These are the rules on visiting family and friends as lockdown guidance is updated

Visiting the homes of family and friends is still not allowed (Photo: Shutterstock)Visiting the homes of family and friends is still not allowed (Photo: Shutterstock)
Visiting the homes of family and friends is still not allowed (Photo: Shutterstock)

After almost two months of lockdown, the UK Government has now outlined a three-phase plan for “reopening society”.

In a national address on Sunday (10 May), Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a number of changes to current lockdown measures that will come into force in the coming weeks.

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However, Mr Johnson said there will be no immediate end to the lockdown and the new guidance will only apply in England, as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are adopting their own approaches to easing restrictions.

This is the latest advice on lockdown rules across the UK.

Am I allowed to visit family and friends?

Social distancing guidance is still in force across the UK, with people advised to stay two metres apart from each other.

In England, two people from two households will be able to meet in a public place from Wednesday (13 May), providing they maintain a two-metre distance.

However, visiting the homes of family and friends is still not allowed.

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Any larger meetings between different households at the same time is currently banned, with the government rules meaning someone cannot see both parents at the same time.

Mr Johnson's speech also said that people will be allowed to sunbathe or chat in a park with a person from a different household, with social distancing in place.

In Downing Street press conference on Wednesday (13 May), Dr Jenny Harries said meeting with family could later be expanded to allow different households to meet as "bubbles" or "clusters", but such a step needs to be carefully considered.

Family gatherings that involve multiple generations are still considered too dangerous until more is known about the virus and who is the most at risk.

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Driving to other destinations, such as parks or beaches, within England will also be permitted from Wednesday (13 May), but should only be done with members of your own household.

Crossing the border to Wales or Scotland for leisure activities is not allowed if different restrictions are in force.

Government guidance states: “People may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there, because this does not involve contact with people outside your household.

“When travelling to outdoor spaces, it is important that people respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and do not travel to different parts of the UK where it would be inconsistent with guidance or regulations issued by the relevant devolved administration.”

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In Scotland, the ‘stay at home’ message still remains, meaning people should not leave their households to visit family members or friends.

In Wales, the current advice on social distancing and visiting family remains the same, with the only changes to lockdown guidance being the reopening of garden centres and no limit on the amount of exercise per day.

Northern Ireland is due to announce its lockdown ‘road map’ this week, but it is expected to only have subtle changes.

What are the fines if rules are broken?

Police officers have the power to stop and ask you where you are heading and could issue a fine if they do not believe your reason for travel falls within what is considered ‘reasonable’ for leaving your home.

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Those who ignore the restrictions on movement could land an initial fine of £30, rising to unlimited fines for non-compliance.

In England, fines for breaching coronavirus regulations will now rise from £60 to £100, while payment of the fine within 14 days will reduce the sum to £50, up from the present £30.

Repeat offenders will see the fine double for each subsequent breach to a maximum of £3,200.

Refusing to provide police with a name and address to avoid being given a fine is an arrestable offence.