People in England can “meet up with other people” outside their household as long as they are outside and stay 2m apart, the government has confirmed.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said people should “use some common sense” and cannot visit others at their home.
The new rule is part of a 50-page guidance document to be published by the government later.
On Sunday, Boris Johnson announced a “conditional plan” to begin lifting England’s coronavirus lockdown.
Scotland and Wales – which have their own powers over lockdown and have not changed the advice to stay at home – rejected No 10’s new “stay alert” slogan, while Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer criticised the PM’s plan for lacking clarity.
In his address on Sunday, the PM said people who could not work from home – including those in the manufacturing and construction industries – should return to the workplace but avoid public transport. Mr Raab confirmed that this will apply from Wednesday.
People will also be allowed to take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise, sit or sunbathe in parks, drive to other destinations to exercise and play sports with household members from Wednesday.
The Welsh Government has urged people not to drive across the border into Wales.
Rules on meeting family
The changes in guidelines will also allow two people from different households to meet in a park if they stay 2m (6ft) apart.
Asked about that advice on BBC Breakfast on Monday, Mr Raab said: “So we’ve said that as long as you go out of home, for the park, for exercise, whatever it may be, you can go with members of your own household.
“If you’re out in the park and you’re 2m apart… and use some common sense and you socially-distance, you can meet up with other people.”
Asked if someone could meet more than two people at different times, for example their mother in the morning and father in the afternoon, Mr Raab said: “Outside in the outdoors, staying 2m apart, yes.”
And asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether someone could meet two parents at the same time, Mr Raab said: “You could if there’s 2m apart”.
Mr Raab was also pressed on whether people could meet others in a garden or driveway. “We are not moving to a stage where we say that households can mix inside the home,” he said.
“So just to be absolutely clear, people cannot mix within the homes… and that advice is not changing.”
People who have been identified as vulnerable – those who are being shielded – are still strongly advised to stay at home.
When outdoors, people are much less likely to come into contact with an infected surface, while any tiny particles of virus (called aerosols) would be dispersed by fresh air.
So the main remaining danger comes from large droplets, and staying 2m away from other people – as social distancing guidelines recommend – should overcome that.
On Sunday, Mr Johnson announced a new Covid alert system with five levels that would influence how quickly the lockdown – which was first announced on 23 March – could be changed. Level five is the most critical, and the UK is currently ready to move from level four to three.
Mr Johnson said the government would “modify” lockdown measures over three “careful” steps through to July. The first step begins on Wednesday.
Mr Johnson said he hoped by the second step – “at the earliest by 1 June” – there could be a phased reopening of shops and some primary aged pupils could return to school.
The third step could see some hospitality businesses and other public places reopen – “if the numbers support it” – but not earlier than 1 July.
The prime minister stressed this was all “conditional” on a series of “big ifs” and he would not hesitate to “put on the brakes” if there are further outbreaks of the virus.