From July 19 it is likely that business owners, including agencies and industry suppliers, will no longer have to ask staff to work from home.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a special news conference on Monday that the government order to work from home when possible would likely cease from July 19; the details of who goes back to workplaces and when beyond that date was a matter for employers and employees he added.
Johnson says that a final decision on whether to go ahead with all aspects of the last phase of the opening of the country will be taken in a week's time; this will follow a review of the latest data.
If the government's tests for removing restrictions are being met, July 19 will see:
- The government no longer requiring people to work from home;
- The removal of the 'one metre-plus' rule in almost all settings, including offices;
- An end to the compulsory wearing of face masks in shops or on public transport;
- No limits on social contact meaning groups of any size can gather inside or outside;
- All remaining businesses, including nightclubs, able to re-open;
- No capacity caps on large scale events such as sports matches or concerts;
- No more limits on the number of people who are able to visit care home residents.
However, under those rules being retained from July 19, it will still be a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid-19.
The one-metre plus rule will continue in a small number of specific places such as airports to prevent passengers from different destinations from mixing, and infection control measures will remain in place in care homes.
Johnson and his senior medical advisers at the conference - including England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty - said the summer was a good time to open up the country, and was better than delaying until autumn or winter. In addition, he said the continuation of restrictions would improve a toll on people's lives and mental health.
He said it was time to be honest with ourselves. If we cannot open up in summer when the weather is good, then when can we return to normal?