England on Monday implemented new lockdown rules which allow more people to meet friends and family outdoors.

Authorities reintroduced the “rule of six”, allowing gatherings of half a dozen people from two different households, but warned the public not to go beyond their newly permitted freedom.

The easing is the first phase of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of the lockdown that was introduced after the emergence of deadly new Covid-19 strains from the UK and abroad.

The government plans to allow pub gardens to reopen, along with non-essential services such as hairdressers, from April 12.

England’s new lockdown rules

People can meet outdoors in a group of six from any number of households, or in a group of any size from two households only

People can take part in formal, organised outdoor sports with any number of people, with outdoor sports venues allowed to reopen

Childcare and supervised activities allowed outdoors for all children

Organised parent and child groups can take place outdoors for up to 15 attendees (children under five will not be counted in this number)

End to staying at home

People can leave their homes, reversing government guidance to stay in as much as possible.

But some restrictions remain. Holidays are banned and employees are urged to work from their houses where possible.