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Stay safe as we enjoy hugs and pubs again in latest easing of restrictions

The latest easing of restrictions has brought joy to millions of us. We have been able to meet loved ones indoors, hug, organise celebrations, visit restaurants and book tickets for our favourite pastimes. But caution is still paramount. This is what we can do in England and how we can do so safely.

photo Gettyimages

What can we do?

Groups of six or two households can now meet indoors. This is the first time since 2020 people from other households are allowed to meet in indoor settings and the first time individuals are allowed to be in close contact with family and friends, including hugging. Organised indoor adult group sport and exercises classes can resume.

Can I have a party?

Larger gatherings of up to 30 people for celebrations such as christenings and weddings in outdoor and COVID-secure indoor settings are allowed.

Where has reopened and what events resumed?

Indoor seating in restaurants, cinemas, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, indoor play areas, art galleries and museums have reopened. Hotels, hostels and B&B overnight stays are allowed for groups of up to six people or two households.

Large events including conferences, theatre, concert performances and sports events have resumed within capacity limits. Indoor events: up to 1,000 attendees or 50 per cent of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower. Outdoor events: up to 4,000 attendees or 50 per cent of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower. Large outdoor seated events: up to 10,000 attendees or 25 per cent of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower.

Pubs and hugs are back – but caution is advised.

What are the rules for care homes?

Care home residents can have up to five regular visitors, with up to two visitors at one time or in a single day, in addition to their essential care giver. Residents leaving the home for a low risk visit no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days when they return.

What safety measures should we still be following?

Caution is the watchword. Remember Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air. Wash your hands, wear face coverings and keep a two-metre distance in public spaces. Always let the fresh air in.

For more information on staying safe under the latest relaxed rules, visit gov.uk/coronavirus


Matthew and Ellie



It will be third time lucky to celebrate their wedding in style for Ellie and Matthew. The North Yorkshire couple have three year- old daughter Lola while Ellie, aged 27, is expecting their second child in June.

Ellie, Mathew and daughter Lola, 3

She and Matthew, 28, have been together for eight years. They got engaged three years ago and started saving immediately for their big day.

“We know weddings are expensive and we wanted to save enough money to have everything we wanted ... the day we dreamed of,” said Ellie.

At Hackness Grange.

The couple were due to marry at Hackness Grange hotel in May 2020 but, due to lockdown restrictions, had to cancel. The ceremony was rearranged for October 2020 but restrictions meant that guests were limited to 15. Rather than postpone again, they went ahead with just the ceremony.

“It was devastating,” said Ellie. “There was a lot of our family not allowed to come. Deciding who should be there was hard but that was the way it had to be.” Disappointment has now turned to delight and excitement with Ellie and Matthew’s big day, including another ceremony, scheduled for October at the same venue.

TYING THE KNOT – Matthew and Ellie with their 15 Hackness Grange guests. (All photos: M&G Wedding Photography)

Planned after the June 21 step 4 stage of the roadmap, they intend to invite 100 day guests, joined by 60 more for an evening party.

“It will now be the most exciting of days, absolutely awesome, really brilliant,” added Ellie.


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