The Health Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed Step 4 of the Government's lockdown roadmap will go ahead as planned on 19th July after all four key tests were met.
Remaining legal restrictions will be removed which will mean nightclubs are able to re-open, there will be no limits on gatherings, face masks will no longer be mandatory and there will be no requirement for table service.
The Government still recommends wearing face masks in crowded indoor spaces and is encouraging businesses and large events to use certification in high risk settings to limit the risk of infection.
Step 4 was initially paused from 21st June after the rise in the Delta variant but the four tests have now been met; the continued success of the vaccination programme, vaccines being sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths, infection rates not risking unsustainable pressure on the NHS and no new variant which has altered the risk.
The Health Secretary said: "There will never be a perfect time to take this step, because we simply cannot eradicate this virus. Whether we like it or not, coronavirus is not going away.
But moving forward next week, supported by the arrival of summer and the school holidays, gives us the best possible chance of a return to normal life.
If we wait longer, then we risk pushing the virus towards winter, when the virus will have an advantage, or worse still, we risk not opening up at all.
We delayed step 4 by four weeks so we could build our vaccine wall even higher. We believe this wall means we can withstand a summer wave. And while the wall would be higher still in winter, we know the wave would be much more dangerous.
So while we know there are risks with any decision, this is the most responsible decision we could take.
This step forward is about balancing the harms caused by COVID, with the undeniable harms that restrictions bring.
These restrictions were vital to protect the NHS. But we must be upfront about the impact of keeping them, just as we are about removing them just as we are about removing them.
The rise in domestic violence, the impact on mental health, undiagnosed cancer to name just a few.
So, we’ll ease restrictions next week, while at the same time maintaining the defences we’ve built against this virus."