What are we allowed to do on 19th July when lockdown eases?

Here’s everything you need to know about how the rules will change in the UK on 19th July

19th July
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lockdown regulations are set to change on 'Freedom Day' on 19th July 2021.

On 22nd February 2021, the government announced a roadmap detailing how lockdown restrictions would ease over the coming months. This roadmap set out that restrictions would be lifted on the 21st June 2021. This has since been set back and the new 'Freedom Day' will take place on Monday 19th July 2021.

This date may still change in the next few weeks but for now, the government has committed to this date. At the House of Commons, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid confirmed, "with the numbers heading the right direction—all while we protect more and more people each day—19 July remains our target date."

So here are all the possible questions that you might have about what the 19th July means for those of us in the UK…


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Who can I meet up with from 19th July?

The government regulations suggest that by the 19th July there will no longer be any restrictions to social contact.

The government website states, "By Step 4 which will take place no earlier than 21 June, the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact."

Sajid Javid also confirmed that the UK is currently on track to meet this target. He said, in June to the House of Commons, " Whilst we decided not to bring forward step 4, we see no reason to go beyond 19 July."

Which businesses will be open from 19th July?

Various businesses reopened following the change of restrictions on Monday 17th May 2021. The government announced at the time, “Most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen.” 

Now following the change of restrictions on 19th July, all businesses in the UK are expected to open, although restrictions about masks and social distancing may still be in place depending on the government findings ahead of 'Freedom Day.'

Which events can I attend from 19th July?

The government announced, "We hope to reopen remaining premises, including nightclubs, and ease the restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3."

However, this is subject to the results of the pilot events that took place to test and map the spread of Covid-19 following large events. 

From May 17th the government announced that sporting and entertainment events would be open at a reduced capacity. The guidelines stated that larger events would be allowed to take place at indoor venues at either a capacity of 1,000 or half full, whichever number is the lowest.

Similarly, outdoor events will now take place and are allowed a capacity of 4,000 or half full—whichever number is the lowest. 

The guidelines also state that larger outdoor seated events that allow fans to be spread out, will have a capacity of 10,000, or a quarter full—whichever is lowest.

It is unclear if these restrictions will be lifted entirely on the 19th July but hopes are that events will be able to take indoors normally and restrictions will be fully lifted.

Can I travel from 21st June?

Yes travel abroad is now acceptable if you are travelling to countries that are on the UK's green travel list. 

UK staycations are a good option too due to the limited number of countries on the green list. Airbnb's, self-catered holidays, and hotels are also open for those who wish to holiday in the UK. 

What is the government advice for when we meet the end of the roadmap?

Although the four-stage roadmap may finish on 19th July, the government does advise that people in the UK remain alert about the COVID-19 virus. 

The government website states, "We must all remember that COVID-19 remains a part of our lives. We are going to have to keep living our lives differently to keep ourselves and others safe. We must carry on with ‘hands, face, space’. Comply with the COVID-Secure measures that remain in place. Meet outdoors when we can and keep letting fresh air in. Get tested when needed. Get vaccinated when offered. If we all continue to play our part, we will be that bit closer to a future that is more familiar."