The legal requirement to socially distance will be abolished under step four of the roadmap, with caps on the size of gatherings indoors and outdoors also ending. 

As part of the "big bang" lifting of virtually all remaining Covid restrictions, regulations on social mixing will fall away, with people instead asked to use their common sense. 

The decision to drop the "one metre plus" rule follows the completion of the Government’s review of social distancing measures, the details of which will be published on Monday.

However, guidance on distancing will remain in force for people who are required to self-isolate after contracting Covid in order to minimise the risks of transmission. This guidance will also apply in airports and other ports of entry. This is to limit the chance of variants of concern spreading from passengers arriving in the UK from amber and red list countries. 

It is understood businesses that wish to continue with social distancing, such as shops and hospitality venues, will be permitted to do so. 

As part of step four, expected to take place on July 19, the "rule of six" indoors will be lifted, meaning people will be able to visit family and friends at home in unlimited numbers as well as at restaurants and other hospitality venues. 

There will no longer be limits for attendees at events such as weddings and funerals, while nightclubs, which have remained shut throughout the pandemic, will finally be able to reopen. 

The same applies to theatres, cinemas and other entertainment venues, many of which have remained closed despite being able to open because tight caps on audience numbers have made reopening economically unviable. Festivals will also be able to resume, while football and other sports stadiums will return to full capacity. 

Many smaller pubs and restaurants which were unable to generate a profit at reduced capacity during earlier stages of the roadmap will also be able to open their doors again. 

The legal limits on outdoor gatherings will also be lifted, meaning groups meeting in parks and on beaches, in beer gardens and other settings will no longer be capped at 30.