Covid-19 Stage 4 Update

The Prime Minister announced that we will be moving into Stage 4 of the Covid Roadmap from Monday, 19 July.

At Stage 4, the Government will remove outstanding legal restrictions on social contact, life events, and open the remaining closed settings. Instead people and businesses will be able to make informed decisions about how to manage the risk to themselves and others. 

The government have published guidance on key behaviours to enable this in their document Coronavirus: how to stay safe.

At stage 4, cautious guidance will remain whilst cases are high and rising.

As a result, key protections will stay in place:

  • testing when you have symptoms and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk.
  • isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace or when advised to by the NHS COVID-19 app.
  • border quarantine: for all arriving from red list countries, for those people arriving from amber list countries, other than those UK residents fully vaccinated in the UK vaccine programme.
  • cautious guidance for individuals, businesses and the vulnerable whilst prevalence is high including:
    • whilst Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer
    • Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport
    • being outside or letting fresh air in
    • minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts
  • encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the NHS COVID Pass in high risk settings to help to limit the risk of infection. The Government will work with organisations that operate large, crowded settings where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of the NHS COVID Pass. If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating the NHS COVID Pass in certain venues at a later date.

The five-point plan to manage the virus in the next phase

The government has prepared a five point plan, set out in the COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021. This is intended to help us to manage the risks of living with the virus.

  1. Reinforce the country’s vaccine wall of defence through booster jabs and driving take up. The government will encourage vaccine take up among young adults and those yet to be vaccinated, ensure all adults have had the opportunity to receive two doses of the vaccine by mid September, and offer booster jabs to the most vulnerable subject to final advice from the JCVI.
  2. Enable the public to make informed decisions through guidance, rather than laws. The government will reopen the remaining closed settings and remove regulations from 19 July. Provide guidance for individuals, businesses, and those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable on the behaviours that can help to protect everyone. The government will look to operate public services in a way that supports everyone feeling safe to access them, and work with businesses to the same effect.
  3. Retain proportionate test, trace and isolate plans. The government will keep the testing system in place; continue to offer free lateral flow tests to help people manage their personal risk; maintain current domestic isolation requirements until 16 August before introducing an exemption for fully vaccinated contacts and under 18s; and maintain support for self isolation, with practical and financial support available until the end of September.
  4. Manage risks at the border and support a global response to reduce the risk of variants emerging globally and entering the UK. The government will continue to operate a traffic-light system for international travel, reassessing the red, amber and green lists this week, and every three weeks, through the summer; remove quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated UK travellers returning from amber countries from 19 July, while retaining PCR testing crucial for identifying new variants; and accelerate global vaccination by prioritising access to vaccines in developing countries.
  5. Retain contingency measures to respond to unexpected events, while accepting that further cases, hospitalisations and deaths will occur as the country learns to live with COVID-19. The government will continue to monitor the data on a regular basis to ensure there is no danger of the NHS facing unsustainable pressure; work with local authorities and provide national support to local areas that need an enhanced response to COVID-19; and maintain contingency plans for reimposing economic and social restrictions at a local, regional or national level if evidence suggests they are necessary to suppress or manage a dangerous variant. Such measures would only be re-introduced as a last resort to prevent unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

For further information and guidance on these changes, please visit these links:

Further assets from the government, are also due to be added to the Coronavirus Resource Centre.

As guidelines change find up-to-date information on GOV.UK.

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