Family and friends 'to be allowed to hug each other from next week'

Family and friends will be allowed from next week as long as people use their common sense, it has been reported.

Boris Johnson will today announce that loved ones not from the same household can legally embrace one another from May 17 – provided infections remain low ahead of that key lockdown date.

Mr Johnson is likely to say that everyone should use their “personal judgment” and their “common sense” when it comes to hugging friends and family after May 17, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

Downing Street have played down but not denied the reports – pointing to a social distancing review but stressing that no decisions have been made and when they were they would be data driven.

Boris Johnson will host a coronavirus press conference today

Mr Johnson will reportedly confirm that while funerals can take place from May 17 for up to 30 mourners – a month earlier than planned – the rules for weddings and “other life or commemorative events” will remain unchanged, according to the Telegraph.

Pubs and restaurants, which have endured a torrid 12 months, will be allowed to reopen their doors to let customers inside – but social distancing measures will stay.

Indoor hospitality venues such as cinemas and music venues permitted to open – but they won’t be able to operate at full capacity just yet.

Pubs and restaurants will also be allowed to let customers in, having been permitted to serve punters outdoors for the last month.

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Hugging someone outside your household or support bubble has been illegal

This time around there will be no curfew, but customers will still have to be seated when they order, and while they consume their food and drink.

Hotels, hostels and B&Bs will be permitted to reopen, as will children’s play areas.

If Stage 3 goes well, June 21 is the crucial date when all restrictions could be lifted.

This would see an end to limits on the number of people gathering indoors or outdoors, meaning long-postponed weddings can go ahead, football stadiums can be filled again and music festivals can go ahead.

In theory there will be no requirement for businesses to enfore social distancing, meaning more people can pack into pubs, restaurants and cinemas again.



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