On Wednesday 6 January 2021, England entered a third period of lockdown. Since 8 March, England has gradually been easing restrictions.
There was a significant easing of restrictions on Monday 17 May.
The final date in lifting lockdown restrictions was expected to take place on 21 June 2021.
However, the Prime Minister decided to delay the date due to the rapid spread of the latest Delta variant of coronavirus.
However, limits on the number of guests at weddings and funerals have been lifted although social distancing remains in place.
Final easing of restrictions is now expected on 19 July. If conditions permit, the following will happen:
- All legal limits on social contact removed
- No legal limits on the number of people attending major life events such as weddings and funerals
- Nightclubs to re-open
Four tests to ease restrictions
Four conditions – or tests – must be met at each stage before England can proceed to the next one The four tests are:
- The vaccine programme continues to go to plan
- Vaccines reduce the number of people dying or needing hospital treatment sufficiently
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions
- New coronavirus variants do not change the risk to lifting restrictions
Full details are available on the Government website.
Policing the Pandemic
When on patrol, Cleveland Police talk to people if they think they are breaking current guidelines. If there is a problem, police want to resolve it by communicating clearly and encouraging people to behave responsibly.
If people still don’t follow the rules, police can:
- Tell them to disperse or go home;
- Direct an event to stop if they feel it goes against guidance;
- Fine them.
Local authorities must make sure businesses follow the rules. Police will only be required to step in as a last resort and provide support if necessary.
Residents can also report serious breaches of legislation to the police – particularly when they see large gatherings taking place.
Residents aged 18 or over can be fined for breaking the rules. Fines are:
- £200 for the first offence, lowered to £100 if paid within 14 days;
- £400 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £6,400.
People, who do not pay their fine, can be taken to court, where they could face unlimited fines.
Fines are bigger for those taking part in unauthorised gatherings of more than 30 people. Fines start at £800 per person under legislation brought in in January 2021.
Keeping up to Date
Advice on how to keep yourself and your family safe changes regularly.
The best way to keep up to date with the latest national and local guidance is to go to the Government Coronavirus Website Pages.