Can I now see my family and friends again under the new coronavirus lockdown rules? – The Sun


AFTER weeks of strict restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus, Boris Johnson dished Brits a raft of new freedoms on Thursday, May 28.

But the Prime Minister stressed the importance of social distancing, reminding the nation that if new allowances cause a second spike of infections, they will be taken away.

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When can I see my family and friends again?

Until now, Brits have been allowed to sunbathe, sit on park benches and exercise as much as they want as long as they continue to stay two metres apart from people outside of their household.

However, in the latest lockdown review Boris Johnson announced that groups of up to six will be allowed to meet outside in parks and gardens from Monday, June 1 – meaning friends and families can see each other for the first time in months.

Some group sports will also be back on the cards, with golf games and tennis matches of up to four people permitted from June 1.

Mr Johnson said: “We will now allow people to meet in gardens and other outdoor spaces. This means friends and families can now see their loved ones.

“I know for many this will be a long awaited and joyful moment.”

What about garden parties and BBQs?

Brits must still maintain social distancing if they do meet up, and despite the sunny weather, there are a number of restrictions they must abide by.

Hugging is not allowed, as is sitting on the sofa, lingering inside and indoor dinner parties.

You can however use the toilet during your visit, and as long as you maintain a two-metre distance, groups of up to six people from different households can meet outside – meaning BBQs are back on the menu.

The Prime Minister urged Brits to “avoid seeing people from too many households in quick succession” and said people should keep the number of households they interact with to a minimum.

He was also quick to stress that the Government will monitor the nation's rate of infection and reimpose restrictions if necessary.

The tweaked rules will only apply in England – as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will follow slightly different guidelines as they have a higher rate of infection.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has already ordered all parks to keep their gates open and put an end to council patrols stopping people from catching rays and sitting on benches.

Police were previously allowed to issue on the spot fines of £60 for meeting without a good reason, and this has been increased to £100 following Boris Johnson's announcement on Sunday, May 10.

Social distancing rules continue to be even stricter for over-70s and those with serious underlying health conditions such as a weakened immune system, chronic respiratory disease or chronic heart disease.

NHS guidance currently says all those aged 70 or older, regardless of medical conditions — and those under 70 with an underlying health condition listed on its website — must remain shielded indoors.

Mr Johnson said he was desperate to get to a stage where he can allow the over-70s back into society.

Some of these rules have been relaxed but they remain dependent on the "R" rate staying lower than one.

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Can you exercise with family and friends?

Mr Johnson has encouraged Brits to do “more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise”.

People are allowed to sit in their local park, drive to other destinations, and play sports.

The Prime Minister stressed people must continue to “obey the rules on social distancing”.

To enforce those rules police will be increasing fines for people who break them.

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