Friends and families are reunited and team sports are resumed to make England’s lockdown much easier and allow far more freedom in the open air.
Groups of up to six or two households can reconnect in parks and gardens when the outdoor sports facilities reopen and the home stay order ends on Monday.
Boris Johnson said he hopes the easing will “kickstart a great UK summer sport” as sports stars partnered with the government to encourage the return to physical activity.
Football and cricket fields, tennis and basketball courts, outdoor pools, golf courses and sailing clubs can reopen after months of closure.
Organized team sports can also be resumed outdoors, which means that grassroots competitions can resume before the Easter break without the need for social distancing.
The Prime Minister said: “I know how much people have missed the camaraderie and competition of organized sport and how difficult it has been to restrict physical activity, especially for children.
“However, we have to remain cautious as cases are increasing across Europe and new variants threaten our introduction of vaccines. Despite today’s relief, everyone must continue to abide by the rules, remembering their hands, face, and space, and answering a call for a vaccine. “
Mr Johnson has warned that an increase could be seen in cases when parts of Europe are hit by a third wave of infections, but he hopes the introduction of the vaccine will suppress hospitalizations and deaths.
The prime minister has tried to lose weight after his own hospital stay with Covid-19 and the government is now calling on the public to take part in a fitness drive. Children are advised to aim for one hour of physical activity per day, and adults for at least 150 minutes.
England World Cup cricket captain Eoin Morgan said: “With summer – and the cricket season – just around the corner, there is no better time for young and old to get back to having fun by being outside, being active is and plays sports. “
UK number one female tennis player Johanna Konta said: “I am so happy that people in England can now return to the field and enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of tennis.”
England Rugby Union supporter Kyle Sinckler added, “I can’t wait for you guys to get out of there and all the kids back out there to enjoy themselves.”
The fitness drive comes after the latest numbers show the UK has recorded more than 150,000 coronavirus deaths.
In Wales, the “stay on site” order ended on Saturday and people were allowed to stay in independent holiday homes.
Home stays in Scotland end on Friday, while Northern Ireland can meet up to six people or two households outdoors from Thursday.
It is the second major easing of the UK lockdown imposed in early January, as schools reopened to all students on March 8th.
While greater outdoor freedoms are now allowed, the government continues to advise people to work from home whenever possible and to minimize the number of their trips.
The next step in the roadmap to easing the lockdown is April 12th, which is set aside for non-essential stores to reopen and for outdoor dining, including pubs and restaurants.