Despite the UK infection rate soaring – and the threat of further lockdowns – Boris Johnson has given the green light to easing most restrictions.
However, some will remain in place as we arrive at stage four of the Prime Minister’s roadmap on Covid shutdowns.
Here’s what you need to know.
THE HOLIDAYS ARE BACK – KIND OF
The summer holidays have been plunged into chaos as countries move around the UK’s travel ‘traffic light’ system.
And the situation became even more complicated after travelers returning from France were told they will have to comply with quarantine – even if they are fully vaccinated.
Authorities recently announced that double-bitten Britons will be able to skip quarantine when they return from Amber List countries.
In theory, that means countries on the current Orange List – like Spain, Portugal and Greece – will finally reopen to sun-seekers desperate for a beach break.
But it has become more murky in recent days.
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The big question mark hangs over travel to France. The country is not on the red list – but even English and Welsh tourists with both vaccines have been told they will still need to be quarantined from Monday.
This is due to concerns over the “persistent” cases of the beta variant, first identified in South Africa.
The mutation may be more resistant to vaccines.
Meanwhile, Ibiza, Menorca and Mallorca have moved from green to orange list, with the change taking effect on Monday.
It won’t matter for fully vaccinated Britons, who still won’t have to self-quarantine when they return home.
But many of those vacationing in the Party Islands are young and may have only had one shot.
The update forces these vacationers to run for tests and flights in an attempt to get home on time.
Along with the Balearic Islands, the British Virgin Islands turn from green to amber on Monday.
Bulgaria and Hong Kong join the green list. Croatia and Taiwan are joining the Green Watch List, which means they are at risk of going orange.
Cuba, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sierra Leone move to the strictest red list.
These changes apply to people traveling to all parts of the UK.
Scotland and Wales continue to advise against non-essential overseas travel. Northern Ireland advises people to “avoid traveling as much as possible”.
YOU CAN GIVE UP THE MASKS – MAINLY
Masks are just as complicated.
By law, Britons will no longer be fined for not wearing face coverings.
But the latest guidelines, released Wednesday, say the government “expects and recommends” masks be worn by workers and customers in overcrowded confined spaces such as public transport.
And the mayor of London has now announced that commuters will be banned from taking subways, trains or buses without a mask.
Sadiq Khan said: “I am not ready to stand idly by and put Londoners and the recovery of our city at risk. “
Outside the capital, commuters will be widely encouraged to wear a mask on a bus or train.
Residents of West and South Yorkshire will continue to wear face masks at bus stations, while passengers using the North East Underground will also need to wear a face cover.
Travelers using Metrolink in Manchester or the Heathrow Express will need to cover themselves, while the same is required for Eurostar passengers.
Meanwhile, those fortunate enough – or brave enough – to travel overseas should also dress up in disguise, with BA, easyJet and Ryanair all insisting on blankets.
But other companies have confirmed they won’t make masks mandatory, including Avanti West Coast, TransPennine Express and Southeastern.
Major bus and coach companies, including National Express and Megabus, have also followed suit and will not insist on a mask.
However, supermarkets want their customers to continue to wear masks.
Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons and Waitrose say they will encourage shoppers and staff to cover their faces.
Finally, staff, patients and visitors to all NHS facilities – including hospitals and GP surgeries – must continue to wear their masks and maintain social distancing as well.
“PINGDEMIC” focuses on
There is a lot of anger over the so-called “pingdemia” of Covid contacts.
Half a million people in England were forced into self-isolation in the first week of July alone – amid claims neighbors are being told to stay home unnecessarily as they are ‘pinched’ through. the walls.
The NHS testing and tracing app is blamed, with some saying it is just too sensitive.
The plan as it stands now is that double-bitten Britons will not have to self-isolate for 10 days after contact with an infected person from August.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said those who test positive will still need to self-isolate for 10 days, even if they are bitten.
And close contacts will always be asked to take a baseline PCR test to “be sure” that they are not infected.
But right now, if you’re nuts, you have to stay inside – even if you test negative.
It was revealed that 530,126 alerts were sent in the most recent week, a 46% increase from the previous week.
The number is more than 10 times higher than the week before June 2. During the last week of April, only 39,875 close contacts were identified.
One in five hospitality and retail workers are self-isolating, while NHS hospitals struggle to cut 25% of their staff.
Meanwhile, in some areas, residents have been warned there aren’t enough people to get their trash cans – Merseyside residents have said there will be no collection until August.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrik told LBC radio: “We are concerned about absences resulting from a ping, for example.
“This is one of the reasons we need a more proportionate approach. “
UBER PROHIBITS CUSTOMERS WITHOUT A MASK
Uber will not accept customers without a mask on Monday, despite the rule change.
Bosses have confirmed the rules will remain although they are no longer required by transport law or in stores when the lockdown is lifted.
Drivers and passengers have had to wear masks during the pandemic for safety reasons.
Ash Kebriti, UK Managing Director of the company, said: “There is nothing more important than the safety of our drivers and passengers who use the Uber app.
“As cities continue to open up, we will ensure that face coverings or masks remain a mandatory requirement, unless exempted, when traveling with Uber across the UK. “