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Hugs and indoor dining return as England slowly eases Covid-19 restrictions

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HUGS and indoor dining will be given the go ahead in England, while plans are underway to further ease Covid-19 restrictions on May 17, the BBC reported.

The British public broadcaster said on Sunday Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to announce data supporting a further relaxation of measures put in place to try and limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Under the next stage of eased restrictions, people will be able to meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors, while six people or two households can meet indoors.

“Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues such as cinemas and soft play areas are set to be permitted to reopen indoors,” the BBC reported.

Another broadcaster, ITV News, said other measures included allowing up to 30 people to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals.

Meanwhile, semi-autonomous administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own separate timetables for easing coronavirus restrictions, Al Jazeera reported.

ITV said 17,669,379 people had received both jabs of the Covid-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom, the equivalent of 33.5 percent of all those aged 18 and above.

It said England and Northern Ireland were both estimated to have given two doses to 33.6 percent of their adult population, slightly ahead of Wales with 33.4 percent while Scotland was trailing with 33.1 percent.

Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock posted on Twitter that he was delighted that one in three adults had received both doses of the vaccine.

“Thank you to everyone involved in our national effort. When you get the call, get the jab,’’ Hancock wrote.

Prime minister Johnson also took to social media to share his satisfaction with the country’s progress in inoculating citizens.

“Thank you to everyone who has made this happen. Get your jab when called,’’ Johnson wrote on Twitter.