Can I gather with other people? / Coronavirus

Coronavirus – Can I gather with other people?

This information was correct as of 19 July 2021 but is subject to possible changes.

This page sets out the law and guidance which applies in England only.

The coronavirus rules have changed several times in recent months. Here is a brief timeline of the most recent changes:

  • On 29 March 2021, the previous system of Tier rules was repealed and replaced with the Step rules, which set out a step-by-step process for coming out of lockdown in England.  From 29 March 2021, the Step 1 rules applied to every area in England.
  • On 12 April 2021, the Step 1 rules were disapplied from every area in England, and the Step 2 rules were applied to every area in England instead.
  • On 17 May 2021, the Step 2 rules were disapplied from every area in England, and the Step 3 rules were applied to every area in England instead.
  • On 19 July 2021, the Step 3 rules were disapplied from every area in England, and we moved into Step 4, in which most restrictions were repealed.


The Step 4 rules have no restrictions on gatherings, indoors or outdoors. There are therefore no coronavirus related requirements or restrictions on events such as protests, weddings or childcare.

Note that there may still be other legal restrictions. For example, while you no longer have to conduct a risk assessment while protesting, there are existing non-coronavirus rules which you may need to follow. You can find more information about those in our article on How to Organise a Protest.


Government social distancing guidance was previously to stay two metres apart from anyone who isn’t from your household or your support bubble.

This guidance has now been removed. However, it is still recommended that you limit close contact with those you do not live with, especially in enclosed spaces.

Can I visit a relative or friend in a care home?

Yes. There is no legal restriction on visiting care homes.

However, care providers themselves set their own visiting policies and make decisions about who can visit residents, when and how frequently, based on government guidance and advice from local authority directors of public health (DPHs).

The Government publishes guidance for care providers, which explains how they should make these decisions and communicate them to residents and families.

When making decisions about visiting, care homes must also take into account the significant vulnerability of most residents, as well as compliance with their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998, as applicable.

If you need further advice, you should contact a solicitor.

Get help to find a solicitor.

You can also contact us for further advice on our Get Advice page.

Read our next page on what the police can do.

What are my rights on this?

Find out more about your rights and how the Human Rights Act protects them

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