Monday should have seen the final lifting of lockdown restrictions across England, but because of rising coronavirus infection rates due to the now-dominant Delta variant, “Freedom Day” has been delayed until 19 July.
This means that the rule-of-six and social distancing measures remain in place. But, a number of other restrictions — including those around weddings, wakes, and care homes — have been lifted as of today.
Here’s how coronavirus restrictions will change as of 21 June:
After more than a year of crippling uncertainty for the wedding industry, the 30-person limit for ceremonies and receptions has been lifted.
Capacity for weddings now depend only on the ability of the venue to accommodate guests in a Covid-safe manner.
For those looking to host weddings on private land, an additional risk assessment must be filled out by organisers.
Other wedding restrictions will remain in place until 19 July, however, as advice against dancing and singing remains in place, indoor dance floors are not permitted, and guests must still wear masks in certain situations.
For indoor receptions, guests must be seated at tables of no more than six people.
Similar to weddings, the 30-person limit on wakes has also been lifted. Capacity restrictions around wakes will now be dictated by the number of people that a venue can accommodate in a covid-safe fashion.
Rules on visits outside of care homes have also been relaxed. As of 21 June, care home residents no longer have to isolate after spending time away from the home visiting with friends and family, including overnight stays.
Care home residents will also no longer have to isolate when they first arrive at a home. A 14-day isolation period remains in place, however, for residents returning from hospital.
Care home residents can now nominate up to five visitors, with two being allowed to visit per day.
Additionally, coronavirus vaccination is set to accelerate. All adults will now be offered a first dose by 19 July — more than a week ahead of the original target of 31 July.
The government is also aiming to offer all over-40s their second dose by 19 July as well, in hopes of providing greater vaccine immunity by “Freedom Day”.
Other rules that were set to change today but will remain in place until 19 July, include capacity limits remain at large events and social distancing measures. Large events — including sporting events, cinemas, and theatre — will continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity or less, and nightclubs will remain shut.
Guidance around masking remains in place, and those who fail to wear a mask in shops or on public transport without a legal exemption could be fined £200.
Indoors, the rule-of-six remains in place, and outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people are currently permitted.