UK: Limited reopening of outdoor Covid restrictions in England
By Hamed Chapman and Ahmed J Versi
London, (The Muslim News): Families and friends are able to reunite from Monday with groups of up to six people or from two households able to meet outside, including in private gardens in England.
In line with his Government plans to cautiously ease Covid-19 restriction, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, also welcomed the return of outdoor sport, allowing facilities to reopen and broaden options for outdoor exercise and recreation.
Previously people were only allowed to exercise with their household, or with one person outside their household. As a result of these changes, people will no longer be legally required to Stay at Home.
Social contact rules being relaxed allow friends and families to meet again, with the return of “Rule of Six” that permit up to six people, or two households, to gather outdoors.
“I know how much people have missed the camaraderie and competition of organised sport, and how difficult it has been to restrict physical activities – especially for children,” Johnson said.
“So as teams return to outdoor pitches, courts, parks and fields, I hope today will kick-start a Great British summer of sport – with people of all ages reunited with teammates, and able to resume the activities they love.”
Outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, can be used by people of all ages in line with social contact limits. This includes formally organised outdoor sports for both adults and under 18s that will not be subject to the gatherings limits.
Sport England Chief Executive, Tim Hollingsworth, described the easing of rules as a
“vital milestone” allowing many people to get back to the sports and activities they have missed so much.
“It also signals a big step on the nation’s road to recovery as the nation starts to move out of the winter restrictions. The fact organised sport is one of the first things to reopen underlines its importance to our health and wellbeing and we hope many people feel the confidence to get back out there and enjoy it this week.”
The move follows the reopening of schools from March 8 in plans the Prime Minister has described as cautious and dependent upon data with infections remaining high averaging over 5,000 daily cases since levelling off for the past couple of weeks.
Many lockdown restrictions remain in place, including guidance on social distancing and not inviting anyone into your home. Rules around funerals and weddings are also largely unchanged.
People are also advised to continue to work from home where they can, minimise travel wherever possible, and should not stay away from home overnight. Rules around support and childcare bubbles remain unchanged.
[Image: 3-D medical animation of Covid-19 structure www.scientificanimations.com/Creative Commons]
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