Move to Step 4 today

Today we move to Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown, so the government have just published updated guidance about what this means.  It includes:

While cases are high and rising, the government are keeping in place key protections:

  • 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.
  • border quarantine: for all arriving from red list countries and for those people not fully vaccinated arriving from amber list countries.
  • 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 would expect and recommend a gradual return to the workplace 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. The Government will work with organisations where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of this. If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating certification in certain venues at a later date.

Although most legal restrictions have been lifted at step 4, and many people have been vaccinated, it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated, and we are still in the third wave of this pandemic in the UK.  COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others.

Following this guidance will help you stay safe and protect others by controlling the spread. Every action to help reduce the spread will reduce any further resurgence of the virus in the coming months.

Most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 have been lifted at step 4. This means that:

  • You do not need to stay 2 metres apartfrom people you do not live with. There are also no limits on the number of people you can meet.  However, in order to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
  • You should meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
  • The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
  • The requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
  • There are no longer limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There is no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing. You should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.
  • There are no longer restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship

COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. Everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.

You can find the ful guidance here:

BwD Council’s guidance is available here:

The NHS Test & Trace guidance has also been updated to reflect that display and use of the QR code and contact information is no longer mandatory for businesses, but encouraged.  It says:

‘To protect your venue or business, you should:

  • display the official NHS QR code poster
  • ask every customer or visitor aged 16 and over to check in to the venue using the NHS QR code or by providing their contact details
  • have a system in place to ensure that customers can still check in if they do not have a smartphone or the NHS COVID-19 app
  • keep a record of all staff working on their premises, their shift times on a given day and their contact details
  • keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested
  • consider the use of the NHS COVID Pass to reduce the risk of transmission at your venue or event
  • adhere to Data Protection legislation’

The government has also updated its guidance for Courts and Tribunals following the move to Step 4 today. 

It includes:

‘From the 19 July 2021, based on Public Health advice, our courts and tribunals in England will have minimal social distancing in place. We will, however, based on Public Health expert advice, continue to reduce the risk of the virus spreading by:

  • requiring all users to wear a face coveringin public and communal parts of our buildings
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other where they will come into close proximity with others they do not normally meet
  • assessing our estate for ventilation and continuing with our existing ventilation standards. Carbon dioxide monitors will also be used as additional assurance in building areas identified through our risk assessment process.

You can find more information here:

The guidance around keeping Court and Tribunal buildings safe, secure and clean has also been updated and can be found here:

©2022 Blackburn BID

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