The government has published the ‘Moving to Step 4 of the roadmap’ document. This sets out the essential actions that everybody should take to protect themselves and others while prevalence is high, as we transition towards learning to live with COVID-19 after 19th July 2021.
The pandemic is not over. Cases are currently rising, as are hospitalisations. Cases, hospitalisations and, sadly, deaths, will rise further as society and the economy reopen. Vigilance must be maintained and people will be asked to make informed decisions and act carefully and proportionately, to manage the risks to themselves and others. The recent spread of the Delta variant, now dominant and estimated to be 40-80% more transmissible than the previously dominant Alpha variant, demonstrates how quickly the situation can change. The success of the vaccine programme means that hospitalisations are expected to rise more slowly than in previous waves though the rate of growth and duration of the wave remain uncertain.
Therefore, when England moves to step 4 of the roadmap, the Government will continue to manage the risk of serious illness from the spread of the virus. This will mark a new phase in the Government’s response to the pandemic, moving away from stringent restrictions on everyone’s day-to-day lives, towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others, alongside targeted interventions to reduce risk. To do this, the Government will:
- Reinforce the country’s vaccine wall of defence through booster jabs and driving take up.
- Enable the public to make informed decisions through guidance, rather than laws.
- Retain proportionate test, trace and isolate plans in line with international comparators.
- Manage risks at the border and support a global response to reduce the risk of variants emerging globally and entering the UK.
- 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.
Full details of how the restrictions will change and what it will mean for day to day life can be found here.