By Grahame Anderson

From next Monday up to six people will be allowed to meet outside or in private gardens as long as those from different households continue to social distance. This latest easing of the lockdown follows on from the return of certain primary and nursery schools on June first, with secondary schools able to provide some face to face contact time two weeks later.

Green Light

Both outdoor markets and car showrooms had already been given the green light from next Monday, with other non-essential retail opening in mid-June. Dentists in England will be able to open their doors from June 8.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said all five tests the for easing lockdown in England had been met, meaning the government could “move forward with adjusting the lockdown on Monday”.

He added: “People should “try to avoid seeing too many households in quick succession so we can avoid the risk of quick transmission from lots of different families and continue to control the virus”.

He said the changes mean that friends and family can start to meet their loved ones, “perhaps seeing both parents at once or both grandparents at once.

“It remains the case that people should not be inside the homes of their friends and families, unless it is to access the garden.”

Shielding to Continue

“I should add that, at this stage, I am afraid that those who have been asked to shield themselves should continue to do so.”

Mr Johnson said the government is “looking carefully at how we can make your life easier”, adding: “We want to say more on that soon.”

Prof Chris Whitty, the UK Government’s chief medical adviser, explained: “If someone was to go into the loo because they had to do that, it’s absolutely critical that they wipe everything down, washing their hands all the way through.

“If you were to do something like a barbecue, remember that passing things from one person to another, if you haven’t washed your hands, you can pass the virus that way.”

The Prime Minister thanked the public for showing “caution” during lockdown as a new track and trace system, came into operation, said to be essential in the government working out where to reintroduce restrictions. This in the light of the fact some local outbreaks of the virus were still likely.

The PM also warned the country should make only “limited and cautious” progress out of lockdown.”

Labour Support

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer reacted to the news by stating: “We support the gradual easing of restrictions on lockdown, it’s got to be safe and we need clear guidance from public health and we also need to see the scientific evidence actually published.”

The Government will publish guidance on changes to England’s lockdown rules in due course.