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The Government wants to see “intimate contact” between family and friends “restored”, as it is expected to set out further easing of restrictions in England this week.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said the Prime Minister will confirm on Monday the relaxation of rules for the next stage of the road map out of lockdown, which is due to take effect from May 17.

It will see most social contact rules outdoors lifted, although gatherings of more than 30 will remain illegal.

Indoors, the rule of six or two households will apply, with indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes expected to reopen.

Speaking on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Mr Gove 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.”

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