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.