Coronavirus restrictions will ease further in England under plans for a “significant return to normality” by Christmas, Boris Johnson announced in a press conference on 17 July.

Advice for employers will change from 1 August. Companies will have more discretion to bring staff back to workplaces if safe. Employers should “talk to their workers about what steps to take and only bring them back to their place of work if it is safe to do so”.

Anybody will be able to use public transport – including to get to work – the prime minister said.

For those who do return to work in England, government guidance on working safely across a range of sectors is available. There is separate advice for Scotland,  Wales and Northern Ireland.

In addition, councils in England will get coronavirus shutdown powers to force owners to shut pubs, cafes, shops and restaurants in areas hit by coronavirus outbreaks. They will also be able to close public places and cancel events. From next month, the government will issue “stay-at-home orders” where there are local outbreaks.

The easements remain conditional on continued progress in controlling the virus and preventing a second wave of infections.