THE controversial easing of almost all lockdown restrictions has happened - as the Government has published a list of what you can and can't do beyond 'Freedom day.'

From the mandatory use of face coverings to legal limits on social contact, almost every noticeable restriction was eased at midnight on July 19.

It comes just several days after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the fourth and final step of the easing of rules would take place today.

And in the North East, many wasted no time as revellers descended onto Newcastle to secure their spot in the queue as nightclubs reopened at 0.01am. 

Read more: Dramatic pictures show HUGE queues in Newcastle as nightclubs reopened at midnight

Ahead of today's unlocking, Boris Johnson urged caution as leaders in the region had been warning people to act responsibly in the days leading to July 19. 

But what does the guidance now say?

The Government has updated its guidance for the fourth and final step of the roadmap out of lockdown and has set out what you should remain doing while the prevalence remains high.

- It now states you do not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. There are also no limits on the number of people you can meet.

- But it still maintains that in order to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with.

It says you should do this by increasing close contact gradually - including minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.

- You should meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces, although there are no legal requirements to do this.

- The Government has said it is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, but that it recommends a gradual return over the summer.

- The requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted, but it expects and recommends that people wear them in "crowded" areas such as public transport.

- There are no longer limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations).

- It has also said there is now no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing.

But it adds, that you should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.

- There are no longer restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship.

The guidance adds: "Everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious."

This is what remains in place

Although the majority of restrictions have been eased, a number of key "protections" have remained in place such as testing and self-isolating, including:

- testing when you have symptoms and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk.

- isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

- border quarantine: for all arriving from red list countries and for those people not fully vaccinated arriving from amber list countries.

- cautious guidance for individuals, businesses and the vulnerable whilst prevalence is high

- whilst Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, Government would expect and recommend a gradual return over the summer

- Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport

- encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the NHS COVID Pass in high-risk settings.

Despite the easing of restrictions, the Government said it will still consider mandating certification (proof of Covid vaccination status) in certain venues at a later date.


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