We’re passing another milestone, Britain’s ‘cautious and irreversible’ journey out of lockdown continues and things just got exponentially better.
Sure, we can’t go to the shops. Or the pub. Or any of our favourite restaurants. We can’t go to a concert or the theatre and we’re still being told to work from home. BUT, today we’re free-er than we were yesterday…
Rule Of Six, we missed you…
The so-called Rule Of Six has made its return today. Under the rule you can now meet with up to five other people outdoors.
Which, just in time, keeps Boris’s Christmas promise that Easter would be the new Christmas, sort of (it’s not as though you can all have a roast at your parent’s house, unless it’s outdoors and not raining).
The rule only applies outdoors, so no going inside when it tips down, and you’re still expected to socially distance.
Children do count toward the total number (including babes-in-arms) so if you’re one of those old-woman-who-lived-in-a-shoe types then Rule Of Six might not help you that much.
….And hello ‘Or two households’
The government acknowledges that in its previous incarnation Rule Of Six didn’t help if you’re a family of, say, six, wanting to see grandparents.
If you're one of those old-woman-who-lived-in-a-shoe types then Rule Of Six might not help you that much...
So now it’s either Rule Of Six OR two households of any size. So if you live in a houseshare with 10 other people (which sounds grim) then you can find a similar sized house to play football with. Except, you can do that anyway…
Sport is back!
Grassroots sports like football, that can be played outside, are allowed to kick off again.
Rule Of Six won’t apply to sport, though the government has stipulated that games “should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies”, presumably to stop you inventing the sport of 20-a-side picnic eating.
Golf courses, tennis courts and the like not to mention lidos and outdoor swimming pools, ideal for anyone looking enjoy the heatwave…
You can go wherever the flip you like…
Since January it’s been illegal to travel away from your local area. The draconian rule led to infamous kill-joys Derbyshire Police charging two coffee drinking women for walking around a lake just five miles from their home.
Well I’m going to find that Derbyshire lake and walk around it to my heart’s content because that’s totally legit from today.
…But not abroad
However, the ban on international travel still applies. Which means we’re not heading on holiday quite yet.
There are exemptions, like if you have to travel for medical treatment or for work. And, perhaps a workaround if you’ve got a second home overseas, a proviso that allows you to travel to get it ready to sell or rent out, the so called Stanley Johnson exemption, after the PM’s father was accused of breaking covid rules last summer by flouncing off to his home in Greece.
And, er, that’s about all
There’s now a fortnight’s wait until the next stage of unlockdowning, when hospitality partially reopens and retail fully unlocks, along with gyms, hairdressers, zoos and weddings.
But for now, fire up the barbecue and invite five friends into your garden, we’re celebrating!