The full rules for meeting family and friends from July 4

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The full rules for meeting family and friends from July 4

For many, the easing of lockdown with the reopening of pubs and restaurants is welcome news – but being allowed to see family again is the top priority.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a range of measures to ease lockdown from July 4 – which includes two households being able to meet inside for the first time since March.

However, the announcement has left some confused, with people wondering what rules will be in place when they do meet inside with another household and how this may affect any “bubble” they may have formed with a single person.

This is everything you need to know about seeing your family again.

Can I visit family and friends indoors?

Yes. People in England can have friends and family round to their house to eat and drink from July 4.

For the first time since March, indoor gatherings will be allowed between two households.

When you are indoors, your household will be able to meet with one other household at a time. There is no limit on the size of either of the households which can meet.

You do not always have to meet with the same household – you can meet with different households at different times. The crucial element is it is just one other household at a time.

Can we kiss and hug our family and friends?

No. When meeting up, these two households of any size should continue to remain socially distant from one another.

That means following the two metre or ‘one metre plus’ guidance, and also following other advice such as regular hand washing.

Can we mix with as many households as we like?

Yes. Unlike with bubbles, ’exclusivity’ is not required. So you can have one household round for a meal one weekend and members of another household at your house the next.

Watch: The new rules for pubs and restaurants

Does meeting other households affect my bubble?

Bubbles are a permanent joining of two exclusive households which let people mix together and break social distancing rules. For now, these are not being expanded.

If your household and the other member of your bubble wanted to meet with another household, your bubble would count together as one household.

This means you and whoever is in your bubble could sit together and not socially distance from each other, but you would socially distance from people from the other household.

Can my parents look after my children? Or can grandparents look after their grandchildren?

Yes. Children will be able to go to a friend’s house, or grandparents will be able to look after children while they head back to work.

Speaking in the Commons on Wednesday, the prime minister was asked if people can start to ask friends and family to help with childcare.

He said: “Yes, it does mean that but we’re also committed to getting all our schools back in September, and I do believe it will be possible if we stick to this plan, stick to the guidance to do it in a safe way.”

Find the latest coronavirus cases in your area

Can we stay overnight?

Yes. You can stay overnight away from your home with your own household or support bubble, or with members of one other household.

Can we still meet outside as a group of six?

When you are outside you can continue to meet in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines

A spokesperson for the Government said: “Moving forward, from July 4, people will be trusted to continue acting responsibly by following this and related guidance, subject to an upper legal limit on gatherings.

“The overwhelming majority of the British public have complied with the regulations, and the wider guidance on how to keep them and their friends and family as safe as possible.

“Taking this into account, we trust people to continue acting responsibly, and to follow the guidance on what they should and should not do.”

What can I not do from July 4?

  • Gather indoors in groups of more than two households (your support bubble counts as one household) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub.
  • Gather outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households; gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is from just two households.
  • Interact socially with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship.
  • Hold or attend celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.
  • Stay overnight away from your home with members of more than one other household (your support bubble counts as one household).

Gatherings of more than 30 people will be prohibited, apart from some limited circumstances to be set out in law.

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