• Fri. Mar 5th, 2021

Can I meet friends outside in a park or garden?


Feb 22, 2021

People will be hoping summer brings friends and families together (Picture: Getty)

Boris Johnson has announced England’s roadmap out of lockdown – so what does it mean when it comes to being able to reunite with friends and family?

Non-essential businesses such as pubs and cafes have had to close their doors across the UK since Christmas, leaving people with no indoor venues to meet up with people during the cold winter.

So, following the latest announcements, are you allowed to meet people outside in England?

Can I meet friends and family outdoors?

From March 8, the rules state that people will be permitted to have socially distanced one-on-one meetups with others outdoors in a public space.

This means friends and family members can sit down for a coffee or have a picnic in the park, which is not currently allowed under lockdown.

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This would include parks, commons and other public outdoor spaces, as well as private gardens.

The current rules state: ‘You can exercise or meet in a public, outdoors space with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person’ but this will change on March 8.

Children under 5, as well as disabled people dependent on round-the-clock care are not counted towards the limit on two people meeting outside.

On February 22, Mr Johnson announced people will also be able to go for a coffee on a park bench or enjoy a picnic with one other person or members of their household from March 8, the same day schools are set to reopen.

From March 8, people won’t just have to meet for exercise (Picture: Getty)

If you are meeting someone from outside your household in a public space outdoors, you must stay two metres away from them at all times.

The Prime Minister confirmed the ‘rule of six’ will also return for outdoor gatherings, including private gardens, of more than two households from March 29.

Two households of any size will be able to meet up indoors from May 17.

These lockdown rules only affect England. Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland have implemented their own coronavirus safety restrictions independently.

You must remain socially distanced, even outdoors (Picture: Getty)

Will outdoor areas of pubs and cafes reopen?

Despite the national stay at home order not being scrapped until March 29, people in England will have to wait a little longer to reunite in pub gardens.

Pub gardens can reopen from April 12 in England, Mr Johnson confirmed.

Outdoor seating only will be allowed for hospitality venues, as the country emerges from its third national lockdown.

How many people can I meet outside?

At the moment, you can only meet one other person from outside your household for exercise.

Socially distanced walks were common during previous lockdown rules (Picture: David Mbiyu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

From March 8, people in England can meet one other person from another household outside for recreation, not just exercise.

From March 29, a maximum of up to six people or two households will be permitted to meet outdoors.

Social distancing measures should still be followed.

For more information on how the rules apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, see below.

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Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown

Boris Johnson has laid out his plans to lift Covid-19 restrictions in England, following weeks of lockdown which began on January 4.

The Prime Minister confirmed that the route back to normality will depend upon four tests for easing restrictions and will take into account the success of the vaccine rollout.

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