Islanders can once again welcome friends and family into the garden as lockdown restrictions are eased, allowing 6 people – or 2 families – to come together.

The easing of restrictions comes just as the Isle of Wight is set to bask in temperatures of over to 20c over the next 2 days – perfect for get-togethers outside and of course the family BBQ.

From today (29th March), the ‘Stay at Home’ message has also been officially scrapped allowing travel outside of the local area – although overnight stays are still banned. It means you no longer have to justify your reasons for leaving the house

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The fantastic progress made with the COVID vaccination programme and the reduction in cases means the roadmap out of lockdown is on track. As a result, Good Friday and Easter Monday are ‘back on’, although today’s sunny weather won’t last for long with a cold weekend in store, as previously reported by Island Echo.

Whilst family meetups in gardens and outdoor public places are now permitted by law, there are a number of rules still to follow…

You must stay outdoors – although you can go inside to use the toilet or walk through the house to access the garden

Rule of 6 must be followed – you can meet up to a total of 6 people outdoors (including yourself), however, the number can be greater than 6 if all persons present are from just 2 households

No hugging or kissing – you must still follow social distancing guidelines of 2 metres – or at least 1 metre – which means hugs, kisses and handshakes are still off

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Outdoor sports have also resumed from today, including grassroots football and other team sports (no rule of six as long as they are formally organised). You can expect to find golf courses, shooting ranges, riding centres, tennis courts and bowling greens back open. Spectators are not allowed at this stage.

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