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Prime Minister confirms move to Step 4 Published Date: 12/07/2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that Step 4 of the Roadmap will go ahead on Monday 19 July.  This follows an initial delay from 21 June, which was intended to enable more adults to be vaccinated.

Step 4 of the Roadmap will proceed as planned on Monday 19 July, the Prime Minister has confirmed.

The Government says that moving to Step 4 is a balance of risks and the public should continue to be cautious. The majority of covid restrictions will end on 19 July and guidance will emphasise personal responsibility.

The Government conceded that cases will continue to rise but consider that  the vaccination programme has substantially weakened the link between infection and serious illness or death.  While hospitalisations and deaths are expected to continue to rise over the coming weeks and months, both remain lower than the previous wave, and the current data does not suggest that unsustainable pressure will be put on the NHS  Going forward, all data will be kept under constant review.

As of 12 July there are 28,421 new positive cases in England. 461 people were admitted to hospital with covid and there are 2,352 patients in hospital. The latest ONS estimates show that 1 in 160 people have covid in England.  Nearly 7 million vaccines have already been administered during the delay.

The Prime Minister  emphasised caution and the expectation for a gradual easing of restrictions, based on informed choice and personal responsibility. Last week he set out a five-point plan to manage the risks while learning to live with covid.

The vaccination programme will continue and all adults will be offered two doses by mid-September. Dependent on final JCVI advice the booster programme will begin from September, offering additional protection to the most vulnerable.

The majority of legal restrictions will be removed and people will be expected to protect themselves and others through informed choice. The government expects and recommends that face coverings are worn in crowded and enclosed spaces, such as public transport, when mixing with people you don’t normally meet.

While the government is no longer instructing people to work from home, a return to the workplace should be gradual and businesses should follow the published guidance.

Organisations and large events will be supported and encouraged to use the NHS COVID Pass in high-risk settings to help limit the risk of infection in their venues.

Positive cases and contacts of positive cases identified by NHS Test and Trace will still be legally required to self-isolate, to help break chains of transmission. There will be an isolation exemption for contacts of positive cases for under 18s and for double vaccinated adults from 16 August. School bubbles will end from 19 July.

Quarantine rules will remain for all those travelling from a red list country, and for amber list countries unless double vaccinated.

All data will be kept under review, and contingency measures will be retained to manage periods of higher risk, such as winter. Guidance will be strengthened if needed, but restrictions will be avoided if possible due to their significant economic, social and health costs.

The government will review the current guidance in September.

Health and Care Secretary Sajid Javid gave an oral statement earlier today (12 July) ahead of the Prime Minister's press conference.