Grandchildren have told of their joy at meeting up with their elderly relatives for the first in two months after the government eased lockdown measures to allow groups of up to six people to meet.
From today, the government’s lockdown protocols were eased to allow more than two million people who were ‘shielding’ due to being most at risk to leave their home for the first time in 10 weeks.
While the over 70s were not told to specifically ‘shield’ themselves, government advice was to limit their exposure to the bug by staying indoors, meaning many had not seen children dn grandchildren since the middle of March.
The joy at being able to interact with their nearest and dearest is apparent from various photos that have been shared on social media today.
Maisie Masterman, 21, used the slight easing of coronavirus lockdown regulations to finally see her grandparents today – having not seen them since February due to government measures
Ms Masterman was able to celebrate her grandparents 63rd anniversary today by giving them a card in person. She lives only 15 minutes away from her beloved older family members
Maisie Masterman, 21, from the Wirral, described her grandparents as her ‘favourite people in the world’.
Ms Masterman said she has not seen her 85-year-old grandmother or grandfather, who live 15 minutes away, since late February.
Posting photos of their visit on Twitter, Ms Masterman said: ‘Spent the rest of the morning in my nan and grandad’s yard. Married for 63 years today!’
Ms Masterman said the family usually has a ‘celebratory lunch’ with them on anniversaries, or parties for landmark wedding anniversaries.
‘They’re two of my favourite people in the world and I’m so used to seeing them every Saturday afternoon. To finally see them again was like a little bit of normality,’ she told the PA news agency.
‘I haven’t seen them since late February, early March… With them both being at risk I didn’t want to see them with coronavirus present, then lockdown happened.’
Former Swansea City footballer Martyn James took to Twitter to share his delight at being able to see his father, for instance.
James’ dad turned 82 on Monday and the slight easing of the lockdown meant that he could celebrate his special day with his loved ones.
His son shared a picture of him enjoying a glass of sunshine in his garden with the caption: ‘Happy 82nd Birthday dad.. glass of champagne in the garden this morning first time properly to see parents since #Lockdown it was either cake or champagne he chose champagne.’
Elsewhere, a trainee teacher was able to visit her grandparents on their 63rd wedding anniversary.
Ex-Swansea footballer Martyn James took to Twitter after being able to celebrate his father’s birthday in person today. His dad turned 82 today and celebrated with a glass of champagne
In east London this morning, a photographer was in place to capture the moment a family were reunited. Two elderly people were pictured celebrating with a woman as they were finally able to see each other in person across the latter’s front garden.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said the government is ‘reasonably confident’ the easing of the measures will keep the rate of infection in the country at manageable levels.
Mr Jenrick added at the Downing Street daily briefing on Sunday that ‘shielders’ can now do ‘quite modest things’ like going for a walk with members with of their household.
Those who live alone can meet with someone from another household.
In east London this morning the joy was evident to see as a family reunited in the front garden
Mr Jenrick told the daily press briefing: ‘We’re not today asking people, or advising people, to stop shielding.
‘Far from it. What we’re saying to the people who have been shielding for the last 10 weeks is that we think that the rate of infection is sufficiently low now to enable you to do some quite modest things like going outside for a walk with members of your household, or like if you’ve been living alone, meeting somebody from another household.’
He added: ‘This will enable those shielding to see loved ones like children and grandchildren, something many I know are aching to do.
‘Having spent many weeks indoors some will understandably be very cautious and concerned about going outdoors.
‘You should only do what you are comfortable with.’
It’s not just family members that have taken the opportunity to reunite – with some friends feeling more comfortable to do so now that there is a slight lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.
Taking to Instagram @lisa_x__ posted a picture alongside her friend @franzi___y. Snapped taking selfies, the former accompanied the photos with the caption: ‘#reunited #missedyou #mylove #girlie #friends #thesedays #backintown #whysoserious’.
Two friends took to Instagram to celebrate being able to see each other on Monday as well