New lockdown guidance doesn’t mean you can see both parents at once

11 May 2020
What was claimed

You can meet with both of your parents at the same time, as long as you stay two metres apart.

Our verdict

This is wrong. You can only meet with one person from outside of your household at a time.

Foreign secretary and first secretary of state Dominic Raab has said new government guidance means that you can now meet with both of your parents at the same time, as long as social distancing is maintained. This is not correct. Government guidance is clear that you can only meet with one person outside of your household at a time. This must be outdoors and maintaining social distancing, and only applies in England. 

In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on 11 May, Mr Raab was asked if you can now meet with two parents at the same time. He responded: “Well, you could if they’re two metres apart.”

However, the new government guidance—which applies only to England and comes into force on 13 May—is clear that you can only meet with one person from another household at a time. This should happen in an outdoor space like a park, rather than in a home, and you should stay two metres away from them at all times. 

Gatherings of more than two people from different households are against the law, apart from in specific cases such work, funerals, house moves and supporting the vulnerable. 

A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office confirmed to Full Fact that the government guidance and its specific instructions about meeting no more than one person outside of your household at a time is the correct advice. 

The Independent has also reported that a government source confirmed people “can see both parents but not at the same time—they would have to see them individually.”

We’ve also asked Foreign Office for comment on Mr Raab’s statement.

The new guidance also outlines a number of other changes, which will come into force on 13 May. These include allowing the following: 

  • Spending time outdoors for things other than exercise, including sunbathing and picnicking 
  • Exercising outdoors as much as you like, as long as you follow social distancing guidelines 
  • Using outdoor sports facilities including tennis or basketball courts or golf courses, with members of your household or one other person while staying two metres apart
  • Going to garden centres
  • Travelling any distance to reach an outdoor space

Also, while not compulsory, people are now advised to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible such as on public transport or in shops

However, restrictions on visiting people in their homes, visiting second homes, using playgrounds or indoor sports courts and visiting private or ticketed attractions are still in place. The government is still urging people to stay home as much as possible. 

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