Further easing of lockdown rules will come into effect in England from 4 July, following the UK government’s latest review.
The changes will see pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels, among others, allowed to reopen for business, while rules around seeing family and friends will also be relaxed.
But what do rules say about having barbecues with other households? Here’s what you need to know.
Can I have a barbecue?
Current rules in England state that people can meet outdoors in a group of up to six people from different households, while observing social distancing.
Households can meet both in public or private outdoor spaces, such as gardens, but should not go indoors.
However, single adult households are permitted to form a so-called ‘support bubble’ with one other household, and are allowed to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without having to stay two metres apart. This rule only applies to those who live alone, or with dependent children.
Meeting up for picnics and barbecues with other households, in groups of up to six, is allowed, providing it is done outdoors.
If you do not have your own garden, you should avoid having a barbecue on a balcony, as debris can drift to other levels and pose a fire risk to other floors.
When having a barbecue with another household, the sharing of cutlery and garden equipment should be avoided where possible.
Government advice states that food and drink should not be passed between different households, and you should not use plates or utensils that someone from another household has touched. Instead, people are advised to bring their own cutlery with them and ensure it has been thoroughly cleaned before use.
People should also avoid going inside someone else’s home to help carry or prepare food, or to help with the washing up.
Will rules change on 4 July?
As of 4 July, two households of any size in England will be allowed to meet up in any setting, inside or out, and stay overnight.
From Saturday 4 July, people will be allowed to stay overnight in groups of up to two households, with accommodation including each other’s homes, or hotels and apartments.
It is advised that, where possible, people should socially distance from those they do not normally live with and take extra care to maintain good hygiene, including washing hands and surfaces, and avoiding shared facilities, such as bathrooms, if they can.
As for the sharing of food, including barbecues, it is still recommended that, where possible, people do not pass each other food or drink unless they live together, or are in a support bubble together.
Plates and utensils should be thoroughly cleaned before use and you should wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds, and use disposable towels if you can.
Garden equipment should also not be shared with people outside of your household, or support bubble, due to the risk of transmission from shared surfaces.