<p>People walking in Broadway Market</p>

People walking in Broadway Market

PA

Today marks the beginning of the end of lockdown with the reintroduction of the rule of six, a landmark coronavirus policy.

The change means that from today, six people, or any two households, can meet up outside in public and private gardens in England, in the first glimpse of normality since winter.

The national “Stay at Home” order which came into force in January is also being lifted today, with outdoor facilities reopening and organised outdoor sports and small weddings allowed to resume.

This easing of lockdown restrictions comes alongside a new emphasis on meeting outdoors - with an updated slogan, “Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air”.

“The evidence is very clear that outdoor spaces are safer than indoors. It is important to remember this as we move into the next phase,” Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said in a statement.

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If all goes to plan, the government road map will mean that all social distancing legislation will be lifted on 21 June.

12 April is the next intended date to ease restrictions, allowing pub gardens to open and serve groups of six outside. However, the government has said that the easing of lockdown will be guided by data, not dates, and is therefore subject to change.

Despite this, today is a day of celebration for many who have been separated from loved ones since the beginning of January.

The momentous occasion has been marked by an influx of online reactions.

Some people were wondering if they still had any social skills left to manage social gatherings...

While others were reminded of the anxiety of trying to pick just six people to spend time with:

Although not if you’re like these guys...

Some had flashbacks to the desperate times of trying to find a way to socialise last year:

But hopefully the weather will be a little bit better this time, especially as there’s a mini-heatwave expected this week:

And of course, some people also pointed out that the rules on what is and isn’t allowed are still kinda confusing...

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