England’s Restrictions On Social Contact To Finish In June – Hugs For Family And Friends By May.

The prime minister said that England is going to start “reclaiming our freedoms” – with all legal limits on people’s social contact set to end by 21 June. Hugs for family and friends could be allowed by May, in his statement today, Monday.

As he unveiled his long-awaited roadmap for easing the country’s third COVID-19 lockdown Boris Johnson said he hoped the nation was on a “one-way road to freedom” after a “wretched year”, declaring: “The end really is in sight.”

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After schools reopen on 8 March, with some outdoor restrictions lifted by 29 March, Mr Johnson said the next step will be to reopen beer gardens and hairdressers in England from 12 April at the earliest. By May 17 people could be allowed to hug others outside their household bubble again.

Setting out key dates, he said that a further loosening of rules will take place on March 29 when the school Easter holidays begin, with larger groups of up to six people or two households allowed to gather in parks and gardens.

From June 21 at the earliest, all remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted, larger events can go ahead and nightclubs could finally reopen. Making a statement in the Commons, the Prime Minister acknowledged ‘the threat remains substantial with the numbers in the hospitals only now beginning to fall below the peak of the first wave in April.

Boris Johnson said that today’s announcement has only been possible because of the “resolve of the British public and the extraordinary success of our NHS in vaccinating more than 17.5 million people across the UK.”

The PM continues that Sage modelling “shows we cannot escape the fact that lifting lockdown will result in more cases, more hospitalisations and sadly, more deaths and this would happen whenever a lockdown is lifted.

“Whether now or in six or nine months, because there will always be some vulnerable people who are not protected by the vaccines.”

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