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Coronavirus restrictions - what you need to know

England has now moved to Step 4. Review our guide to find out what changed on 19 July. 

Find out how restrictions are eased at Step 4

The guidance below no longer applies, as England has now moved to Step 4. 

Summary of key measures

Notice: The Delta variant is spreading in some parts of England including in Greater Manchester and the government is urging people to be particularly cautious. 

Wherever possible, individuals should try to: 

  • meet outside rather than inside
  • keep 2 metres apart from people that they don’t live with (unless they have formed a support bubble)
  • minimise travel in and out of the region 

Businesses should also continue to:

Visit the government website for more information on the latest guidance.

Business and venue closures 

Businesses to remain closed: 

• Nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques

• Adult entertainment venues


Open businesses, services and venues 

• Essential and non-essential retail 

 Hospitality venues
(service allowed both indoors and outdoors)

• Hotels and other accommodation providers 

• Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions (e.g. theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys).

• Personal care (Steam rooms and saunas are now allowed to reopen).

• Indoor leisure and sports facilities (e.g. indoor leisure centres and gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor sports courts, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor riding arenas, and indoor climbing walls). 

• Conference centres and exhibition halls 

• Services provided by cleaners, nannies and tradespeople who are required to work in other people's homes.

 Places of worship (following the gathering limits)

The full list of businesses allowed to reopen in Step 3 of the Roadmap out of lockdown is available on the government website.

Weddings, civil partnerships, and

 Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wedding receptions
or civil partnership celebrations
 can take place with as many
people as a venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place

 Funerals and linked commemorative events may also take place with as many people as the venue
can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.

Social contact restrictions

• You can make a personal choice on whether to socially
distance when meeting friends and family.

• You can meet outdoors with people you do not live with, in groups of up to 30 people.

• You can meet indoors with people you do not live with, either: 

  • in a group of up to 6 from any number of households (children of all ages count towards the limit of 6) 
  • in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible) 

• Parent and child groups can take place both indoors and outdoors if they are for the benefit of children aged under 5 (Children under 5 and anyone working as part of the group is not counted in this number. These are limited to no more than 30 attendees).

Visiting relatives/friends in care homes

From 21 June:

  • All care home residents are able to nominate an essential caregiver. 
  • Care home residents are now able to leave the home for more social reasons including overnight stays without being required to isolate.
  • Individuals admitted to a care home from the community will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

Visit the government's guidance on visiting care homes during COVID-19 for more information.

Guidance for clinically 
extremely vulnerable 










Attending work/education and travel  

Going to work

• You should continue to work from home unless you cannot reasonably do so. 


• Early Years settings are open.

• Colleges, primary and secondary schools are open from 8 March 2021

• From 8 March, students in university and other higher education settings undertaking practical and practice-based courses who require specialist equipment and facilities can attend face-to-face teaching and learning.  

•  From 12 April, out-of-school settings and wraparound childcare providers can offer indoor and outdoor provision to all children, without restrictions on the purpose for which they may attend.

• From 17 May, all remaining University students can return to in-person teaching. 

• From 21 June, out-of-school settings and wraparound childcare providers can organise residential visits in bubbles of up to 30 children. 


• You should continue to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.  

Note: In Greater Manchester, where the Delta variant is prevalent, people should try to minimise travel in and out of the area.

 • You should walk or cycle where possible 

• From 17 May, travelling abroad for leisure purposes is no longer prohibited. Visit our Travel page, for more information on how international travel is expected to resume. 

View the government’s full guidance on travel 

Face coverings

• You must wear face coverings in all mandated settings.



More information is available on the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Support website. For more personalised advice call us on: 0161 237 4128 or email us at:


The information provided is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance. GC Business Growth Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information, and professional guidance should be sought on all aspects of business planning and responses to the Coronavirus. Use of this guide and toolkit is entirely at the risk of the user. Any hyperlinks from this document are to external resources not connected to the GC Business Growth Hub, and The Growth Company is not responsible for the content within any hyperlinked site.