Guidance:

Coronavirus
(COVID-19)

15 June 2021 update

Keeping yourself and others safe

 
Face coverings

You must wear a face covering in many indoor settings, such as shops and places of worship, and on public transport, unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse. This is the law. Read guidance on face coverings.


If you are clinically extremely vulnerable

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you are no longer advised to shield. However, you should continue to follow the guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and are advised to continue taking extra precautions to protect yourself, such as limiting close contacts, shopping or travelling at quieter times of the day, keeping rooms ventilated and washing your hands regularly Your employer is required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.


If you have been vaccinated against COVID-19

To help protect yourself and your friends, family, and community you should continue to follow all of the guidance on this page even if you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The vaccines have been shown to reduce the likelihood of severe illness in most people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so those who have received the vaccine should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection.

Whilst emerging evidence suggests vaccines are having an impact on transmission, we do not know by how much the vaccine stops COVID-19 from spreading. Even if you have been vaccinated, you could still spread COVID-19 to others, even if you do not display symptoms.


Getting tested for COVID-19

Rapid lateral flow testing is now available free to anybody without symptoms. You can get your tests from pharmacies, testing sites, employers, schools, colleges and universities.

Find out more about how to get rapid lateral flow tests

Testing twice a week will help make sure you don’t have COVID-19, reducing the risk to those around you.

If you have symptoms you should continue to get a PCR test. If you’re not sure, you can find out which coronavirus test you should get.

You must self isolate if you test positive. Do not meet up with others and follow the stay at home guidance.


Meeting family and friends outdoors

You should continue to minimise the number of people you meet within a short period of time to limit the risk of spreading coronavirus (COVID-19). Most restrictions on meeting people outdoors have been lifted, but gatherings must not exceed 30 people unless covered by a legal exemption, such as:

  • for the purposes of work or volunteering
  • to provide care or assistance for disabled or vulnerable people


If you are meeting friends and family, you can make a personal choice on whether to keep your distance from them, but you should still be cautious. You should read the guidance on meeting friends and family.


Meeting friends and family indoors (rule of 6)

It is safer to meet people outdoors. This is because COVID-19 spreads much more easily indoors. However, you can meet up indoors with friends and family 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)

If you are meeting friends and family, you can make a personal choice on whether to keep your distance from them, but you should still be cautious. You should read the guidance on meeting friends and family.


If you’re in a support bubble

If you are eligible to form a support bubble, you and your support bubble count as one household towards the limit of 2 households when meeting others indoors. This means, for example, that you and your support bubble can meet with another household, even if the total group size is more than 6 people.


Where you can meet indoors

You can meet in a group of 6 or a larger group of any size from up to 2 households (including their support bubbles) indoors in places such as:

  • private homes
  • retail
  • indoor hospitality venues, such as restaurants, bars and cafes
  • indoor sports and leisure facilities, such as gyms, sports courts, and swimming pools
  • personal care, such as spas
  • indoor entertainment and visitor attractions, such as museums, theatres, and indoor play areas

Remember to follow guidance on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as letting in fresh air.


When you can meet with more people

Gatherings above the limit of 6 people or 2 households indoors can only take place if they are covered by a legal exemption, such as:

  • organised parent and child groups or support groups which can be attended by up to 30 people
  • for the purposes of work or volunteering. This means, for example, a tradesperson can go into a household without breaking the limit if they are there for work
  • to provide care or assistance for disabled or vulnerable people, including shopping for essential items and accessing services on their behalf.

Support bubbles

If you are eligible to form a support bubble, you and your support bubble count as one household towards the limit of 2 households when meeting others indoors. See the separate guidance on support bubbles.

Up to 6 people from different households or a larger group of up to 2 households can meet indoors without the need for a formal childcare arrangement such as a childcare bubble.