Sunday, 25 Jul 2021

Full list of lockdown rules still in force from today – including mask guidance

The countdown to Freedom Day has never been far from our minds, having had coronavirus restrictions in place for over a year.

June 21 was originally the date at which all lockdown restrictions would end in stage four of the government's roadmap, but it was later extended to July 19 after concerns in the rise of cases from the Delta variant.

But now Freedom Day is finally here –a day to celebrate after a long six months since the third lockdown began. We can say goodbye to the majority of restrictions, including wearing a mask at the supermarket.

But as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the UK, the government is taking a cautious approach to the freedom day with some restrictions being kept in place.

Boris Johnson has stressed that people still need to be cautious from today, and that life wouldn’t be automatically back to normal.

However, Covid vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said he was "confident" this is the right time to ease the final stages of lockdown restrictions, following the continuous rollout out of the vaccines.

Here’s the full list of the rules still in place that need to be followed from today.

Face coverings

The wearing of face masks is no longer compulsory, but should be worn on public transport and when in busy or enclosed areas.

The majority of public transport, including all Transport for London services and the trams in Manchester, will still ask for people to wear face masks.

In addition, airlines such as British Airways, Ryanair, EasyJet and Virgin still requiring people to wear face coverings when travelling with them.

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New guidance in place says businesses should still “encourage and recommend” to their customers to wear face masks.

Many shops such as Waterstones and Tesco are still asking their customers to wear face masks when entering their stores.

With the end of the legal requirement to wear face coverings in many places, it comes down to people assessing the situation and how comfortable they feel, even if there is no legal rule in place.

Many young people who were criticised before for not taking “Covid seriously” have said they will continue to wear face masks even after rules have relaxed.

Travel

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Despite the so-called Freedom Day, there are still many restrictions in place for foreign travel, with the government’s traffic light system still in place.

However, from today those who have been fully vaccinated or are under 18 no longer need to quarantine when returning to the UK after visiting an amber list country.

There may be exceptions from some countries such as France, which are currently dealing with a spike in Covid cases.

Before travelling abroad, check the government website for the latest travel restrictions in the different countries to help stop the spread of variants entering the UK.

Track and Trace

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The NHS track and trace system will still remain in place with people still needing to check in to venues on arrival.

This will continue to alert people who may have come into contact with someone who has tested for the virus and needs to self isolate.

According to the government, rules on self-isolating after coming into contact with someone with the virus for those who are fully vaccinated may change on August 16.

But those who are not fully vaccinated will still need to self isolate after receiving the alert telling them to self isolate for 10 days.

Anyone who tests positive for the virus will need to continue to isolate to protect themselves and others.

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