Covid 19 update from 19 July 2021- Freedom Day
Today is Freedom Day for England, as most remaining Covid 19 restrictions are lifted. However, it’s not the same for the whole of Britain but all four nations of the UK will be easing Covid 19 restrictions within the next few weeks. Here is our Covid 19 update from 19 July 2021 for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
What is happening in England?
From 19 July 2021 the wearing of masks indoors is no longer compulsory, and all existing restrictions will be lifted in England, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
However, Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor stated that mandatory face covering will continue on public transport in the Capital. It is interesting that Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary is supporting this measure. Our understanding has always been that the law, is the law.
It seems that the government is laying the responsibility on businesses as to what they should do about mask wearing. Urging the public to be cautious on 19 July, the government has recommended that masks are still worn in crowded and enclosed spaces. Note this is a recommendation and not the law.
Mayors in many parts of the UK intend to use their limited local powers to enforce masks on public transport after Monday 19 July, having failed to convince the government that they should remain mandatory. Places most affected by this are in the North of England.
The North of England
In bus stations operated by combined authorities, passengers in South and West Yorkshire will be required to wear face coverings. This also applies to those using Greater Manchester Metrolink train services and the Metro in the North East of England.
Full opening up of businesses
Also from Monday 19 July, the legal limits imposed previously on the numbers of people able to meet outdoors and in, will be lifted. For the first time since March 2020 nightclubs will reopen as will all other businesses.
However, the government recommends that businesses employ a certification process when allowing entry to venues considered to be “high risk”.
All social distancing ends with people being able to attend theatres, sporting events and concerts normally.
The longstanding instruction to work at home if you can is now over. Although the government is encouraging businesses to gradually bring the workforce back to offices.
Care homes can now lift the limits on named visitors.
What is happening in Wales?
Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales is not applying the government’s Covid 19 update from 19 July 2021. Instead, he proposes lifting most of the restrictions currently in place on 7 August.
At a recent press conference in Cardiff, he also mentioned that masks would continue to be mandatory in indoor settings and on public transport.
From Saturday 17 July, a maximum of 6 people can meet in holiday accommodation and in their own homes.
Organised indoor events can take place with a restriction of 1,000 seated attendees and a maximum of 200 standing. Ice rinks will also reopen on Saturday 17 July 2021.
If the alert level comes down, within a month, subject to businesses carrying out Covid risk assessments, all will be able to reopen with “most restrictions being lifted”.
What is happening in Northern Ireland?
From 26 July 2021, all social distancing limitations will end for outdoor activities. But it will continue in indoor settings with social distancing reduced to one metre.
It will no longer be necessary from 26 July for fully vaccinated people, returning to Northern Ireland from countries on the amber list, to self-isolate or take a Covid test 8 days afterwards.
It is expected that concert halls and theatres will be able to reopen around 22 July subject to ratification by Stormont ministers.
Plans are underway to increase the number of people gathering in private homes from 6 to 10 but from a maximum of 3 households. It is also planned that 15 people will be able to meet, irrespective of the households they come from, in private gardens.
On 26 July the wearing of masks in places of worship will no longer be necessary. And all guidance on face masks and classroom bubbles in schools will be removed.
What is happening in Scotland?
While First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, confirms that Scotland will move to Level zero of their 5 tier system on 19 July 2021 some restrictions will not be lifted. These include social distancing and the numbers of people permitted to meet outdoors and indoors.
In the Scottish Parliament during First Minister’s questions, she stated that masks will remain compulsory for “some time to come”, but social distancing is set to reduce to 1 metre in public places.
In private homes, a maximum of 8 people can meet from up to 4 households. And in bars and restaurants, groups of 10 people can gather.
Some social distancing restrictions will remain outdoors but the current closing time for pubs operating indoors will change from 11pm to 12pm. This will be disappointing for some people including bar owners, since they had expected all restrictions to be lifted.
The gradual process of returning to offices has been delayed. This will happen on 9 August if Scotland moves beyond Level 0.
Lie Detector Test UK plans following the Covid 19 update from 19 July 2021
As most of our regular readers know, we have been limited as to where we can conduct lie detector tests in the UK. Due to the varying restrictions in each of the four countries we normally operate in, much of our activity throughout the pandemic has been in London, the West Midlands and the East Midlands.
As each country lifts all restrictions, we plan to revert to normal offering tests throughout the UK. We will naturally keep everyone updated on our blog and social media platforms. UK Government updates can be accessed by clicking here
However, our confidential free helpline (0800 368 8277) is available if you require information urgently.
What will you be doing on Freedom Day?
Will you revert completely back to normal or will you retain some of the Covid restrictions on Freedom Day such as masks, social distancing and meeting in small groups?
Let us know.