Who does this apply to?
These Regulations apply to the general public, local authorities, and a wide range of businesses and sectors including those involved in:
sporting, entertainment or business events
indoor venues, such as shopping centres and hospitality
venues that have had to remain closed since the pandemic began, such as nightclubs.
When did it change?
These Regulations came into force on 18 July 2021.
What does it mean?
This Statutory Instrument revokes the following regulations, so they are no longer in force from the end of 18 July 2021:
the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/364) (the Steps Regulations)
the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/592) (the Face Coverings on Public Transport Regulations)
the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/791) (the Face Coverings in a Relevant Place Regulations)
the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Collection of Contact Details etc and Related Requirements) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/1005) (the Collection of Contact Details Regulations)
the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Obligations of Undertakings) (England) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/1008) (the Obligations of Undertakings Regulations)
the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Local Authority Enforcement Powers and Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/1375) (the LAEP Regulations).
It revokes a number of other regulations which would be spent as a result of the revocation of these regulations.
It also amends the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No 3) Regulations 2020 (the No 3 Regulations) to extend the expiry date to the end of 27 September 2021.
The government reviewed the data against the four tests four weeks after the decision on 14 June 2021 to pause the move to Step 4. Following this review of the data, an assessment of progress against the four tests was made, which was considered satisfactory to allow the move to Step 4.
The Prime Minister announced the move to Step 4 on 12 July 2021, one weeks’ notice before the changes would take effect.
These Regulations and the decision not to extend the regulations that expired on 18 July 2021 (save for the No 3 Regulations), implements the following policy changes:
Revoking the Steps Regulations: this removes remaining restrictions on social contact and gatherings, including the rule of 6/2 households indoors, and up to 30 individuals outdoors. Revocation of the Steps Regulations also permits the reopening of all businesses that remain closed: nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques, dance floors/spaces for dancing, sexual entertainment venues/hostess bars, and shisha bars.
Revoking the Face Coverings (Public Transport) Regulations: this removes the requirement for people to wear face coverings when using public transport services (unless they have a reasonable excuse).
Revoking the Face Coverings (Relevant Places) Regulations: this removes the requirement to wear a face covering in relevant indoor settings.
Revoking the Obligations of Undertakings Regulations: this removes the requirement for businesses and venues to take bookings for certain groups sizes only, ensure distance between tables in hospitality settings, display signage and the prohibitions on preventing someone wearing a face covering.
Revoking the Collection of Contact Details Regulations: these regulations remove the legal requirement for designated venues to ask customers, visitors and staff to “check in” when visiting their premises (individuals can check in by scanning the NHS QR code poster via their NHS COVID-19 app or by providing their contact details). However, these venues will be encouraged in guidance to keep these processes in place, which will allow attendees to check in, should they wish to do so. This will support NHS Test and Trace to alert people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 after an outbreak, and they will be advised to book a test as soon as possible.
Expiring the LAEP Regulations: these regulations remove the provisions which allow local authority officers to issue a Coronavirus Improvement Notice, Coronavirus Restriction Notice and a Coronavirus Immediate Restriction Notice to persons contravening restrictions under certain pieces of Coronavirus legislation, most of which are being revoked by this instrument.
Extending No 3 Regulations: the extension will ensure that local authorities retain powers to respond to local serious and imminent public health threats as a result of the spread of Coronavirus. The No 3 Regulations will continue to act as an important public health tool for local authorities in their local Coronavirus outbreak management, compliance and enforcement activities. This is particularly important in light of the revocation of the other restrictions mentioned above and the continued increase of Coronavirus cases in England.
Parliament July 2021