What is life in England like right now?
Many aspects of daily life have re-emerged. The country benefited from a high level of compliance with government imposed restrictions.
Universities and schools have reopened for the new academic year but with social distancing and remote teaching. Many businesses are returning to work at partial capacity, making streets quieter. Most shops have now reopened but limit the number of customers and operate other measures.
Entertainment outlets such as pubs, bars, restaurants and cinemas have also reopened but with reduced capacities and social distancing measures, additional cleaning protocols, and adherence to contact and trace procedures. (Customers will be asked to leave contact details so that they can be reached in the case of an outbreak linked to the premises.) Nightclubs remain closed.
Many visitor attractions have reopened. Outdoor sports are now allowed and gyms and swimming pools have reopened but again with new protocols and booking requirements. Live events can take place outdoors with distancing, enhanced cleaning and reduced audience sizes. At the time of writing theatres, music venues and sports venues are working to find ways of accommodating visitors safely, but remain closed for now.
Mask-wearing is required on public transport including buses, underground and overground trains. You will see some people choosing to wear masks in other situations, but the majority of people do not.
Although numbers of infections are now far below the peak and tracing and testing protocols are in place, there are still outbreaks that lead to local lockdowns or local increased restrictions and it is important to stay well informed through reputable news sources such as the Public Health England and the BBC.
Recent upticks in cases have led to a change in the maximum number of people who can socialise together (still observing social distancing) to no more than six, these six can be from different households. It is important to be aware that restrictions and guidelines are not uniform across the UK and that the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own rules. The guidance on Interactions with other households is a good illustration of this.
While certain events, gatherings, or activities may be on hold during your semester and there will not be the opportunities for overseas travel you might have hoped for, we think you’ll find life in England feels relatively normal. You will be exploring more locally and independently and we will help facilitate this. Our staff are friendly and knowledgeable and eager to share their ideas for getting the most out of your experience.