Delay in introduction of Step 4 in England - impact on leisure businesses


Following the Prime Ministers announcement yesterday, there will be a further 4-week pause at Step 3 of the Roadmap in England. Whilst it is expected that England will move to Step 4 on the 19 July the data will be reviewed in 2 weeks’ time (28 June).

Any move out of Step 3 in to Step 4 will be confirmed one week in advance. In the meantime the existing Step 3 restrictions remain in place (subject to what we say below) , and you should follow the updated Government guidance which can be found here

Changes affecting the Step 3

There will be changes to the rules on:

Weddings and wakes

  • From 21 June, the rules on the number of people who can attend a wedding or civil partnership ceremony, a wedding reception or civil partnership celebration and a commemorative event following a funeral such as a wake, stone setting or ash scattering, will be determined by how many people a venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place, including guests of all ages and anyone working at the event.
  • A marquee or other structure in a private garden of a private home must have at least 50% of its walled area open at any time for it to be classed as “outdoors”, and for the limit based on safe capacity to apply.
  • Inside private homes, and in enclosed structures in gardens of private homes, weddings can only be held in line with broader social contact rules (see below) of up to 6 people or 2 households, except in the case of an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover (‘deathbed weddings’). These can take place in private dwellings with up to 30 people. (Guidance on weddings will be updated on 15 June and guidance on funerals updated on 17 June)

Large events pilots

  • A limited series of pilot events will take place to produce additional evidence on reopening events safely. Attendees will need to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test. This will include some UEFA EURO 2020 matches at Wembley, Wimbledon and a small number of other sports, arts and music performances.

The full list of pilots will be announced shortly.

Delta variant

  • If you are in an area where the new COVID variant (sometimes referred to as the Delta Variant) is spreading fastest (see Guidance for these areas) the advice from the Government is that certain additional steps should be taken. These include:
  • Get both doses of the vaccine when you are offered it, and encourage others to do so as well
  • Participate in surge testing in your local area, whether you are vaccinated or not
  • Self isolate immediately if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) or if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19

Wherever possible, you should try to:

  • Meet outside rather than inside where possible
  • Keep 2 metres apart from people that you do not live with (unless you have formed a support bubble with them), this includes friends and family you don’t live with
  • Minimise travel in and out of affected areas

A reminder of the Step 3 Rules

All other rules in so far as they affect hospitality businesses remain in force as they have been since Step 3 came in to force on 17 May. To recap these are:

In hospitality businesses where alcohol is sold:

  • Food and drink must be ordered and served to a customer seated on the premises
  • You must take reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated whilst they are consuming food and drink on the premises
  • Food and drink may be ordered, served and consumed by customers both inside and out

In hospitality businesses where alcohol is not sold

  • Food and drink may be ordered by a customer over the counter
  • You must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated whilst  they are consuming food and drink on the premises
  • Food and drink may be ordered, served and consumed by customers both inside and out

Businesses that MUST remain closed: Nightclubs, SEVs, Discotheque. These premises may remain open if they cease to provide music and dancing

The rule of 6 remains in place Whilst it is safer to meet people outdoors you can, however, 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)

Stay safe and if you do require any further assistance or guidance in relation to the Prime Minister's announcement please do not hesitate to contact us


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