Six people – or two full households – are now allowed to meet outside, including in private gardens, for the first time in four months.
Most people enjoyed drinks with friends in small groups as they headed to parks to mark their new-found freedoms – but it appeared some of the revelry went too far and saw social distancing rules be broken.
Hundreds were seen gathering at the Arboretum in Nottingham city centre, but the celebrations escalated into violence as drinkers started to shove each other and throw drinks.
Video footage shows how more people gathered around to watch the drama, shout at them and film what was happening.
And large numbers of empty cans, bottles and boxes were left behind on the grass in the evening.
It comes as golfers, swimmers and tennis players eagerly resumed their hobbies yesterday as the easing of restrictions also allowed outdoor sports to restart.
The prime minister said he hoped people would take advantage of the ‘beautiful weather’ to play sport or exercise, but warned people should still ‘proceed with caution’.
He told a Downing Street press conference yesterday: ‘I know how much Government has asked of the people in the last year, but I also know how magnificently – incredible patience and fortitude – people have responded.
‘It’s my view, overwhelmingly, people are determined to continue to do that and they do understand the need for caution.’
Although people can now see their friends and family, the Government has warned against people breaking social distancing rules by doing things like hugging one another.
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston said ‘please don’t do the hugging’.
‘I want to hug my mum as well – politicians are human beings too and we’re as desperately keen to do this as everybody else,’ he added.
‘At the moment the message is still be cautious. We’ve got the rule of six – you can now go out and visit friends and relatives in their gardens – this is very much an outdoor message.
‘But uncomfortable as it is, please don’t do the hugging, because what you’re doing is risking the health of the very people that you love.
‘[It’s] just a matter of time. We’ll be looking at social distancing and other measures as time goes on.
‘The whole point of this road map is to take it stage by stage, take it cautiously, look at the measures, see how we’re making progress.’
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