Easing of COVID-19 restrictions

On 22nd February, the roadmap for exiting the most recent lockdown restrictions was announced.

Step 1: 8th March and 29th March
Step 2: 12th April
Step 3: 17th May

The following businesses reopened:

  • Indoor hospitality
  • Indoor entertainment and attractions
  • Organised indoor sport
  • All accommodation providers
  • All outdoor entertainment (including live performances)
  • Significant life events can have up to 30
  • Indoor events can have 1,000 guests or 50%
  • Outdoor seated events can have 10,000 guests or 25%
  • Outdoor non-seated events can have 4,000 guests or 50%
Step 4: 19th July

The following is permitted:

Social distancing

  • No limits on how many people can meet
  • 1m-plus rule removed (except in some places like hospitals, or before passport control when entering the country)
  • Face coverings no longer required by law

Events and gatherings

  • Nightclubs can open an a return to full capacity for theatre and cinema audiences
  • Pubs and restaurants no longer table service only
  • No limits on guests at weddings and funerals
  • No limits on people attending concerts, theatres or sports events
  • No restrictions on communal worship


  • Guidance recommending against travel to amber countries removed
  • Adults fully vaccinated in the UK will no longer have to quarantine for 10 days after returning from amber list countries
  • Under-18s won’t need to quarantine

Other changes

  • People currently working from home should return to the workplace gradually
  • Limits on visitors to care homes will be removed

On 16th August most Covid restrictions in schools – including “bubbles” – will come to an end, ahead of the autumn term.

It will remain a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid.

The progression of these steps was reliant on the COVID-19 data at the time of each review. The assessment is based on the following four points:

1. The vaccine deployment programme continuing successfully.

2. Evidence showing vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.

3. Infection rates not risking a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

4. Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.

If you require any further assistance to help your business restart or recover, speak to one of our Growth Hub advisers about the support that could be available to you.

To find out about the financial support available to you during this time, visit this page.