The New Covid-19 Rules For The UK – Update:
The CWU Health Safety and Environment Department continues to constantly monitor the position across the UK.
A round of further announcements were made last week by the UK Government regarding the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in England plus the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland followed with revised rules relaxing restrictions with changes occurring on several different dates. These are summarised below:
What Are The Covid Rule Changes In England?
England is to remove its “Plan B” Covid restrictions this week.
The Government is no longer asking people to work from homeand face masks will no longer be compulsory in school classrooms, public places, public transport, shops, hairdressers, public venues, theatres and cinemas etc., from Thursday 27 January:
- Covid passes or passports will no longer be compulsoryto gain entry to venues and events.
- Face masks will no longer be compulsory in any public spaces – although they will still be “recommended” in some places, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said they will remain mandatory on TfL services in London.
- Restrictions on visits to care homes will be eased.
The prime minister said he also hopes to scrap mandatory self-isolation for people who test positive for Covid. The current regulations expire on 24 Marchand he hopes to bring that date forward.
What are the Covid Rule Changes In Wales?
A gradual easing of Covid restrictions is under way in Wales.
- From Friday 21 January there are no limits on numbers at outdoor events.
- On 28 January, nightclubs will open, and gatherings in pubs and restaurants will no longer be limited to six people.
- Covid passes or passports will still be required for large events, cinemas, nightclubs and theatres.
Current Covid Rules In Wales Include:
- Compulsory face coverings in schools, on public transport, and in shops and hospitals.
- Social distancing of 2m (6ft) in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable.
- Gatherings limited to six people in premises such as hospitality venues, cinemas and theatres.
- Additional measures at licensed premises, including table service and collecting contact details.
- Maximum number of 30 allowed at indoor events.
- Nightclubs are closed.
- NHS Covid Pass needed for entry to cinemas, theatres and concert halls, and many other events.
- Working from home wherever possible.
- Secondary school pupils are asked to test for Covid three times a week.
What Are The Covid Rules In Northern Ireland?
Covid Rules in Northern Ireland are also being relaxed.
From 21 January:
- Rules on table service in hospitality businesses and the “rule of six” per table will end.
- Guidance of three households allowed to meet in a home will be removed.
From 26 January:
- Nightclubs will be allowed to reopen, with dancing and indoor standing events also permitted again.
- Proof of Covid status (Covid Passports) will no longer be legally required in hospitality premises. (They will remain in place for nightclubs and indoor unseated and partially-seated events with 500 or more people).
- The need for offices to “take reasonable measures for 2m (6ft) social distancing” will be removed, although risk assessments should be carried out.
Current Covid Rules In Northern Ireland Include:
- Compulsory face coverings in shops, indoor-seated venues and visitor attractions, public transport and other settings.
- Post-primary pupils must wear a face covering inside school buildings, as well as on school transport. Staff are encouraged to wear masks in school areas where they can’t socially distance.
What Is Changing In Scotland?
Covid Rules in Scotland will be lifted.
From 24 January:
- Nightclubs – can reopen.
- Limits on the size of indoor events – 100 standing or 200 seated – removed.
- Social distancing indoors – removed.
- Table service only in hospitality venues – removed.
- No limit on the number of households meeting indoors.
- Non-professional indoor contact sports – resume.
Current Covid Rules In Scotland Include:
- Shops and businesses need to take measures to limit the spread of Covid.
- Employers have a legal duty to let staff work from home.
- Face coverings are compulsory on public transport and most indoor spaces.
- Covid certification scheme is in place for some venues including nightclubs requiring a negative test or proof of being fully vaccinated.
- Organisers of large-scale events must check the Covid status of at least 50% of attendees, or 1,000 people, whichever is the larger number.
How Else Have The Covid Rules Changed?
- People who test positive for Covid (in England and Northern Ireland) can now end self-isolation after 5 days and after 7 days (in Wales and Scotland) instead of the previous 10, subject to two negative lateral flow test (LFT) results.
- People without Covid symptoms who have a positive LFD Test result don’t need to take a PCR test to confirm their status.
- Children and fully vaccinated adults no longer need to take a pre-departure test before travelling to the UK and can now take an LFT instead of a PCR on arrival.
Note: Announcements by the UK Governments are being made regularly and therefore the above information is subject to ongoing change as further restrictions are amended and removed. Further reports will be issued in due course.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer