Lockdown restrictions are gradually being eased across the UK, but the rules are different in each of the four nations. So, who can you meet and what can you do?
How many people can I meet?
By Monday, all four UK nations are due to have guidelines in place allowing more than two people to meet outside:
In England, groups of up to six people can gather from Monday 1 June. They can be from different households, but they have to meet outside – such as in parks or private gardens.
In Wales, any number of people from two different households will be able to meet each other outside from Monday. As in Scotland, families should aim to travel no more than five miles. Beauty spots remain closed.
In Northern Ireland, groups of up to six people who do not live together can meet outdoors.
Children are included in the headcount for groups meeting in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In Wales, two large families can meet – as long as each of them lives at a single address.
And remember, social distancing rules – with people from different households remaining 2m (6ft) apart from each other – still apply across the whole of the UK.
Can I play sport or host a barbecue?
The overall advice remains “stay at home” as much as possible. But some non-contact outdoor sport is allowed – although rules vary across the UK.
Tennis, for instance, can be played in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland – but not yet in Wales. However, golf can be enjoyed everywhere.
Socially-distanced picnics and barbecues could also be possible for many people who want to see their friends and family.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned people in England: “It remains the case that people should not spend time inside the homes of their friends and families, other than to access the garden or use the toilet.” He also said people could not stay overnight in the homes of others.
Hand washing and hygiene should remain a priority – and if you do use the toilet while visiting another home, you should take steps to clean any surfaces you have touched.
Prof Chris Whitty, the UK government’s chief medical adviser, said: “If you were to do something like a barbecue, remember that passing things from one person to another, if you haven’t washed your hands, you can pass the virus that way.”
The rules in Wales so far say you can eat while out on a walk, run or cycle. But First Minister Mark Drakeford said allowing more people to meet was not “an invitation to go into a garden, have a few beers and start mixing in a way that potentially harms you or other people”.
Who has to still stay home?
People with certain underlying health conditions, or who are pregnant or aged over 70, are deemed to be clinically vulnerable. If you are in this category, you are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if you do go out, take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household.
There is another group of about 2.5 million people, categorised as clinically extremely vulnerable. These include people who have had organ transplants, cancer patients and those with severe respiratory conditions.
This group is being strongly advised to stay at home at all times until at least the end of June and avoid face-to-face contact – so called “shielding”.
Why is social distancing necessary?
Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions across the UK, scientists stress the need for people from different households to remain 2m (6ft) apart.
Social distancing is important because coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets – packed with the virus – into the air.
These can be breathed in, or can cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on, and then touch your face with unwashed hands.
This coronavirus appears to thrive in crowded, indoor spaces which is why pubs, restaurants and many workplaces remain closed and the public has been advised against using public transport.
But virus transmission is less likely when ”fresh” air is involved – usually when people are outside.
What is self-isolation and what if I have symptoms?
If you show symptoms of coronavirus – such as a dry cough, high temperature or loss of taste – you must take extra precautions.
You should stay at home and not leave it for any reason. This is known as self-isolation.
You should not leave your property even to buy food or medicine, and instead order these online, or ask someone to drop them off at your home.
If the NHS Test and Trace team in England gets in touch because you’ve been close to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you will have to self-isolate for up to 14 days – even if you feel fine.
The people you live with don’t have to self-isolate, but they must take extra care regarding social distancing and hand washing.