Sunday 6/20/21
RESTRICTIONS RELAXED

Hugging allowed in England from 17 May

From 17 May, up to six people in England can meet indoors and up to 30 people outdoors.
10 May 2021, United Kingdom, London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference in Downing Street to give updates on the the relaxing of coronavirus Covid-19 restrictions. Photo: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire/dpa
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a press conference to give updates on the the relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions. Photo: Dan Kitwood/dpa.

Britain's prime minister has announced people in England will be able to hug their family and friends again from next week.

In a press conference on Monday in London, Boris Johnson said alongside the relaxing of restrictions on 17 May, rules on social distancing will be eased.

But he warned people still need to be cautious.

"From next Monday, we're updating the guidance on close contact between friends and family, setting out the risks for everyone to make their own choices," he told journalists.

"More than a year into this pandemic we all know that close contact, such as hugging, is a direct way of transmitting this disease.

"So I urge you to think about the vulnerability of your loved ones, whether they've had a vaccine, one or two doses, and whether there's been time to have that vaccine to take effect," he added.

Separately, the chief medical officers for the four nations said the alert level across Britain should be reduced from level 4 to level 3.

Transmission no longer high

This means while Britain is still facing an epidemic, transmission is no longer high.

From 17 May, up to six people in England can meet indoors and up to 30 people outdoors.

Pubs, bars and restaurants can reopen indoors while indoor entertainment, such as cinemas, museums and concerts, can reopen or start again with limited numbers.

Gyms can also restart group exercise classes while hotels and hostels will reopen.

People are also allowed to fly out and back to certain countries without quarantining.

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