Covid rules in England, Scotland, Wales and NI: Which restrictions are being relaxed in August?

By the end of September the UK will have "put the bulk of the pandemic behind us", said one of the government's scientific advisers recently - but not before a wide range of changes are made in August.

Despite England having its 'Freedom Day' on July 19 when almost all coronavirus restrictions were lifted, the country still has adjustments to make in the coming weeks.

Covid-19 restrictions are also due to change in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with August set to be a bumper month in the UK's bid to free itself of various lockdown measures.

Here's what's changing around the UK in the month of August:

  • August 2 - UK-wide changes

The second day in August will see England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland relax quarantine rules for EU and US travellers who have been double-jabbed for coronavirus.

Anyone who tests positive will still have to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.

  • August 5 - UK-wide changes

The next big date for hopeful holidaymakers is Thursday, August 5, when the government will decide whether any countries should move category on the UK's traffic light system.

While each devolved nation is able to make individual rulings on what restrictions to place on which travellers, the case is usually that the UK moves as a whole on traffic light classification.

Many tourists will be hoping France moves off the amber-plus list, which means anyone arriving from there must quarantine regardless of their vaccine status.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps however has warned people to avoid speculation around the traffic light system, saying no decisions will be made until the latest data is available.

  • August 7 - changes in Wales

Wales will move to 'alert level zero' on Saturday August 7, meaning almost all its coronavirus restrictions will be lifted.

There'll be no limits on the number of people who can meet indoors and the law on social distancing will be lifted.

All businesses, including nightclubs, which had previously been told to remain shut will be allowed to open and pubs will no longer be obliged to offer table service.

Self-isolation rules following a coronavirus contact will also be relaxed for fully vaccinated people, meaning they will only need to quarantine if they develop symptoms or test positive.

Face masks will no longer be required in hospitality venues but they will remain compulsory in shops, on public transport and when accessing health care.

Work from home advice will also remain, unlike it has in England where people were told they should return to the office where possible.

  • August 9 - changes in Scotland

Scotland will make its long-awaited beyond level zero on August 9, when Nicola Sturgeon plans to lift almost all of the country's coronavirus restrictions.

The first minister has already indicated a range of planned changes will go ahead on August 9, such as a lifting of self-isolation rules for the fully vaccinated who test negative for coronavirus.

Her plan to lift all legal restrictions would likely see restrictions on indoor socialising lifted, however Ms Sturgeon has said she will confirm on Tuesday the extent of her changes.

She is yet to announce whether nightclubs will be allowed to open unrestricted and has signalled that face coverings in indoor settings such as shops will remain compulsory.

Work from home advice is also expected to remain in place in Scotland past August 9.

  • August 12 - change in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland executive will review all its remaining coronavirus restrictions on August 12 though it has not yet indicated what may change.

Among decisions to be taken is whether face coverings should be mandatory in schools when they return.

  • August 16 - change in England

Self-isolation rules following a coronavirus contact will be lifted for the fully vaccinated in England from August 16.

The government has received criticism for moving nine days later than Wales and a week later than Scotland, but ministers have insisted a cautious approach is best.

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