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Monday, June 17, 2024

COVID-19: Outdoor Gatherings And Sport Resume In England

From today, two households or groups of up to six people can now meet in an outdoor setting, as restrictions across England begin to ease.

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UNITED KINGDOM: People in England can now meet outside in public spaces or private gardens, in groups of up to six people or as two households. Households can also include existing support bubbles.

The national lockdown was first imposed in January, however today marks the second easing of restrictions. This comes after schools were able to reopen for all pupils on 8 March.

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Similar steps were taken by Wales a few days prior to England’s relaxation of some lockdown measures.

The “stay at home” order ended at midnight, but the government still urges people to stay local.

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As a result of the change, a new slogan has also been proposed – Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air. It emphasises the importance of ventilation in the continued efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he hoped that Monday “will kick-start a Great British summer of sport — with people of all ages reunited with teammates, and able to resume the activities they love”.

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But in a video message posted on Twitter, he urged people to enjoy their new freedoms cautiously.

“It’s vital that we don’t overdo it and risk all the progress we’ve made,” Johnson said, in a nod to Britain’s much-reduced coronavirus infection, hospitalisation and death rates compared to earlier this year.

Full list of restrictions easing today in England:

  • Groups of up to six people, or two households, can mix in outdoor spaces or private gardens
  • Football and cricket pitches, tennis and basketball courts and outdoor swimming pools can reopen
  • Golf courses and sailing clubs can reopen
  • Organised team sports can resume outdoors
  • The ‘stay local’ instruction has now come into effect, replacing the ‘stay at home’ order

The next key date in the roadmap out of Lockdown is 12 April.

From no earlier than this date, non-essential retail will be able to open, and restaurants and pubs will be able to serve outdoors only.

Even though the easing of restrictions is promising, the government’s key message today is still a cautious one.


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