Lockdown restrictions eased from today as England enters Step 4 of Roadmap

Date published: 19 July 2021

Today, Monday 19 July, means the majority of Covid-19 restrictions have now ended, replaced with guidance emphasising personal judgement and responsibility.

People are expected to protect themselves and others through informed choice and move to Step 4 cautiously.

Step 4 of the government's roadmap means a removal of all legal limits on the number of people meeting indoors and outdoors.

The move to Step 4 was delayed by four weeks so more adults could be vaccinated. Nearly 8 million vaccines have been administered nationally during the delay. Over two thirds of all adults have received two doses and every adult has been offered a first dose.

The delay to Step 4 has also moved the end of restrictions closer to the school summer holidays. Lifting restrictions later in the year when the weather gets colder carries further risks as viruses tend to spread more easily in the winter months, and flu will be circulating.

All data will be kept under review, and the government will review the current guidance in September 2021.



Tram at Rochdale station
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has announced that passengers on Metrolink will have to continue to wear a face covering unless exempt as restrictions are lifted today (19 July)


Social distancing and face coverings

Social distancing and the legal obligation to wear a face covering will also come to an end, although individuals can choose to continue observing these precautions. Guidance will suggest where you might choose to wear a covering or distance, especially when cases are rising, and where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed places, such as obviously crowded public transport.

Individuals may choose to limit the close contact they have with those they do not usually live with in order to reduce the risk of catching or spreading Covid-19, particularly if they are clinically extremely vulnerable. It is important to respect and be considerate of those who may wish to take a more cautious approach as restrictions are lifted.

However, it will remain a legal requirement for people to self isolate if they test positive or are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

Businesses and hospitality

All businesses will be able to re-open, including nightclubs. The limit on named visitors to care homes, and on numbers of people attending concerts, theatres, and sporting events will be lifted.

Pubs and restaurants will no longer be restricted to table service only and there will be no limits on the number of guests at weddings and funerals.

There will be no Covid certificate required as a condition of entry to any venue or event, although businesses and events can certainly make use of certification and the NHS app gives you a Covid pass as one way to show your Covid-19 status.


With regards to travel - adults who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to quarantine for 10 days after returning from amber list countries. Under 18s won't need to quarantine and the guidance recommending against travel to amber countries will be removed from 19 July.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has announced that passengers on Metrolink will have to continue to wear a face covering unless exempt as government restrictions are lifted, to provide reassurance and protect the most vulnerable.



Local bus operators Rosso, First, Diamond and Go North West all recommend customers continue to wear a face covering when travelling, especially at busy times, as does rail operator Northern.

Working from home

It will no longer be necessary for government to instruct people to work from home, so employers will be able to start planning a safe return to the workplace.



From 19 July, it will no longer be necessary for government to instruct people to work from home


Five-point plan

The Prime Minister has set out a five point plan for living with Covid-19 as restrictions are eased:

  • Reinforce vaccine defences by reducing the dosing interval from 12 to 8 weeks for all adults.
  • The majority of legal restrictions have been lifted and replaced with guidance to enable people to make their own informed decisions to manage the virus, emphasising caution and personal responsibility as cases continue to rise.
  • The test, trace and isolate system will remain, with all positive cases legally required to self-isolate. Contacts of positive cases are required to self-isolate until the 16 August, after which adults who have received two vaccine doses and all under 18s will be exempt.
  • Border controls will be maintained, including quarantine for all those travelling from a red list country, and for amber list countries unless double vaccinated.
  • Data will be continually assessed and contingency measures retained if needed during higher risk periods, but restrictions will be avoided if possible.


The centres are an additional option for people, who can book an appointment at one of the seven centres through the national booking service online or over the phone



The Prime Minister has today called for all adults who have not yet received their first or second dose of the vaccine to come forward, to help protect themselves and others.

All over 18s are now able to book a vaccine, and nearly 60% of under 25s have received at least one dose.

Data from PHE suggests that one dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 80% effective against hospitalisations with the Delta variant, increasing to 96% after two doses.

If you can't get to a drop-in vaccination session, the NHS Covid vaccination programme is now open to anyone aged 18 or over - appointments can be booked through the NHS booking service.

If it has been at least 11 weeks since your first vaccination and you've not received your invite for your second vaccination, you can phone or email to book.

Residents who are registered with a GP in the borough (Heywood, Littleborough, Middleton, Milnrow and Rochdale), can book an appointment at one of the four vaccination centres in the borough by calling 0300 303 0355 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm) or emailing hmrccg.hmr.enquiries@nhs.net.

Where to get vaccinated?

The borough has four community vaccination centres in operation; in Rochdale, Heywood, Middleton and Littleborough. These local sites are run by groups of GPs with the support of the council and NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group. Vaccinations are also being administered at Rochdale Infirmary.

There are also 11 large scale vaccination centres and 38 pharmacy led sites across the North West that residents can book through the national booking service online or over the phone.

The national booking system can not be used to book in at any of the local vaccination hubs within the borough. If it is not convenient for you to travel out of the borough for a vaccination, you can opt to wait to be invited to attend one of the local vaccination centres in the Rochdale borough or attend one of the drop-in or drive-through clinics being held.

Answers to key questions around the vaccination process and details of pop-up, drop-in and drive-through clinics can be found at:




The local FAST test programme has four test sites across the borough.

Anyone who cannot work from home or comes into regular contact with the public is encouraged to take up this offer of new Find And Stop Transmission (FAST) testing to protect themselves, their loved ones, and other residents.

The FAST testing programme, which use lateral flow tests, aims to identify those who unknowingly have the virus as they have no symptoms – otherwise known as asymptomatic.

As part of the national roadmap out of restrictions, the government is asking the public to take-up twice weekly FAST testing. This is quick and easy to do and you will be playing your part in helping to stop the spread of the virus, while teams work on the vaccine rollout.

You can take part at your local FAST testing site or through community collect packs.



FAST tests are only for people showing no symptoms. You must not attend if you have any symptoms. Tests arefree and there is no need to book you can simply turn up at one of the sites across the borough:

Rochdale – Nye Bevan House, Maclure Road, Rochdale, OL11 1DN

  • Mon to Fri 8am - 3pm
  • Sat & Sun 9am - 1pm

Heywood – York House Surgery, York Street, Heywood, OL10 4NN

  • Mon to Fri 8am - 3pm
  • Sat & Sun 9am - 1pm

Middleton – Bowlee Sports Centre, Windermere Road, Middleton, M24 4LA

  • Mon to Fri 8am - 3pm (until Friday 9 July - then this site is closed)
  • Sat & Sun 9am - 1pm

Littleborough – Hare Hill Bowling Club, Townhouse Road Littleborough, OL15 9BG

  • Mon to Fri 8am - 3pm
  • Sat & Sun 9am - 1pm

If you have Covid-19 symptoms please do not attend one of the FAST test sites. You should book a test online or by phoning 101.


It is recommended that you take a test at a FAST site first before you use home testing packs
It is recommended that you take a test at a FAST site first before you use home testing packs


The borough has three local test centres:

  • Rochdale - in the car park at Rochdale Leisure Centre, Entwisle Road, Rochdale OL16 2HZ
  • Middleton - in the marquee on the Market Place Car Park next to Middleton Arena, Old Hall Street, Middleton M24 1AG
  • Heywood - Heywood Civic Centre, LCpl Stephen Shaw MC Way, Heywood OL10 1LW

You must drive, walk or cycle to the site - do not use a taxi or public transport. If this is not possible, you'll need to order yourself a home test.

For more information, please visit:

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