People may be permitted to see ten friends or family members as lockdown restrictions for coronavirus are eased, according to a new report.
The government is looking at plans for the next stage of the pandemic which involve small groups being allowed to meet up, Mail Online reports.
People would be allowed to select an unchangeable list of friends and family they wanted to meet for meals and social activities.
The list would be drawn from only two households an it is hoped the change in rules would help to prevent loneliness.
A Whitehall source said: “If we can find a way to allow a bit more flexibility without risking transmission of the disease running higher then we will do it.”
Leaders in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have started talking about how the coronavirus lockdown measures could be lifted in the future.
The Scottish Government published a report which said an easing of the lockdown measures will be “conducted in a phased and careful manner”.
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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon discussed a scheme where people could meet a small “bubble” of others outside their household, but also said that the continued need to keep social distancing in place will put an upper limit on group sizes.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford published his government’s framework for lifting the country out of lockdown.
He said the country could come out of lockdown before other parts of the union but stressed measures will be eased when certain scientific and public health criteria are met and not against set timelines or dates.
The UK Government has not set out an exit strategy to the current lockdown, despite coming under pressure to do so.
Mr Hancock told Radio 4’s Today programme that easing the UK’s lockdown depended on the speed at which the number of new cases of Covid-19 falls and that is as yet “unknown”.
He said that coronavirus cases need to drop substantially before the next phase of isolating infected people and their contacts can be truly effective.
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has said the UK is going to have to live with some form of disruptive social measures for at least the rest of the year, with some restrictions in place until a vaccine or drug is found.
The government added it is keen for the four home nations to have similar plans for easing restrictions.
A review of the lockdown will be held on 7 May.