Prime minister Boris Johnson has announced a “cautious” easing of lockdown in England, but what has actually changed?
The main change to the rules means small social gatherings are now permitted. Moreover, after attempting to stop scientists from asking questions about Dominic Cummings’ breach of lockdown rules, Johnson went on to confirm alterations regarding schools and retail businesses at the downing street press conference on Thursday.
Here’s what those will look like:
Small social gatherings
From Monday groups of up to six people from outside one household can meet in private gardens for chats and barbecues provided those from different households stay two metres apart.
But they would not be allowed to stay overnight, or go indoors other than to gain access to a garden, the PM said.
Until now, families and friendship groups have only been able to meet with one other person outside their household, in public spaces such as parks, while obeying the two-metre rule.
Johnson said the prospect of “perhaps seeing both parents at once, or both grandparents at once” will be a “long-awaited joyful moment” for many.
“I know the toll the lockdown has taken on families and friends who have been unable to see each other,” he said.
“These changes that friends and families can now meet their loved ones, perhaps seeing both parents at once, or both grandparents at once, and I know for many people this will be a long-awaited joyful moment.
“But I must stress, that to control the virus, everyone must stay alert, act responsibly, strictly observe social-distancing rules and stay two metres apart from those you do not live with.”
Coronavirus restrictions in Wales are reportedly expected to be relaxed on Monday.
First minister Mark Drakeford is set to announce on Friday that people from two different households will be able to meet up outdoors, as long as they do not travel more than five miles.
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