July 19: What the changes mean for you

High school student taking notes from book while wearing face mask due to coronavirus emergency. You

Most Covid restrictions will be dropped on July 19 - here are some that may impact your day-to-day life. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

On July 5, Boris Johnson addressed the nation - stating that July 19's lockdown easing will still go ahead, despite a trend of rising Covid cases.

After this date, most social distancing guidelines will be removed for the first time in more than a year.

Here are five answers to questions that may impact your day-to-day life.

Do I need to have proof of the vaccine for the changes to apply?

Businesses are not obliged to ask for your current Covid status, this being whether you have recently tested negative or to provide proof of vaccination.

However, businesses and event organisers can choose to use this system if they wish. This means you may still be asked to provide either a negative Covid test result or proof of vaccination if a specific establishment asks to, or risk being denied entry.

Will the rule of six remain?

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No, in short.

The rule of six has been in place since 2020 and will be scrapped on July 19 - both indoors and outdoors.

This means groups will be able to gather in large amounts once again - including for occasions such as sports events and music concerts as the one metre or more social distancing rule will also go.

Will I still have to wear a face mask?

Under step four of the Government's lockdown roadmap, there will be no legal requirement to wear a face-covering if you do not wish to.

Although, medical settings, such as hospitals and care homes, will still encourage visitors to wear face coverings for safety reasons. Also, some companies may still ask that customers use face coverings, such as airlines Ryanair and Easyjet.

Do I still have to work from home?

The Government will no longer provide guidance to businesses for their employees working from home, instead, it has welcomed the idea that they should plan for a return to the office.

This decision will be made by each employer, independently, and will range in the outcome.

Will Test and Trace continue?

Yes - anyone who tests positive for Covid will still need to share information with NHS Test and Trace, such as close contacts.

A 10-day isolation period, from the day you came into contact with an infected person, will still be observed if you are told to do so. Not doing so may lead to a fine, starting at £1,000.

If you have symptoms, the people you live with will also have to isolate for 10 days, however, they will not need to if you are not showing Covid symptoms.

For school children, Covid bubbles will cease to exist from July 19 onwards.

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