Prime Minister Boris Johnson expected to say hugging is allowed as he makes announcement over roadmap out of lockdown
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to say hugging will be allowed in an announcement over the next stage of the easing of lockdown later today.
Hugs with family and friends and indoor socialising are expected to be allowed from next week as Mr Johnson announces further relaxation of coronavirus restrictions in England.
The next stage of the road map out of lockdown is expected to go ahead from Monday, May 17, with ministers to hold a meeting this morning, Monday, May 10, to agree the next set of measures.
The PM is expected to front a press conference this afternoon to confirm the new rules.
Mr Johnson said: “The road map remains on track, our successful vaccination programme continues – more than two-thirds of adults in the UK have now had the first vaccine – and we can now look forward to unlocking cautiously but irreversibly.
“It’s because of the British public’s unwavering commitment that we are saving lives, protecting the NHS and controlling the virus.”
From next Monday, most social contact rules outdoors will be lifted, although gatherings of more than 30 will remain illegal.
Indoors, the rule of six or two households will apply, with Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove suggesting physical contact between friends and family will be allowed.
Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes are expected to reopen.
Other measures include allowing up to 30 people to attend weddings, receptions and wakes and funerals.
The Government said the latest data suggests easing restrictions from May 17 is unlikely to risk a resurgence in infections.
It comes as figures show a third of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with a total of 17,669,379 people having received both jabs – the equivalent of 33.5% of all people aged 18 and over.
England and Northern Ireland are both estimated to have given two doses to 33.6% of their adult population, slightly ahead of Wales (33.4%) and Scotland (33.1%).
The milestone was described as “a testament to the extraordinary efforts of NHS staff and volunteers” by Mr Johnson, while health Secretary Matt Hancock said it is “yet more evidence of the huge national vaccination effort we are in the middle of”.