13 July 2021
The Government has announced that stage 4 of the roadmap out of Lockdown in England will be implemented on 19 July.
That means there will be no limits on how many people can meet, the 1m+ rule will be removed except in hospitals and passport control, and face coverings are no longer required by law. The removal of limitations regarding spacing and table service only, means that all cafes and shops at museums and historic sites can reopen. Museums with video or cinema rooms can now fully reopen and allow unlimited access. It also means that the current system of limiting the numbers of people coming into museums and sites by having to book slots can be shelved, although some venues may choose to continue to do so in the short term. All events that were planned to go ahead this summer, for which tickets have been sold, will now definitely happen. You can look forward to the Victory Show and Military Odyssey for example.
However, the Government has also muddied the waters by issuing guidance in a number of areas. Face coverings are recommended in public spaces and this will be left to individual establishments to decide whether to enforce it themselves. So, smaller museums and auctions could still ask for masks to be worn inside. Large events, such as militaria shows, fairs, re-enactments and displays such as at Duxford are being encouraged to use Covid-jab certification to limit the spread of the virus but, confusingly, it is not required by law.
Despite promising that the roadmap was irreversible, the Government will review the situation in September to assess how prepared the country is for autumn and winter when respiratory diseases are more prevalent. At that point it’s entirely possible that restrictions are re-imposed.
Meanwhile, Scotland is due to move to Covid Level 0 on 19 July with all major legal restrictions lifted on 9 August (but is expected to keep face coverings and social distancing), Wales will issue a review tomorrow, and some rules are expected to change in Northern Ireland on 26 July.
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