This is how many people can visit your house or garden in England - and how to keep safe
Following the latest easing of restrictions in England, which saw pubs, restaurants and hotels reopen to customers, a sense of normality is gradually returning.
Alongside the reopening of businesses, the government has relaxed rules on visiting other households, allowing families who have been separated for more than three months to reunite.
But what do the latest rules say about meeting other people? Here’s what you need to know.
How many people can come to my house?
Current rules in England state that two households of any size can meet in any location - public or private, indoors or outdoors - and this does not need to be the same household each time.
People are now also permitted to stay overnight in groups of up to two households, with accommodation including each other’s homes, or hotels and apartments.
It is advised that, where possible, people should socially distance from those they do not normally live with and take extra care to maintain good hygiene, including washing hands and surfaces, and avoiding shared facilities, such as bathrooms, if they can.
Those in single adult households, or who live with dependent children, can continue to have close contact with the one household they have formed a ‘support bubble’ with. This merging of two households should be exclusive and must not change.
You should only stay overnight in groups of up to two households and this includes each other’s homes, or other accommodation, such as hotels or apartments.
Particular care should be taken to maintain excellent hygiene, including washing hands and surfaces, and avoiding using shared facilities, such as bathrooms, wherever possible.
Guidance also states that you should try to avoid passing each other food or drink, unless you live together or are in a support bubble, and plates or utensils should be thoroughly cleaned before use.
How many people can come to my garden?
Groups of up to six people from different households are permitted to meet in any outdoors space, including private gardens, yards and roof terraces.
It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes, including gardens and other public outdoor spaces, unless planned by an organisation in compliance with Covid-19 secure guidelines.
Government guidance states that social distancing should continue to be maintained for those who are not in your household or support bubble.
Access to private gardens should be done externally wherever possible, but if you do need to pass through the house, or need to use the toilet while visiting, avoiding touching surfaces where possible is advised.
You should wash your hands thoroughly, wipe down surfaces and use separate towels, or paper towels, and wash or dispose of them safely after use.
Hand sanitiser should be used while you are out and as soon as you return home, you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.