Published On: Sun, May 10th, 2020

Couples living in separate households will be able to reunite under PM’s lockdown rules | UK | News


A government official has said that people will be now be allowed to sunbathe or chat with one other person from a different household. This is under the condition that a two-metre distance is maintained at all times.

Last night Boris Johnson unveiled a three-stage plan for exiting lockdown.

In a televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister announced people will be permitted to take unlimited outdoor exercise, sunbathe in parks and drive to the countryside or the beach from this Wednesday.

Golf courses and tennis courts will also be allowed to reopen for members of the same households to play together.

Schools and shops could begin reopening next month with restaurants and cafes with outdoor dining spaces to follow in July.

Boris Johnson

Couples and friends living in different homes will now be able to meet up in parks (Image: GETTY)

Boris Johnson

Last night Boris Johnson unveiled a three-stage plan for exiting lockdown (Image: GETTY)

The major shift in lockdown rules also allows couples, friends and relatives who have stayed apart for almost two months to at last reunite in person.

This is of course provided they stay the appropriate distance away from each other.

The new measure, in place from Wednesday, was initially unclear, as Boris Johnson indicated in his speech that sunbathing could still only be done with members of the same household.

He said: “You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports, but only with members of your own household.”

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Boris Johnson

The Prime Minister announced people will be permitted to take unlimited outdoor exercise, sunbathe in parks and drive to the countryside or the beach from this Wednesday (Image: GETTY)

But a Government official confirmed on Sunday evening that as long as they stay two metres apart, people will be allowed to sunbathe or chat with one other person from another household.

Mr Johnson had previously warned people that if friends outside of a household asked to meet up, they should refuse.

In his address to the nation at the start of the lockdown on March 23, Mr Johnson said: “You should not be meeting friends.

“If your friends ask you to meet, you should say no.

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Boris Johnson

Golf courses and tennis courts will also be allowed to reopen for members of the same households to play together (Image: GETTY)

Boris Johnson

The major shift in lockdown rules also allows couples, friends and relatives who have stayed apart for almost two months to at last reunite in person (Image: GETTY)

“You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.”

The day after the lockdown was introduced, the PM’s spokesman insisted the “rules are clear” when asked about couples who did not live together.

He said: “When you are out of the house, you should only do so with members of your own household or if it is for work reasons.”

The PM’s spokesman said at the time that exemptions to the rules on being outside the home applied in two scenarios – key workers taking their children to school and children living with two separated parents.

The importance of social distancing

The importance of social distancing (Image: EXPRESS)

Now Mr Johnson has relaxed these measures slightly, but warned Britons further easing of restrictions will be “gradual” with social-distancing measures to remain in force for the foreseeable future.

There will also be increased fines for those who flout the rules.

“We must stay alert. We must continue to control the virus and save lives,” he said.

A new red-to-green five-tier Covid Alert System warning system, similar to the Home Office alert levels for gauging the terrorist threat, will also be introduced to inform the public about the ongoing level of the outbreak.

Boris Johnson

A government official confirmed on Sunday evening that as long as they stay two metres apart, people will be allowed to sunbathe or chat with one other person from another household (Image: GETTY)

It will be overseen by a new Joint Biosecurity Centre.

In his TV address, Mr Johnson said the “millions of everyday acts of kindness and thoughtfulness that are being performed across this country” during the crisis gave him confidence that his plan will work.

“We will come back from this devilish illness, we will come back to health, and robust health.

“And though the UK will be changed by this experience, I believe we can be stronger and better than ever before – more resilient, more innovative, more economically dynamic, but also more generous and more sharing,” he said.



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