Boris Johnson has confirmed the next phase of easing lockdown rules with a Downing Street press conference.
Hugs with family and friends will be “restored” from Monday 17 May in England, alongside indoor socialising, as the UK government announced a further easing of restrictions.
Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 30 people and indoor gatherings will be limited to six people or two households.
Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas will be permitted to open with Covid-secure measures in place.
People will be able to attend indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events. Attendance at these events will be capped according to venue type, and attendees will have follow the Covid-secure measures set out by those venues.
Head to our extensive round-up of all the changes coming in England on 17 May.
Accessible mental health help and support
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week this week (10 – 16 May), after a year of events that haven’t been kind to even the most resilient minds.
If you’re finding things a bit tougher than usual, accessing therapy can be an important step on a journey to getting help and support.
But for those who find themselves on a potentially long NHS waiting list, or facing expensive bills for private therapy, there’s a range of low-cost - or even free - options out there.
We’ve highlighted just a few of these brilliant alternatives – from talking therapies like counselling to helplines and medication – that can help with any number of mental health problems such as stress, anxiety and depression.
Remember, if you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call a local NHS mental health helpline for 24-hour advice and support; you can call for yourself, your child, your parent or someone you care for.
‘The lost soul of Labour and the way back’
It seems as if Labour has a lot of work ahead of it if it hopes to reconnect with the thousands of disenfranchised voters in Hartlepool – and across the country – who seemingly abandoned them in last week’s elections.
NationalWorld’s David Montgomery – who as a young Daily Mirror reporter was dispatched to the then Knowsley constituency near Liverpool in 1974 to do the PR for Labour’s candidate – writes that “since Blair and Gordon Brown Labour has gone back to conducting a conversation with itself and not the country.
"Boris, who has perhaps too much charisma and understands enough about the real Britain - England anyway, as he has proved a bit limited on Scotland and Northern Ireland - will be hard to beat.
"However, he and the Conservatives have an in-built attachment to tradition and the status quo and instinctively will want to keep power at the centre.
“Labour should heed those transforming regions, towns and cities around the country with local enterprising communities fighting to win investment and rejuvenate themselves.”
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