Coronavirus lockdown to be eased for 2.2million vulnerable people who have been shielding since March – and those who live alone can reunite with one member from another householdPeople who have been shielding will be allowed to see one person from outside their households Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the vulnerable people’s resilienceThis comes as groups of six from different households will be allowed to meetThe Government maintains that social distancing must be continue to be observed Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Families across England will finally be able to see their elderly relatives again tomorrow, as millions of vulnerable people ‘shielding’ are allowed to spend time outdoors.

As part of the easing of lockdown restrictions, 2.2 million vulnerable people will be able to go outside with members of their household, while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines. Those who live alone will be able to meet outside with one other person from another household, in a move that will bring joy to thousands.

Boris Johnson last night hailed the ‘resilience’ of those who have been shielding since March, with many having no face-to-face contact since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Prime Minister said: ‘I want to thank everyone who has followed the shielding guidance – it is because of your patience and sacrifice that thousands of lives have been saved. I do not underestimate just how difficult it has been for you, staying at home for the last ten weeks, and I want to pay tribute to your resilience.

As part of the easing of lockdown restrictions, 2.2 million vulnerable people will be able to go outside with members of their household, while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines. Pictured: Visitors and sunbathers flock to Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset on a scorching hot sunny day

‘I will do what I can, in line with the scientific advice, to continue making life easier for you over the coming weeks and months.’

The announcement came alongside a relaxing of rules to allow groups of up to six people from different households to exercise together from tomorrow.

‘That means that people who play team sports will be able to play together, and do things like conditioning and fitness sessions that don’t involve physical contact,’ Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said last night.

But Britain’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam warned people not to take advantage of the relaxed rules.

He told yesterday’s Downing Street press conference: ‘This is a very dangerous moment – we have to get this right. People have to be sensible and proportionate with their freedoms.’

The updated guidance provides a much-needed boost to those most at risk who have been staying in their homes to protect themselves and the Health Service.

Government measures of support for those shielding from coronavirus will continue, including the delivery of food or medicines, phone calls and support from volunteers. To date, more than 2.25 million boxes of essential food have been delivered to those at highest risk across England, with up to 200,000 phone calls a day made to confirm their support needs are being met.

The Prime Minister also praised the efforts of those involved in providing care for the elderly, including 500,000 NHS volunteers.

He said: ‘I also want to recognise the hundreds of thousands of extraordinary volunteers who have supported you in shielding.

‘Whether through delivering medicines and shopping, or simply by checking in on those isolating, they should feel deeply proud of the part they have played in this collective effort.’

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick is expected to set out plans today to review shielding guidance at regular points in the coming weeks.

Shielding advice will be constantly checked at each review point for ongoing social distancing measures, with the next review set to take place later in June.

The relaxed guidance is based on the latest clinical advice, which shows the average chance of catching the virus is now one in 1,000 – down from one in 40.

Those being shielded are warned they still remain at risk and are advised to leave the house only once a day. They should not go to work or the shops and avoid crowded places.

Those being shielded are warned they still remain at risk and are advised to leave the house only once a day. They should not go to work or the shops and avoid crowded places

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