Today is 'Freedom Day' - the day when, in England at least, almost all Covid rules will finally be lifted.

So what will be different?

Here are the main changes:


There will no longer be limits on how many people can meet

In many cases the ‘one metre plus’ rule on social distancing has also been relaxed, apart from certain circumstances such as in hospitals - although experts say distancing remains good practice

Face coverings will no longer be required by law in public places, although the government says it still 'expects and recommends' them in crowded and enclosed spaces, including offices, factories, construction sites and close contact services such as hairdressers. 

Some transport operators (such as LNER) will still be asking people to wear masks

The requirement for social distancing in public will end tomorrow - exccept in certain places like hospitals

Events and gatherings

Nightclubs can reopen 

Pubs and restaurants will no longer be required to operate table-service only

There will be no limits on guests at weddings and funerals, or on the numbers of people attending concerts, theatres or sports events

There will be no restrictions on numbers attending church services or other forms of worship


The guidance recommending against travel to amber list countries will be removed - although those returning from France must still quarantine for 10 days 

The under-18s and fully vaccinated adults will no longer have to self-isolate after visiting amber list countries

Travellers arriving from France on the Eurostar at St Pancras. The last-minute announcement that fully vaccinated travellers returning  from France will continue to have to quarantine from Monday has caused confusion. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Other changes

The limit on care home visitors has been scrapped but many homes will continute to maintain infection control measures. This will vary and it is best to check beforehand

From August 16, most Covid restrictions in schools - including 'bubbles' - will end. 

The latest coronavirus data shows that, in the seven days leading up to 15 July, Richmondshire & Hambleton districts had the highest rates of new cases and Ryedale the lowest.