Summer of love on for millions of Brits as PM confirms lockdown to be eased

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The hot vax summer looks to be on for millions of Brits as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the country is to continue down its roadmap of lifting lockdown restrictions – meaning overnight stays will soon be allowed once again.

For many, the familiar feel of a physical embrace may be a distant memory but from May 17, family, friends and lovers from different bubbles will also once again be allowed to hug each other.

Speaking from Downing Street on Monday afternoon, the PM thanked everyone for the sacrifices they had made during the restrictions and said the nation's efforts had "unquestioningly saved lives".

He went on: "From next Monday you'll be able to sit inside a pub or restaurant, to go to the cinema, and children will be able to use indoor play areas.

"From next week, everyone will be able to travel within Britain and stay overnight."

Yale professor Dr Nicholas Christakis previously said society will make up for lost time with "sexual licentiousness" as soon as Covid lockdowns are lifted and it's safe to do so.

Summer 2021 has since been dubbed the "hot vax summer" by experts as vaccinations increase and people seek out more social interactions amid skyrocketing sales of sex toys and record-breaking dating-app use during lockdown.

And at a Downing Street press conference on Monday, May 10, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed England is to continue along its roadmap out of lockdown, meaning Brits have plenty more to look forward to as well.

When things are eased further on May 17, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to open indoors – meaning they won't have to brave the elements when meeting for a pint in the pub garden.

Torrential rain, high winds and snow did not put punters off as they lined up and took seats in freezing conditions to enjoy good grub and stiff drinks.

The Rule of Six will apply for bookings, while pubs will be table service only.

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Outdoor gatherings for groups of 30 people will also be permitted – without a limit on the number of households.

Clubs, theatres and sports venues are also set to reopen.

Outdoor venues are expected to be allowed to reopen from mid-month with capacities of 4,000, or for the venue to be half-full, whichever is lower.

While the biggest outdoor venues will be allowed to welcome crowds of 10,000, or quarter-full, depending which is fewer, allowing crowds to space out.

While indoor events will also be allowed to resume – with capacities of 1,000 or half-full, depending which is less.

Earlier this month, a trial event was held in Liverpool which included larger crowds and no social distancing, but this was part of a pilot scheme which involved all attendees requiring negative Covid tests to enter.

Brits will also be able to book domestic holidays from mid-May.

With the restrictions between households mixing and meeting indoors lifted it will make plans to stay elsewhere in the UK possible to arrange for the first time this year.

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Hotels, B&Bs, hostels and other holiday venues will be able to reopen their doors and welcome visitors to stay – and trips to countries on the UK's travel green list will also be allowed.

The countries on the green list include Portugal including the Azores and Madeira; Australia; New Zealand; Singapore; Brunei; Iceland; Faroe Islands; Gibraltar; Falkland Islands; and Israel.

This is in addition to the remote territories of the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.

However, many ‘Green List’ countries will continue to place restrictions on UK travellers, including quarantine measures, so passengers are encouraged to check all requirements and FCDO travel advice before they book any foreign travel.

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It means out of the government's green list of countries, Brits will only not have to quarantine upon arrival in Portugal including the Azores and Madeira; Iceland (if vaccinated); Gibraltar; and Israel (if vaccinated).

The cap on the number of people who can attend funerals has also been removed completely.

Saunas and steam rooms, as well as cinemas, museums and children’s play areas, are also set to reopen, while weddings will also now be allowed to take place within indoor venues for the first time this year.

Other celebrations such as bar mitzvahs and christenings will also be allowed to resume from May 17.

  • Boris Johnson
  • Pubs
  • Coronavirus
  • Lockdown

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