After having been on lockdown since November, things are finally starting to look up in the UK. According to new reports, park bench coffee dates with friends will be permitted as of March 8, 2021, the same date as schools are expected to be reopening.
Return to normalcy in the horizon?
A source close to PM Boris Johnson says this will be the first sign of loosening restrictions as the lift on the lockdown approaches in the UK:
The PM thinks there should be no harm in two adults sitting on a park bench to enjoy a coffee and a chat. It's a small but important step - one he hopes will start to raise people's spirits.
What exactly do the new rules entail?
Although a bit more freedom will be granted, this does not mean that we will be able to mingle freely with just anyone. The new rule will allow you to picnic with people from the same household and/or one other person from a different household.
In other words, several people from different households will not be able to mix and gather in public spaces. The new rules have also sparked conversation among experts regarding the reopening of outdoor spaces in restaurants and pubs. One government source stated that:
It is all going well. The rates are coming down, the numbers are looking good. We are on course for the roadmap. Outdoor ventilation is key. There are new mutations of the virus, but nothing changes how it spreads.
However, he confirms that easing off restrictions will have to be done wisely and within reason to prevent progress from reverting back:
We will hopefully be sipping pints in the spring sunshine sooner rather than later. [But] we will be cautious, opening one thing to see how it goes before moving to the next.