive day-hire of boats is permitted, within the legal gathering limits. There are different restrictions for different types of vessels. Boats which are open-air can be used within the legal gathering limits (by a group of up to 30 people). Boats which are enclosed can only be used by up to 6 people or 2 households/support bubbles. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.
- Self-drive holiday-hire (where people make overnight stays) of boats is permitted for up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.
- Skippered boats can operate within the legal gathering limits. There are different restrictions for different types of vessels. Boats which are open-air can be used by groups of up to 30 people, and multiple groups are permitted under certain circumstances. Where boats are partially or fully enclosed, people should only gather indoors within their group (up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles) and groups should not mix. Multiple groups are permitted inside under some circumstances. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.
- Domestic cruises (departing from, and returning to, UK ports) can operate, with restrictions on capacity. They may operate beyond UK waters, but are restricted to UK port calls. Groups of more than 6 people or 2 households/bubbles will not be allowed to mix indoors, whether or not they originally booked in the same group. You can find more information in the guidance on domestic cruise ship travel and the UK Chamber of Shipping’s COVID-19 framework for operators.
- People present in a work capacity (including volunteers), such as coach drivers, tour guides and skippers, are not counted as part of a group.
Update to restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services guidance (England)
The guidance has been updated with some information for Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May) of the roadmap and contains steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus. In addition to the info below, business should make sure that they are familiar with the UK government guidance to ensure that they make their business safe during coronavirus.
Following the move to Step 3, businesses will be able to:
- Reopen indoor areas of their venues.
- Serve customers in groups of up to 6 or 2 households indoors, or in groups of up to 30 outdoors.
- There will also be some relaxation of rules around live performances, business events and soft play areas.
Businesses may wish to erect outdoor shelters. To be considered ‘outdoors’, shelters, marquees and other structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50% of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use.
Table service will be required for venues that serve alcohol, even if no alcohol is ordered, this means customers must order, be served and eat/drink while seated. If a venue does not serve alcohol, customers can order and collect food and drink from a counter. But they must consume food and drink while seated at a table.
Entertainment within or outside restaurants, pubs, bars
At Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, more types of socially distanced indoor and outdoor events are allowed. Some types of events, including live performance events and business events, should have a cap on attendance of:
- 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower - indoors
- 4,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower - outdoors
These events should be ticketed. Read the organised events guidance for more information on the types of event subject to these requirements.
Any events should be held in a separate room from regular food and drink customers to prevent mixing with event attendees.
Businesses can continue to provide other types of entertainment to food and drink customers. The following guidance should be followed:
- Determine the viability of entertainment and maximum audience numbers. Make this consistent with social distancing outside and within venues, and with other safety considerations.
- Prevent entertainment, that is likely to encourage audience behaviours with increased transmission risk. For example, loud background music, communal dancing, group singing or chanting.
- Reconfigure your entertainment spaces to ensure customers are seated rather than standing. For example, repurposing dance floors for customer seating.
- Communicate clearly to customers your arrangements for entertainment. Clearly supervise them with extra staff if appropriate.
Changes to shops and branches guidance (England)
At Step 3, customers may attend shops in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households of any size indoors; or in groups of no more than 30 people outdoors.
Limit on mourners at funerals to be removed (England)
Legal limit on numbers of mourners at funerals to be removed in England at Step 3 of the roadmap. Venues such as places of worship are to set limits based on individual capacity. All organisers must continue to be COVID secure and follow social distancing rules