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Covid rules from 19 July: What has changed?

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Big changes to Covid restrictions have been made in England and Scotland.

Wales relaxed some rules on 17 July. Northern Ireland is set to ease rules on 26 July.

Social distancing

Events and gatherings

Nightclubs can reopenPubs and restaurants no longer table-service onlyNo limits on guests at weddings and funeralsNo limits on people attending concerts, theatres or sports eventsNo restrictions on communal worship


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Other changes

From the same date, fully vaccinated adults will not need to self-isolate after contact with a positive case.

People should continue to meet others outside where possible.

Businesses such as nightclubs – and large events – will be encouraged to use the NHS Covid Pass to check people are fully vaccinated. However, they won’t legally have to do so.

All of Scotland is now in Covid protection level 0.

Up to eight people from up to four households can meet indoors at homeUp to 10 people from up to four households can meet in a public indoor spaceUp to 15 people from up to 15 households can meet outdoors – whether in a private garden or public place (children aged 12 and under not counted)Up to 200 people can attend weddings and funeralsTwo-hour slots to go to a pub or restaurant end, but customers to provide contact details and wear face coverings when not seatedSoft play centres can openCapacity at events rises to 2,000 seated outdoors, 1,000 standing and 400 indoorsPeople fully-vaccinated in the UK -and under-18s travelling with them – no longer have to quarantine after visiting an amber-list country

Guidance is expected on allowing fully vaccinated people to avoid self-isolation after close contact with positive cases.

The government is also considering removing the self-isolation requirement for school pupils.

Masks compulsory on public transport and in shops “for some time”Hospitality venues to close at midnightNightclubs and adult entertainment closedIn indoor public places, social distancing changes from 2m (6ft) to 1m including between different household groupsOutdoor group gatherings limited to 15 people from up to 15 households – no social distancing required within the group, but 1m required between different groupsPeople should carry on working from home

The government hopes to lift most remaining restrictions on 9 August.

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Wales moves to Alert Level 1 on 17 July:

Up to six people can meet indoors in private homes and holiday accommodationOrganised indoor events can take place for up to 1,000 seated and up to 200 standingIce rinks can reopenNo limits on how many people can meet outdoors in public places, or at events

The six-person limit does not apply if everyone is from the same or extended household.

Adults returning from amber-list countries also no longer have to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated in the UK, and nor do under-18s travelling with them.

The government hopes to move to Alert Level 0 on 7 August. This would mean:

All premises can open, including nightclubs, with most restrictions replaced by risk assessmentsNo legal limits on the number of people who can meet indoors, including private homes

Face coverings will continue to be required in most indoor public places and on public transport for the present time.

Restrictions will be eased further on 26 July, if approved at a review on 22 July.

Changes include:

Fully vaccinated people and under-18s returning from amber list countries will not have to quarantineTheatres and other indoor seated venues will be able to reopenLive music indoors with no restrictions on sound levels10 people from three households able to meet inside a private home15 people from any number of households able to meet in a private gardenSocial distancing reduced to 1m indoors and removed for outdoor activities (although 2m distance still recommended)

The government says if you live in one of these areas you should read local Covid-19 information and advice.

Most areas remind residents to follow hands, face and space rules:

washing hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, and use sanitiserwear a face covering in busy placesmeet friends and family outsidekeep 2m (6ft) apart from people you don’t live with
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