As is well known, and for the reasons spelled out here, the Government has decided to move to Step 4 on its COVID-19 roadmap in England. In legal terms, this has been given effect by the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps etc.) (England) (Revocation and Amendment) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/848). These regulations revoke the regulations relating to such matters as gatherings and wearing of face masks. By extending the so-called “No. 3 Regulations,” they maintain local authority powers to respond to local serious and imminent public health threats as a result of the spread of COVID-19.
The Government may have thrown the legal doors open, but this does not mean that all restrictions will necessarily disappear. For instance, face masks will be required as a condition of carriage by Transport for London (subject to exemptions). The Explanatory Memorandum to the regulations revoking restrictions also notes that “[t]he legal requirement to wear face coverings will be replaced with cautious guidance, advising that we expect and recommend face coverings are worn in crowded areas such as public transport.”
Guidance in relation to visiting in and out of care homes, as well as supported living placements has also been updated: see here.