Brits could soon be allowed to enjoy picnics with a small ‘bubble’ of family and friends – The Sun

BRITS could be allowed to enjoy picnics in the park with their close family and pals under proposals to ease the lockdown.

Ministers are looking at letting people meet up with a small “bubble” of their friends and relatives.

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Families could also be allowed to leave their home more often, and for longer, in time to soak up the summer sunshine.

The proposals are being considered by ministers as they try to carve a path out of the strict lockdown and to a “new normal”.

But the ease in restrictions are not expected to be introduced for several weeks as the government sticks to trying to drive down Covid rates as low as possible.

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman confirmed Downing Street is looking at loosening restrictions to let Brits enjoy the outdoors.

He said: “We’re looking at a range of possible easements of social distancing measures.


“Once we have the scientific evidence, we will be able to set out what those arrangements are”.

He added: “Broadly the scientific and medical experts have been clear that there is less likelihood of transmission of this disease outdoors than indoors.

“That will obviously be something we are considering as part of the review.

The PM – who last week declared the UK is “past the peak” of the virus – will set out his plans to ease the lockdown in a major speech on Sunday night.

He is not expected to make immediate sweeping changes, but set out a “roadmap” detailing how restrictions may be eased in future.

Under the ‘bubble plan’, Brits would be allowed to pick a small number of people to hang out with.

Once you have picked your ‘bubble’ you would be under strict orders not to mix with another one.

It means grandparents may face a tough choice between which parts of the family to see.

While friendships will be tested as people decide who makes the cut.

A Scottish government document outlining the plan states: “We are considering if and how we could make changes to allow people to meet with a small number of others (the number is under consideration) outside their own household in a group or “bubble” that acts as a single, self-contained unit, without connections to other households or 'bubbles'.


“It is possible that this option would be introduced first for outdoor meetings, ahead of any change to permit indoor meetings of the bubble.”

You would still have to stick to social distancing rules when you spent time with anyone in your bubble.

And if anyone in the group came down with Covid symptoms the others could be ordered to self-isolate for a fortnight.

Currently, people are only meant to go outside for essential shopping or their daily exercise.

But the document says ministers are considering “changes to allow people to leave their home more often and/or for longer”.

Factories and a larger array of shops are expected to be among the first wave of businesses allowed back to work when the lockdown eases.

Brits could also be allowed to spend more time outside when the lockdown is eased.

The plans have been drawn up by Scotland, but so far the devolved regions have worked in lockstep with Westminster on tackling coronavirus.

Schools are not expected to reopen all at once under plans to loosen restrictions.

Instead there will be a “phased approach” with Year 6 pupils expected to head back first.

Dominic Raab on Tuesday night warned that sending all pupils back to school at the same time would risk a second spike in Covid infections.

And the Scottish document warned that hospitals north of the border could be overwhelmed with Covid admissions within weeks if all schools reopened.

Mr Raab told the Downing Street press conference: “The one thing I can say with confidence is at least today, the evidence has been that we wouldn't be able to open up all schools, without a very real risk that the transmission rate would rise at such a level that we would risk a second spike.

“But we've asked Sage for the options on this and will as ever be continued to be guided by the scientific advice we get."

He also warned Brits that life will not return to normal even after the lockdown is eased.

He said: “As we consider the decisions that we will take next to protect life but also to protect our way of life, it’s now clear that the second phase will be different.

“We will need to adjust to a new normal where we as a society adapt to safe new ways to work, to travel, to interact and to go about our daily lives.

“We have never experienced anything like this first stage of Covid-19 in terms of the scale of the lives lost but also the lockdown it has required.

“As we go forward we want to make sure that the next phase is more comfortable, is more sustainable and prevents lasting damage to jobs and livelihoods.”

Ministers have been warned that fuming OAPs could revolt if they are treated differently in the Covid lockdown.

But the Health Secretary batted off claims the advice left pensioners under virtual house arrest – insisting only those with serious health conditions have been told not to go out.

He added: “It’s a scientific fact that older people are much more susceptible to this disease”.

Ministers also denied reports that peers over 65s would be retired from the House of Lords because of the Covid lockdown.

Cabinet Office minister Lord True said there was “no substance” to this “third-rate story”.

The Sun understands that bubbles would include no more than ten people.


And if ministers went ahead with the plan, bubbles of friends would be able to meet indoors as well as outside.

They are not expected to be introduced in the first wave of easing the lockdown, but could be brought in later this month if the Covid rate of infection is low enough.

But in a boost for cooped-up Brits, the PM is considering letting the nation head out for more than one exercise a day when he lays out his vision for easing the lockdown on Sunday night.


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