Some grandparents will be able to hug their grandchildren from Saturday under plans set out by the Prime Minister, where adults living alone or single parents can form a bubble with one other household.
They would then be allowed to mix as though they were one household, spending time together indoors, not having to follow the two-metre rule and would be allowed to stay overnight.
Ministers believe the latest easing of the lockdown will help those who have been left isolated while still restricting the spread of coronavirus, including couples kept apart by lockdown restrictions.
The move could allow children in single-parent households to see one set of grandparents.
A grandparent living alone would be allowed to visit the house of their child and grandchildren.
But the move would not allow a couple to visit both parents as neither household would comprise a single adult.
Officials admitted the measure was not going to benefit everyone but was targeted at those who had been left isolated by the lockdown restrictions.
The new guidelines do not apply to those who are sheilding, who have to remain isolated.
At the Downing Street briefing, the Prime Minister said: “We are making this change to support those who are particularly lonely as a result of lockdown measures.
“It’s a targeted intervention to limit the most harmful effects of the current social restrictions.
“It is emphatically not designed for people who don’t qualify to start meeting inside other people’s homes, because that remains against the law.”
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