You will now be allowed to meet with groups of up to six people outside, Boris Johnson has announced in a "cautious" new easing of lockdown.

People can meet also meet in gardens and private outdoor spaces as long as social distancing is maintained.

The Prime Minister has revealed that the Government thinks all five tests required for the next phase of restrictions to begin have been met, meaning more pupils can return to school and certain shops can open.

Parks in south London have been packed with large groups of people ever since the Dominic Cummings debacle last week.

In his latest speech, which comes amid the continuing row over Cummings, Mr Johnson outlined that people would be able to see "both parents at once, or both grandparents at once."

Wandsworth Times:

He said this should be a "long-awaited and joyful moment" for many.

The speech came hours after just hours after Durham Constabulary said they would have taken action if police officers had stopped Mr Cummings on his 50-mile round trip to Barnard Castle.

He said he regarded the issue as "closed" after the police said they did not intend to take "retrospective action", though the force found that the aide may have committed "a minor breach" of lockdown rules in driving to the town.

Mr Johnson told the daily press conference that people should "try to avoid seeing too many households in quick succession so we can avoid the risk of quick transmission from lots of different families and continue to control the virus".

"It remains the case that people should not be inside the homes of their friends and families, unless it is to access the garden.

"I should add that, at this stage, I am afraid that those who have been asked to shield themselves should continue to do so."

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance stressed that the number of new infections is around one in a thousand per week - meaning that "54,000 new cases are occurring every week, so somewhere around eight or so thousand per day".

He said: "That is not a low number, so it's worth remembering that we still have a significant burden of infection, we are still seeing new infections every day at quite a significant rate and the R is close to one.

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said it was "really important" that people stayed two metres apart when meeting outside - saying that they would not be counted as a contact, and therefore would not need to self-isolate, if someone they met at a distance then developed coronavirus.