PM confirms step four of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Roadmap from 19 July 2021

PM confirms step four of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Roadmap from 19 July 2021

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has confirmed that step four of the Roadmap will continue as planned on 19 July 2021. Data has suggested coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, hospitalisation, serious illness and deaths will continue to rise as restrictions ease and the guidance for step four is expected to urge the public to exercise caution and emphasise personal responsibility. Johnson has stressed there will never be a perfect time to re-open but the decision to go ahead with step four comes after the latest data and modelling has suggested the government’s four tests have been met.

The four tests for easing restrictions are that the vaccine deployment programme continues to be successful, vaccines are evidenced to be effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths, infection rates will not overwhelm the NHS with hospitalisations and new variants have not altered the assessment of risks. Step four was delayed by four weeks to increase vaccine uptake and 7 million vaccines have been administered in that time. The Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, has highlighted the importance of vaccines in breaking the chain of infections and has said that infections rates will not place unsustainable pressure on the NHS. He also said that reopening later will increase NHS pressure given the prevalence of winter illnesses.

Details of step four are as follows:

• the majority of legal restrictions will be removed

• the government recommends that face coverings continue to be used in crowded and enclosed spaces, like public transport

• a return to the workplace should be gradual and businesses should follow the published guidance

• organisations and large events should use the NHS Covid Pass in high-risk settings to limit the risk of infection in their venues

• positive cases and contacts of positive cases identified by NHS must still self-isolate. There will be exemptions for contacts under 18 and for double vaccinated adults from 16 August 2021

• quarantine rules will remain for those travelling from a red list country and amber list countries unless they have been double vaccinated

Sources:

• Prime Minister confirms move to Step 4

• Secretary of State for Health and Social Care provides an update on step 4

• PM statement at coronavirus press conference: 12 July 2021

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