Lockdown change will let people use loos at friends’ houses and in beer gardens

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As part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s provisional road map to the end of lockdown, groups of up to six people or two households will be allowed to meet up outdoors from March 29.

But until now, the most important question about that rule change had not been answered. Once you’ve enjoyed a few cool refreshing drinks at a mate’s BBQ, can you use the loo?

When asked by reporters to clarify this important rule, an official spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "Yes, people can move through a private household to get to a garden if they need to."

And when specifically asked about using a friend’s toilet, the spokesman wearily added: "Yes, as I say, the same as the situation last year."

The spokesman went on to say that customers drinking in pub beer gardens would be allowed to go inside the pub to use the loo.

Outdoor hospitality venues – including pubs with gardens – could reopen as early as April 12, with indoor hospitality following possibly suit from May 17.

Nightclubs could finally be permitted to reopen from June 21 under Mr Johnson's plan, after being closed for over a year.

However, health secretary, Matt Hancock has stressed that all the dates on the PM’s list are provisional and that any or all of them could be pushed back in the event of a new outbreak.

He told Times Radio: "The reason we’ve set out 'no-earlier-than' dates is that we need to see the effect of each step before being able to take the next one."

"That’s a really, really important part of this," he added. "It’s about seeing the real-world effects. And hence, that’s the reason that we’ve set out the steps five weeks apart so you can see the impact of one step before making the decision to take the next."

On Monday, Boris Johnson told parliament that he would be driven by “data not dates” as he published the timeline setting out the earliest stage that different sectors would be reopened.

We want to know what you think about the blueprint and how you feel in the aftermath of the announcement.

Our new survey goes through the plans step-by-step, asking Star Readers whether the different stages are coming too early, too late or at the right time.

  • Boris Johnson
  • Pubs
  • Lockdown

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