COVID-19 legislation and guidance: update to 17 July

This post includes a rolling update of new legislation and guidance on coronavirus COVID-19 during the week commencing 11July *.





Press Notices

  • Prime Minister to urge caution ahead of move to step 4. PM Boris Johnson will hold a press conference to confirm whether England can move to step 4 of the Roadmap. Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street, (12 July 2021).
  • Secretary of State for Health and Social Care provides an update on step 4, The Health and Care Secretary has confirmed the move to the next stage of the roadmap on the 19 July, Oral statement to Parliament, Department of Health and Social Care and The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP. (12 July 2021).
  • COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021, Guidance. The government has published the ‘Moving to Step 4 of the roadmap’ document. This sets out the essential actions that everybody should take to protect themselves and others while prevalence is high, as we transition towards learning to live with COVID-19. The ‘COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021’ sets out the shape of step 4 of the roadmap. Cabinet Office, (12 July 2021).
  • Prime Minister confirms move to Step 4, Step 4 of the Roadmap to go ahead on Monday 19 July. Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street, 12 July 2021. Prime Minister emphasises caution and personal responsibility. Cases continue to rise but link with hospitalisations and deaths weakened.
  • PM statement at coronavirus press conference: 12 July 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement at the coronavirus press conference. Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street, (12 July 2021).


Church of England

Updated Friday 16th July, 16.52pm

Church in Wales

Welsh Government has announced the main changes in Covid regulations. These can be seen at

Methodist Church

“The Property Team will be reviewing more detailed Connexional guidance following the Prime Minister’s update on the 12 July, and posting this from 19 July, when the Government will lift most restrictions.

Although there are no specific updates to the government guidance document concerning places of worship yet, the Health Secretary announced to the House of Commons that from the 19 July there will be ‘…no restrictions on communal worship and singing’. This includes singing at weddings, funerals and baptisms.”

The advice suggests ministers should refrain from using the common cup for Holy Communion, and congregations should be deterred from handshaking and hugging, finding other ways to share ‘the Peace’.

Roman Catholic Church

  • Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales: Covid-19 Route Map: Step 4 Guidance, (15 July 2021). See L&RUK post below.
  • Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales: Sunday – It is our Day. “It is hoped that it will be possible for all Catholics in England and Wales to fulfil this most important Church precept, that of the Sunday Obligation, by the First Sunday in Advent 2021”, (15 July 2021).

Church of Scotland

Other guidance

British Medical Journal

  • Covid-19: Doctors warn of “disconnect” between NHS pressure and lifting of restrictions (12 July 2021). “There is . . . enormous pressure on hospitals, overcrowding in waiting rooms, and soaring emergency attendances. Mandatory wearing of masks in confined public spaces, improved ventilation, and maintaining social distancing where possible should be non-negotiable to prevent a spike in infections which could push all NHS services to breaking point and will reverse any of the progress that has been started by doctors tackling the waiting lists…The link between infections and hospitalisations has been weakened but not been broken, so right now there needs to be time to allow the NHS to tackle the waiting lists, support those patients who need the most urgent care, and prevent a catastrophic third wave of covid-19.”
  • Covid-19: Are cloth masks still effective? And other questions answered. (15 July 2021).

Health and Safety Executive


  • COVID-19: Guidance for Safe Music-making in Church, Updated 16 July 2021. “The new guidance from the Government removes many of the imposed restrictions, and places the onus on local decision making. Such decisions are generally made more successfully when (all) those who deliver and lead worship have had an input into the conversations about local response. Typically, this might include vicar/incumbent, churchwardens, PCC representation, and the director of music/organist/lead musician of a church”.


Law and Religion UK

Post last updated,  17 July at  12:51. 

* Information on COVID-19 on L&RUK

These updates are published at the start of each week; they are not reissued, but new items are added throughout the week as they become available, providing a “rolling update” of the latest developments during the current week. They are also added to COVID-19 Coronavirus: legislation and guidance which is  the main source of  information, and listed with the newest items last (unlike the CofE documents, infra); items in the weekly updates yet to be added are marked “§“.  The updates for the earlier weeks are here.

Church of England documents

Church of England documents are listed under their full title and issue number, in the same order as they appear on the Church’s web site.

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Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "COVID-19 legislation and guidance: update to 17 July" in Law & Religion UK, 12 July 2021,

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