Families will be able to meet up in England from Monday in groups of 6 – but what does this really mean?

Your questions answered about Boris Johnson's announcement that lockdown rules will be lessened from Monday and families and friends will be able to meet up in groups of 6

I want to visit Grandma

From Monday 1 June in England, groups of 6 people from different households will be able to meet in outdoor spaces, both in public areas AND private gardens – as long as those from different households stay 2m apart.

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“These changes means friends and family will start to meet loved ones, and for many people this will be a long-awaited and joyful moment,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced.

So it means that you can meet both grandparents together and have those grandparents be able to get close – but not too close – to their grandchildren. But we all need to stick to the 2-metre social distancing rules at the moment.

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that groups of 8 people will be able to meet but these groups should only involve two households and the 2-metre social distancing rules are met.

In Wales, the rules are slightly different again. It will possible for 2 households to meet with unlimited numbers, but the two households must live within 5 miles of each other.

Can we visit people at home?

No, it was confirmed that we will only be able to meet outside.

What if the grandparents or other family members are shielding?

Unfortunately those who are shielding will not be able to meet yet. So, if grandparents or anyone in the family is in this situation, they will have to wait. Professor Chris Whitty explained that the infection rate needs to come down further before those most at risk can leave their homes. Professor Whitty said he hopes they will get to that stage “relatively soon”.

So does that mean that many of us can now go out and meet lots of different family members and friends?

Not exactly. Boris explained that we shouldn’t meet different households in quick succession, to avoid the risk of spreading infection.

What about barbecues?

Yes, Boris confirmed we can get together for barbecues but regular washing hands is essential as the virus can be passed on from contact with plates and utensils.

Can you stay overnight at a different household’s home?

No. Boris explained that “we’re not at the stage yet where we can be in a friend’s or family’s house”. He also stated that the Government do not want us staying overnight.

What if you’re at a friend’s house and desperately need the loo?

Professor Chris Whitty explained that if was absolutely essential to use the loo then this is OK, but that we then need to wash our hands rigorously and to the highest Covid-19 standards.

Boris Johnson talked about the “toll taken on family and friends unable to see each other”, and also warned that we all need to “stay alert and act responsibly”.

The PM also confirmed that the planned phased return to nurseries and primary school will take place from Monday 1 June.

Pic: Getty Images

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