MILLIONS of Britons basked in glorious sunshine with friends and family as lockdown rules were eased for the first time in three months today.
Beaches, outdoor pools and parks across the country were packed as a perfectly-timed mini-heatwave saw temperatures top 20C — rising to 24C today.
🦠 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates…
Under Boris Johnson’s unlock plan, people are allowed to mix in socially-distanced groups of six — or two households — outside or in private gardens for the first time since December.
Organised and outdoor sports are back on, as are small weddings.
Jess Warren-Basham, 28, and solicitor fiancé Jonny Cope, 30, from Hants, were walking down the aisle yesterday — having reduced their guest list from 180 to just six to meet the new rules.
Meanwhile, football and cricket pitches, tennis and basketball courts, outdoor swimming pools, golf courses and sailing clubs are free to reopen after months closed.
‘HIGH LIKELIHOOD’ CASES WILL RISE
It is now legal to travel anywhere in the country — but people have been reminded not to hug loved ones and to socially-distance.
The PM appealed to the public to exercise caution as England’s lockdown rules are eased, amid fears of a new virus wave from Europe.
But Mr Johnson said it was a “big day” for many, as they were able to see friends and family outdoors for the first time since controls were imposed last year.
He told a Downing Street press conference: “It’s vital we don’t overdo it and risk all the progress we have made.”
His warning was echoed by England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, who said there was a “high likelihood” cases would rise as rules are lifted.
But he said the impact should be “modest” if people follow social distancing.
It’s vital we don’t overdo it and risk all the progress we have made.
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston called on everyone to resist dropping their guard and said people should still “call out” rule breakers.
The “stay at home” message has been scrapped, but people are not allowed to stay in another household overnight.
As the sun shone, women hit the tennis courts in Manchester and pals grinned and gave a peace sign on Bournemouth beach.
Dozens did a water aerobics class at Hampton open-air pool, South West London, and kids played rugby in Warrington, Cheshire.
Others opted for outdoor yoga in Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear, and surfing at The Wave, Bristol.
At the Serpentine lake, in London’s Hyde Park, women took an outdoor dip.
Gym chain David Lloyd reopened outdoor facilities at 79 of its branches across the country.
Mum who left four-month-old baby to drown in bath faces jail for manslaughter
HOLS ON HOLD
Brit holidaymakers will wait WEEKS longer to find out when they can go abroad
NO ROOM AT THE INN
Peter Phillips ‘stayed with married woman when he couldn’t book hotel’
Fears rise for Brit missing in Mozambique as ’50 killed’ in ISIS beheadings
Footie tycoon sacks chauffeur after he called his wife ‘f***nuts’ in text blunder
Harry is ‘trying to keep up’ with Meg with new gigs, celeb agent claims
And the fun teed-off at Morley Hayes Golf Club near Derby, at 12.01am as teams played a seven-hole charity tournament under floodlights.
Boss Andrew Allsop said: “It filled instantly. I think the buzz has been made even buzzier because it’s such great weather this week.”
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL email@example.com