Restart guidance

On 23 June, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out further changes to lockdown measures in England to enable people to see more of their friends and family, help businesses get back on their feet and get people back in their jobs. From Saturday 4 July, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines.

Opening certain businesses and venues in England from 4 July 2020

On 23 June 2020, the Prime Minister announced further easements of the Coronavirus restrictions as part of Step Three of the government’s plan to return life to as near normal as we can. This guidance applies in England – people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

In addition, all businesses and venues can reopen from 4 July, except for the list below, which remain closed by law:

  • Nightclubs
  • Casinos
  • Bowling alleys and Indoor skating rinks
  • Indoor play areas including soft-play
  • Spas
  • Nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons
  • Massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities
  • Swimming pools including water parks
  • Exhibition or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business or organisation who run the venue.

Cafes, restaurants and shops that are self-contained and can be accessed from the outside, will still be permitted to open.

The UK government will continue to phase reopening and hope to reopen other close-contact businesses as soon as possible.

All other businesses and venues can reopen from 4 July. Examples are available here including links to guidance to ensure their safe-reopening.

Reopen your business safely during Coronavirus

Employers that want to reopen their business have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on site. Use this UK government guidance to help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce.

  • If you do not carry out a risk assessment, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or your local council can issue an enforcement notice.
  • Employees can use this guidance to check what their workplace needs to do to keep people safe.
  • This guidance is only for businesses that are allowed to reopen in England.
Working safely during Coronavirus

People and employers should stay safe in public spaces and workplaces by following the government's "Working safely during Coronavirus" guidelines. This should enable more people to go back to work, where they cannot work from home, and encourage more vulnerable children and the children of critical workers to go to school or childcare as already permitted.

Shops in England selling non-essential goods can now re-open provided they follow government guidelines to keep staff and customers as safe as possible. The government issued detailed COVID-19 secure guidance for retailers and other sectors. Businesses should display a downloadable notice to inform customers and staff they have followed COVID-secure guidance.

Following earlier easements in May and June, from the 4 July, further businesses and venues will be allowed to open. For further details, please see the section on Official guidance from UK government.

Staying alert and safe (social distancing) until 4 July

This guidance explains the existing restrictions which remain in place until 4 July including:

The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS. The most important thing we can continue to do is to stay alert, control the virus, and, in doing so, save lives.

This guidance covers England only. People in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

Staying alert and safe (social distancing) after 4 July

This guidance explains the measures that will help you to stay alert and stay as safe as possible as we continue to respond to the challenges of coronavirus. It applies from 4 July - until then, the existing restrictions will remain in place.

This guidance covers England only. People in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

Test and trace

The new NHS Test and Trace service launched across England on 28 May. The new guidance means that those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms. Take a look at the NHS test and trace workplace guidance and the Q&A for external stakeholders.


The UK government’s online service for booking a Coronavirus test is now live, and you can apply for testing here. Information and guidance on Coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested is available here.

Information for individuals and businesses in Scotland

On the 18 June, the Scottish government announced Phase 2 of its route map through and out of the crisis. Updated information is now available to reflect this Phase 2 guidance.