Are we ready for BBQs and garden parties?
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Plans to allow greater social contact between friends and family including permission to host garden parties and barbecues are set to be unveiled by ministers as they look to further ease lockdown restrictions.
The news comes as the government continues to follow its “road map” out of lockdown in a bid to rebuild the economy and allow life to begin returning to normal, while managing the risk of a second spike.
It is understood an announcement further easing lockdown restrictions could come by the end of the week, according to government insiders speaking to the PA news agency.
The “road map”, published earlier this month, shows the government is considering following a model used by New Zealand, where households are referred to as “bubbles”, which are allowed to meet with a limited number of other “bubbles” depending on the outbreak situation. This mean syou may be allowed to socialise with a small group of up to 10 people in your garden or at an outside location.
It is hoped the “bubbles” model would allow some physical contact while suppressing the risk of hiking the Covid-19 transmission rate as undetected infections would not spread so widely.
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The government has asked the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) to investigate.
Asked whether garden parties and barbecues would be allowed at the end of June, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “All I can do is refer you to the road map.
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“We will set out any further steps that we are able to take in relation to social contact or the use of outdoor spaces in due course and we will only move forward with proposals if it’s safe to do so and we are satisfied that we won’t be doing anything that could risk a second spike in infections that might overwhelm the NHS.”
Limited easing of the lockdown has already been seen, with schools set to reopen on June 1, before all non-essential retailers in England are allowed to open their doors again from June 15.
Groups of no larger than two have also been permitted to meet outside if they maintain their distance as of May 13.