BORIS Johnson has now revealed the crucial Covid lockdown changes coming into place on Monday which will see life return closer to normality.
Hugging loved ones from different households is to be allowed again from next week in England, when people will be given the choice on whether to socially distance from close friends and family.
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But the Prime minister warned Brits must "carry out caution and use their common sense".
He thanked the public for the sacrifices made during lockdown as he announced that step three of the road map could go ahead in England from May 17 as planned, saying: "Your efforts have so visibly paid off."
The move to the next stage came as the Covid-19 alert level in the UK was downgraded after a "consistent" fall in cases, hospital admissions and deaths.
The four chief medical officers of the UK have said the threat level should be reduced thanks to the success of the vaccination programme and social distancing restrictions.
Confirmation that England would move to step three on the road map came from Mr Johnson at a Downing Street press conference after a Cabinet meeting to sign off the change.
From next Monday, most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted – meaning Brits can reunite with more friends and family than before.
The outdoor Rule of Six and two household restriction will be scrapped from May 17 – but the rule will now be in place for indoor meet-ups.
This means that as the weather warms up, you can meet up with up to 30 pals from an unlimited number of households outside for a picnic or walk in the park.
But gatherings with over 30 people will remain illegal.
And people who are self-isolating or in quarantine must still adhere to the guidance given to them before mixing with people again.
Weddings, receptions, wakes, and other significant life events can go ahead with up to 30 people in attendance.
And from May 17, people will finally be able to meet their loved ones inside their homes again – but the Rule of Six will now apply.
It means groups of six or fewer – or two households – will be allowed to meet indoors for the first time in months.
Domestic overnight stays will also be given the thumbs up from this date – but people should still social distance from people they don't live with.
Brits have been starved of embraces for over a year, and will be allowed once more to hug each other sensibly when the next stage of lockdown lifts.
At the moment anyone who doesn't live together is advised to keep at least 1.5 metres away from others to stop the spread of the virus.
But, as first revealed by The Sun people have been told they can finally hug their close friends and family again – but social distancing rules will be expected to stay for others.
Brits will be told they can decide on their own levels of risk "for their own circumstances" and take decisions into their own hands after months of advice from ministers about what to do.
Meanwhile, indoor entertainment and attractions are also expected to open up on May 17 with Brits finally able to head to the pub and sit inside.
Thirsty punters will also not have to buy a substantial meal when they grab a pint as they did the last time they were allowed inside a pub – and there will be no curfew either as there was previously.
And instead of facing the elements outside, drinkers and diners will be able to sit indoors for the first time since last year.
Indoor exercise classes will also be allowed from May 17.
Monday will also see a chance for Brits to finally be able to head to some entertainment venues with cinemas and museums allowed to open their doors.
Theatre and concert performances – along with sports events – will also start to allow 1,000 people, or 50% of the venue's capacity – whichever is lower – to start again.
Sun-starved Brits are readying their passports at they hope to jet off abroad for holidays from May 17.
It comes after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed the UK's Green List.
They include Israel, Singapore, Portugal, the Falkland Islands, Ascension, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Gibraltar, Faroe Islands, Iceland and Brunei.
And New Zealand and Australia are also on the list – but they have their own entry requirements and are unlikely to let in tourists at the moment.
France, Greece and Spain are NOT yet on the green list, meaning Brits will have to wait until at least June 7 to find if they can go on holiday there this summer.
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