Coronavirus: Know your rights
There has been a lot of confusion around the changing coronavirus rules. Do you have to self-isolate any more? Is the Coronavirus Act still in force? Do I still need an NHS COVID Pass? Our coronavirus advice and information hub has you covered.
This information is correct as of 24 November 2022, but is subject to possible changes.
What are the current Coronavirus rules?
We have produced a brief explanation of the main Coronavirus rules in place in England. See our in-depth articles for more information.
Face coverings / face masks
You are no longer required to wear a face mask by law. Health settings often have their own policies in their premises. They can deny entry to those who don’t comply with their policies, as long as these policies aren’t discriminatory.
For full details on the new rules, see our face coverings page.
On 24 February 2022, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 were revoked. As such, there is no legal requirement to self-isolate if you tested positive or are in close contact with someone who has. This includes when you have travelled into the UK.
NHS Test and Trace still functions as an alert system, to let you know that you may have been in contact with someone who tested positive. However, you are not required to self-isolate on this basis.
However, NHS guidance still recommends remaining at home if you test positive for Coronavirus, in order to restrict transmission.
Travelling into England
There are no requirements when travelling into the UK.
Government guidance confirms that you:
- do not need to complete a UK passenger locator form before you travel
- do not need to take any COVID-19 tests before you travel or after you arrive
- do not need to quarantine when you arrive
However, individual travel operators may have their own face mask policies. This could include rules while you’re on a coach, plane, train, ferry or in any airport, bus station, etc. See our face coverings page for more information on face mask policies.
All businesses are allowed to open as normal.
There is general government guidance on ways to reduce the spread of coronavirus in the workplace, but be aware that these are not legal requirements.
However, employers still have legal duties under health and safety law to keep their employees and other people affected by their business safe. This will generally require them to carry out risk assessments and to take steps to minimise the risks posed by coronavirus. This is why some businesses will still require their staff to wear masks.
From the 19 July 2021, the Government removed all requirements of social distancing. However, individuals are strongly advised to continue to exercise caution, particularly if they have received a positive test result, are extremely clinically vulnerable, or are around people who are.
NHS COVID passes
You are no longer required by law to show your Covid status to enter anywhere in England and Wales.
However, it may be required when travelling to some countries. You can check the requirements of different countries here. Venues can also instate their own policies which require a COVID Pass if they chose to, as long as these policies are not discriminatory.
Covid status can be proved using an NHS COVID Pass, which shows your Covid-19 vaccination details or test results.
You can find out more about the NHS COVID Pass here.
Can I still get an FPN for anything under the new Coronavirus rules?
Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have been the most common enforcement tool used during the coronavirus pandemic. As the regulations have been repealed, they shouldn’t be used in relation to coronavirus offences. They are still used in relation to some driving offences. They were used for these before the pandemic.
Some people are receiving Single Justice Procedure Notices in relation to offences alleged to have occurred under coronavirus regulations. If you receive one of these we recommend talking to a solicitor with expertise in criminal defence.
Has the Coronavirus Act 2020 been repealed?
Most of the Coronavirus Act 2020 laws have been revoked. This includes the infamous powers to restrict “potentially infectious people”.
Some of its powers remain. However, these tend be powers which won’t impact ordinary people in their everyday life. For example, some of the employment policies extended to nurses and healthcare professionals who were registered under emergency procedures remain.
You can find an explanatory table of which powers are in force here. You can find a table summarising the impact of each section here.
Where can I find government guidance on the rules?
There are not many coronavirus rules left in place.
The government has produced guidance about reducing the spread of coronavirus.
It should be noted that guidance is not the same as law. You cannot be fined or arrested for failing to follow guidance.
What are my rights on this?
Find out more about your rights and how the Human Rights Act protects them
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