England eases Covid-19 contact curbs

London, March 29 (IANS) England on Monday further eased its coronavirus contact restrictions to allow for larger outdoor meet-ups and team sports.

As part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, which was unveiled in February, groups of up to six, or two households, can now meet together outdoors, reports dpa news agency.

Minimal travel, but no holidays, are allowed and outdoor parent and child groups can meet with up to 15 parents.

Tennis and basketball courts, outdoor swimming pools, golf courses and sailing clubs can now all reopen.

Residents in England are expected to start playing football and cricket matches outside as the country experiences a wave of warm weather this week.

From April 12, non-essential retail, as well as restaurants and pubs, if serving people outdoors, will be allowed to reopen in England.

In Northern Ireland, six people will be able to meet outside from Thursday, while in Scotland its “stay home” message will be lifted on Friday, allowing people to leave their homes for other reasons aside from school, work, health, exercise or food shopping but they should stay near to their homes.

In Wales, the “stay home” message has already been lifted.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Johnson said England still on course for “roadmap to freedom”, but warned the impact of Europe’s third wave of infections on the country.

“Bitter experience” had shown a wave like the one in Europe would hit Britain “three weeks later”, he said.

Nearly 30 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.

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