Hugging set to get green light from ministers in just two weeks time

MINISTERS are set to green light hugs with family in just two weeks time, The Sun can reveal.

Boris Johnson kept touching rules in limbo in his lockdown lifting roadmap – keeping advice on social distancing and close contact between people who know each other subject to review.

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But with our zooming vaccine rollout and dropping case numbers, Whitehall sources say that milestone will likely be hit on 17 May – bringing joy to millions of Brits.

Ahead of step three of the lockdown roadmap, ministers will meet next week to sign off relaxing the rules around social distancing.

It's expected that people will be told they can finally hug their close friends and family again – but social distancing rules will be expected to stay for others.

Brits will be told they can decide on their own levels of risk "for their own circumstances" and take decisions into their own hands after months of advice from ministers about what to do.

One Whitehall source told The Sun: "The modelling is on track for step three as planned."

May 17 will see the rule of six relaxed outdoors and people in England finally able to see friends and family indoors again, but in small numbers.

Ministers will take a decision on whether to relax all social distancing rules ahead of step 4 of the roadmap, which will come in June.

But there are fears they could stay for months to come to keep infection rates at bay.

Several pilots are currently underway across the UK, some of which have trialled scrapping social distancing and other rules to monitor how to open events safely.

The results of those trials will land on ministers' desks in the next week. The smashing news comes as the UK approaches nearly 50million doses of vaccines dished out to Brits across the country.

And nearly 15million second doses have been achieved – meaning the most vulnerable people in the country will shortly all have had their first jab.


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