24 Jan 2022

How are the COVID rules changing in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

Changes to COVID restrictions have been announced in England and across the devolved nations, find out what changes are happening and what this means for your business.


From today 24th January 2022, restrictions on Scotland's hospitality and tourism sector are being replaced with base measures.

Base measures include;

  • legal requirement to wear face coverings in indoor settings subject to exemptions
  • legal requirement for businesses to continue to collect contact details from customers

Retailers should have mitigations in place, such as;

  • wherever possible put in place separate entrances and exits to help control the flow of customers
  • provide and maintain hygiene stations and enhanced cleaning measures
  • use tannoy systems, signs, floor markings and queue management systems to help people to distance themselves from others particularly at potential pinch-points of congregation like tills
  • promoting the use of face coverings
  • using screens to create a physical barrier between people, for example at till points and self-service checkouts
  • maximising fresh air coming into the premises

To find out more read the guide for safer businesses and workplaces here.


The recent and upcoming changes in Wales include;

From the 21st of January, there will be no legal limits on the number of people that can meet outdoors. 

From the 28th of January, nightclubs will be able to re-open, COVID pass will be required for large indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls. Working from home will be encouraged but will no longer be law. 

Rules for wearing face coverings will remain, with face coverings mandatory in all indoor public places including shops and public transport. 

Read the guidance for employers, businesses and organisations in Wales here.

Northern Ireland

From the 26th January, proof of covid status will no longer be legally required in hospitality settings but will remain in place for nightclubs. 

Face coverings will remain compulsory in shops and on public transport. 

For more information on face-covering rules in Northern Ireland, click here.


From the 27th January in England, rules on face coverings will be relaxed, and will no longer be mandatory to wear a face coverings. However, the government still suggests you continue to wear one in crowded indoor spaces where you may come into contact with people you don't normally meet.

From the 19th January, the government have lifted restrictions on working from home. 

For the latest guidance on keeping safe in the workplace click here. 

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