When will overnight stays be allowed in the UK?

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Coronavirus lockdown measures have eased further across England despite concerns around the spread of the Indian variant of the virus in the UK.

Until recently, despite Covid-19 cases dropping and the continued rollout of the vaccine in the UK, household mixing indoors was not allowed – including visiting family at home and staying overnight for anyone not in a support bubble.

But now, increased social mixing and even hugging are allowed, although experts – and the government – advise people to exercise caution.

Here’s what you need to know…

Can I stay overnight at someone’s house?

Indoor visits and socialising with family and friends are now allowed in England after rules changed on Monday, May 17.

Similar rules now apply in most of Scotland too, where in-home socialising has also been reintroduced – including sleepovers – but only for up to four people at a time.

Strict rules remain in place in Glasgow meaning that overnight stays are still off the cards.

In Wales, indoor mixing with family and friends is still restricted to extended households only, meaning just two households can mix with each other inside at one time (including overnight).

In Northern Ireland, six people from two households can meet indoors, with up to 10 people allowed if one household is bigger than six people. Overnight stays are also are permitted here.

Can you hug friends and family now?

Hugging family and close friends is now allowed – but the government has urged people to ‘act responsibly.’

Boris Johnson said in his latest lockdown announcement that people should ‘use their personal judgement’ when it comes to who they think it is safe to hug and stay with.

The public should decide their own levels of ‘risk for their own circumstances’, taking into account things like whether they have had both doses of the vaccine.

SAGE scientists are also asking the public to act with caution and not break the restrictions still in place after May 17, over concerns related to the Indian variant.


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