"Friendly contact, intimate contact between friends and family is something we want to see restored"
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) May 9, 2021
The mommy of the people in the United Kingdom is not ready to give them permission to have physical contact with other people just yet, but says that she’s going to allow it very soon.
Hugging friends and family will be allowed from May 17, Michael Gove declared today.
The Cabinet Office minister said ‘intimate contact’ between people in different households is set to return when the latest stage of the roadmap is reached in a week’s time.
Boris Johnson is set to confirm the relaxation at a Downing Street press conference tomorrow, after the vaccine rolllout and plunging infections led to huge pressure from Tory MPs to speed up his plans.
The major step will be a huge relief to grandparents, most of whom have been unable to hug grandchildren for more than a year.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Gove said that the government wanted to restore ‘contact between friends and family’.
He said: ‘All being well, the Prime Minister will confirm tomorrow that there will be a relaxation, we’ve already indicated a proportionate relaxation on international travel, very limited at this stage because we have to be safe.
‘In the same way, as we move into stage three of our road map it will be the case that we will see people capable of meeting indoors.
‘And without prejudice to a broader review of social distancing, it is also the case that friendly contact, intimate contact, between friends and family is something we want to see restored.’
Asked if that meant hugs will be allowed again from around May 17, he said: ‘Yes.’
Be careful though, you can’t do the Old Hugs anymore.
Expert urges caution over hugs ahead of further easing of Covid lockdown https://t.co/Osk2AhaqRa
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) May 9, 2021
There are new rules for the New Hugs now.
People should take precautions when hugging others, says an expert, amid expectations of a further easing of England’s Covid restrictions this week.
Prof Cath Noakes said hugs should be selective, short, and avoid face-to-face contact.
Professor Catherine Noakes
Prof Noakes, a member of the Sage committee that advises the government, said the risks of grandparents who are fully vaccinated hugging their grandchildren are likely to be low in most cases.
Speaking in a personal capacity, she said it would worry her “if we were advocating we could hug all of our friends every time we meet them again” as it would “perpetuate an awful lot of additional close contact that could spread the virus”.
“The reality is that when you hug someone you are very close to them and we know the virus is in people’s breath and you are very close to that breath at that moment.”
She advised that if people are going to hug others, it should be restricted “to very small numbers of close family who perhaps you really value a hug from.
“I think don’t hug too frequently, keep it short, try and avoid being face to face, so perhaps turn your face away slightly, and even wearing a mask could help,” she said.
Prof Noakes warned that, even after vaccination, someone could get infected and could transmit it to others while unaffected themselves,
“So that’s why we still need to be a bit cautious for a while yet. We’ve come a long way with this. The virus, although it’s now very low prevalence, hasn’t gone away.”
The “we’ve come a long way with this” is literally the sunk cost fallacy.
They’ve forced people through so much hardship, solitude, stress, and now they implicitly state that hugging people normally would be like undoing all of that effort and that everything people endured would have been for nothing.
It is sick and evil.