UK Covid restrictions: What are the current rules in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

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Here’s everything you need to know about the Covid rules across the UK after Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced there will be no further restrictions in England before new year.

Mr Javid announced on Monday, December 27 that no new Covid-19 restrictions will be announced for England ahead of the New Year.

The Health Secretary confirmed that any additional measures have been ruled out before Friday, December 31 after the Prime Minister and fellow ministers were updated on the Omicron situation earlier on Monday.

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The public have been urged to ring in the New Year with outdoor celebrations, with Mr Javid calling on those celebrating to take a lateral flow test before meeting others.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland tighter measures have already been introduced since Christmas Day.

Here we have rounded up the coronavirus rules across the UK ahead of the new year.

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Sajid Javid rules out any further Covid restrictions for England before 2022


We take a look at the current Covid rules across the UK. Picture: Getty Images.We take a look at the current Covid rules across the UK. Picture: Getty Images.
We take a look at the current Covid rules across the UK. Picture: Getty Images.

Since Monday, December 13, everyone living in England should be working from home “if you can”.

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Face coverings are compulsory in most indoor public venues, which includes theatres and cinemas as well as on public transport and in shops.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed earlier this month that the NHS Covid pass is mandatory in England for nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.

This includes unseated door venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people or any venue with more than 10,000 people.

Members of the public will have to prove that they have had at least two doses of a Covid vaccine or have a negative lateral flow test result to gain entry to the relevant venue.

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And if you’ve tested positive or have symptoms of coronavirus, you can stop self-isolating after seven days instead of 10 days if you receive two negative lateral flow test results on day six and seven.


In Scotland, large events will have one-metre physical distancing and will be limited to 100 people standing indoors, 200 people sitting indoors and 500 people outdoors.

Nightclubs have also closed for a period of at least three weeks, but they can stay open if they operate as a pub with table service and social distancing.

Up to three households can meet with one-metre physical distancing between groups at indoor and outdoor venues like bars, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and gyms.

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Settings where alcohol is being served will return to table service only.


Ministers announced on Boxing Day that Wales has moved to alert level two which means a maximum of six people can meet in public places, such as pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres.

Up to 30 people can gather at indoor events while 50 people can meet at outdoor events and a two metre social distancing will be required in public premises and offices.

Licensed premises are restricted to table service only and nightclubs have closed.

Northern Ireland

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In Northern Ireland social contact should be reduced as much as possible by meeting in groups of no more than three households.

Up to six people can meet in pubs, bars and restaurants, or up to 10 people if they’re all from the same household and only table service will be available.

Nightclubs will be closed and indoor standing events are banned.

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