Brits north of the border can meet today in groups of EIGHT PEOPLE

Scotland’s barbecue weekend! Brits north of the border make the most of being allowed to meet in groups of EIGHT PEOPLE as temperatures soar to 82F… but the English STILL aren’t allowed

  • Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon allowed gatherings of up to eight people
  • Scots can enjoy barbecues and picnics in their gardens from this weekend
  • Brits will have to wait until Monday to be allowed to meet up with six others
  • It comes as temperatures are expected to soar to up to 82F (28F) in Scotland  

Scots have been making the most of scorching temperatures by inviting up to eight people from one other household over for a barbecue – but anyone south of the border can’t to join them.

Earlier this week Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed gatherings of up to eight people would be allowed from Friday, May 29, so long as no more than two households mix.

Meanwhile, despite temperatures soaring to 82F (29C), Brits will be have to wait until Monday to meet up to six people in outside spaces – with visitors allowed to go inside to use the toilet as long as its thoroughly cleaned. 

In Scotland barbecue guests have to bring their own cutlery, plates, food and cups to a picnic or barbecue. And Ms Sturgeon expressly banned going into another house to use their toilet.  

‘If the distance is so far that you would have to use someone else’s bathroom, then perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it,’ she said during a press conference on Thursday, suggesting only close neighbours could be invited. 

After two months of stringent restrictions, the long-awaited change will mean many grandparents can see their children and grandchildren for the first time in two months – while groups of friends or family members can gather for a summer barbecue. 

Neighbours brought their own cutlery to enjoy a barbecue together this afternoon as Scotland eased its lockdown restrictions. Pictured, a family in Edinburgh posted this picture to social media earlier today

The change in Scotland’s lockdown rules has sparked fears barbecue-goers could take the loosening of restrictions too far, with Ms Sturgeon admitting she was ‘a bit nervous’. Pictured, this family shared their bbq yesterday

But members of different households in England will have to stay two metres apart, they can’t hug and they won’t be allowed to stay over.

The change in Scotland’s lockdown rules has sparked fears barbecue-goers could take the loosening of restrictions too far, with Ms Sturgeon admitting she was ‘a bit nervous’. 

Failure to follow the rules could see the barbecue become ‘a bridge’ bringing the virus into another household, she added.

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Scottish parks, beaches and congregate in gardens as temperatures soar across the country.

One woman shared a photo of a crate of Magners and a disposable BBQ as she enjoyed a day out at the park, which is allowed since restrictions were loosened on Friday

A paddling pool has been set up in the Scottish garden ahead of a socially distanced barbecue

Neighbours have been joining together to enjoy food and drinks together in the sun as temperatures soared to 82F (28C) this afternoon

Sunbathing and sports such as fishing, golf and tennis are all now allowed as long as social distancing is observed.  

The 2020 UK high could be broken at the Moray Firth in Scotland, where the Foehn Effect – which causes the warming and drying of air on the lee side of a cross-mountain wind – will produce exceptionally warm conditions. 

Met Office forecaster Alex Burkill said: ‘The weekend is going to be hot and sunny in Scotland. Temperatures are already really quite high. 

How the Foehn Effect may bring Britain’s hottest day of the year so far today

The highest temperature of the year so far could be set at the Moray Firth in northern Scotland today, where the Foehn Effect will bring exceptionally warm conditions. 

The effect sees rain fall on one side of a mountain and warm air currents form on the other.

The Foehn effect (shown above) sees rain fall on one side of a mountain and warm air currents form on the other 

When the moist air travels over high ground such as a mountain, it is forced to rise up over the mountain and then condenses, forming cloud and rain.

Rain falls on the top or the windward side of the mountain but the other side is much drier. 

Dry air heats quicker so as it descends the leeward side it warms up drastically.

In the UK, notable Foehn events tend to occur across the Highlands where the moist prevailing westerly winds encounter high ground along Scotland’s west coast.

This results in a marked contrast in weather – with the west being subjected to wet weather, while the lower lying east enjoys the warmth and sunshine of the effect.

‘Even at 10.30am they were 72F (24C). That’s very warm for any time of the day even at midday. Yesterday we had highs of 82.4F (28C) and I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t be the same or even hotter today. 

‘Yesterday was Scotland’s hottest day of the year so far. The UK’s highest temperature is only 82.7F (28.2C) so it’s not out of the question Scotland could beat that today.’ 

It comes as the UK endures its driest May in 124 years with the landscape across the country looking parched – and one water firm urging households to voluntarily cut their usage by turning the taps off when brushing their teeth.

Scotland and Northern Ireland both recorded their warmest day of the year so far on Thursday, with 78.3F (25.7C) at Leuchars and 77F (25C) at Magilligan and Armagh respectively.

On Thursday Ms Sturgeon asked Scots to ‘stay two metres apart. And please – don’t go indoors.’

She appealed for people to ‘respect the parameters we are setting out’, adding people should ‘ensure things still feel different from normal’.

She said the changes are ‘important first steps back to some kind of normality’ but warned no changes are ‘risk-free’.

Scots are also being encouraged not to meet with more than one household on the same day.

During the country’s four-phase route out of lockdown, Ms Sturgeon plans to review the number of cases and deaths every four weeks.

Either restrictions will be loosened further, or they could be tightened, depending on the spread of the disease. 

The change in guidance comes two weeks after Brits were told they could meet one person from another household in outside spaces.

Two weeks ago Scotland stayed in staunch lockdown, with Scots told they should continue to stay home and not meet with anyone from another household. 

On Thursday Mr Johnson said all five tests required to move to the next phase of the lockdown had been met, adding: ‘That is not my achievement or the Government’s achievement – it is your achievement, only possible thanks to your resolve and dedication to our national purpose to overcome this virus.’

There have been 38,161 deaths from coronavirus in the UK, with 271,000 confirmed cases. 

An upbeat PM revealed draconian restrictions are being eased slightly from next week, as he formally reduced the country’s Covid ‘alert’ status from four to three.

Despite warnings from chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance that 8,000 new infections are still happening every day and admitting making the rules more nuanced will create ‘anomalies and inconsistencies’, Mr Johnson unveiled a series of changes to take effect in England from Monday.   

Up to six people from different households will be allowed to mix. They will also be permitted to use gardens and private outdoor spaces, which was previously banned.

Non-essential shops and primary schools will start to reopen from next month, as had been suggested earlier in the week.  

Mr Johnson told the daily Downing Street briefing: ‘I cannot and I will not throw away all the gains we have made together. So the changes that we have made are limited and cautious.’   


Warm temperatures are expected across Britain today (left) and on Sunday (right) with up to 82F (28C) forecast

A man sunbathes near South Queensferry after it was announced people can begin to meet family and friends outdoors and play sports such as golf and tennis again. Scotland is moving into phase one of the Scottish Government’s plan for gradually lifting lockdown

The premier said there was no question of people being given permission to stay overnight, or spend time in other homes. However, he added: ‘We want people to be able to see their friends and family. We want people to be able to see both parents at once.

‘You could even have a barbecue provided you did it in a socially distanced way.’ 

Chief medical officer Chris Whitty confirmed that people can go to the toilet in other people’s houses if they come to visit, but it was ‘absolutely critical’ that they wiped everything down afterwards and washed their hands rigorously. 

The bigger than expected move came despite concerns having been raised in Cabinet that a ‘barbecue clause’ could lead to a fresh flare-up in infections. 

People swam in the Firth of Forth near South Queensferry yesterday after the Scottish government announced people can begin to meet family and friends outdoors in phase one of the Scottish government’s plan for gradually lifting lockdown as

The road map to easing the lockdown contained the possibility one household could form a social ‘bubble’ with one other in a mutual group, but it that has been quietly shelved. 

Mr Johnson said: ‘We don’t want people to stay overnight, we don’t want people to go to other households and stay there, I’m just afraid we’re not at that stage.

‘What you certainly can imagine is there could be meetings of families in a garden, you could even have a barbecue provided you did it in a socially-distanced way, provided everyone washes their hands, provided everybody exercises common sense.’ 

Professor Whitty said he hoped that ‘relatively soon’ the number of infections will be low enough to start letting shielded people leave home.

Scottish First minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the move in Edinburgh (pictured) hours before Boris Johnson made his tweaks to the draconian coronavirus curbs

During her daily briefing on Thursday, Ms Sturgeon told Scots: ‘Now, I know how much all of you will be looking forward – all of us will be looking forward to seeing family and friends for the first time in a while. But how we do this is going to be really vital.’

Wales set to follow Scottish example on lockdown easing 

Coronavirus restrictions in Wales are expected to be relaxed on Monday. 

First Minister Mark Drakeford is set to announce on Friday that people from two different households will be able to meet up outdoors, as long as they do not travel more than five miles. 

Under new ‘stay local’ guidelines, people will still need to observe social distancing when meeting in public or private outdoor spaces. 

Exceptions will allow for travelling to work, to seek care, and shopping for essentials if they are not available locally. 

The easing of lockdown rules will be formally set out by Mr Drakeford at the Welsh Government’s daily press briefing on Friday. 

Further plans to relax restrictions in the coming weeks are also expected to be discussed. 

‘Before you meet up with people from another household you should stop, think, read the guidance and make sure you are protecting yourself and others.’

She urged Scots to stay two-metres apart, remain outdoors and avoid touching the same surfaces as people from the other household.

‘Let me give an example of that. I suspect many of you will be planning a picnic or a barbecue this weekend,’ she added.

‘If you are, not only should you stay two metres apart from those in the other household, but each household should also bring its own food, cutlery, plates or cups. Don’t share these things.

‘Being in someone else’s house should still be avoided, unless of course you are providing support to someone who is vulnerable.’

She ‘strongly advised’ people to stay within five miles of their own homes. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has previously said in a round of interviews: ‘The good thing that we’ve learned from the science of this virus in the last few weeks is that the risk of transmission outdoors is much lower – it’s not zero, but it is much lower than indoors.

‘So, during the summer in particular, a lot of the changes that you can expect to see will be based on the principle that outdoors is safer than indoors.’ 

The R reproduction rate and the government’s new contact tracing regime are seen as crucial to loosen the lockdown safely. 

Ms Sturgeon revealed the R rate in Scotland is currently between 0.7 and 1 – with one being the number ministers want to keep below to prevent the virus spreading out of control.

It comes as burger and sausage sales are already up £41million in the past month compared to the same period the year before. 

Tesco yesterday reported a ‘significant increase’ in sales of barbecue products, with sausages selling three times as much as last year, lamb kebabs and maple pork loin steaks also up and ice cream sales nearly doubling. 

Sturgeon says people can meet up in their gardens 

Under phase one, garden centres, drive-thru food outlets and recycling centres in Scotland will be allowed to open while non-essential shops will be asked to remain closed.

Ms Sturgeon announced that teachers would be allowed to re-enter schools to prepare for the proposed return of schools on August 11.

People will also now be allowed to sit and sunbathe in local parks.

A legal limit will not be put on how far people will be allowed to travel for recreation but the First Minister said the ‘strong advice’ of the Scottish Government was to stay within five miles.

She added: ‘We simply don’t want, in this phase, large numbers of people at tourist hotspots or beauty spots.’

Professor Sally Bloomfield, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has warned people against having barbecues yet.  

Professor Bloomfield told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One: ‘The thing that really worries me is people are starting to say to me, oh, can I have a barbecue? That is the really dangerous thing because then we are really starting handling things backwards and forwards to each other – plates, glasses, cups and so forth.

‘So if you really want to have a social gathering and a meal, and the more time we spend outdoors the better, then it should be a picnic where we each bring our own food and knives and forks and plates and everything and keep them to ourselves and take them away with us.

‘Then we can have a really nice social gathering. But barbecues, please no, at the moment.’ 

Meanwhile the water industry trade body has said there are no plans for hosepipe bans despite some regions being on course for the driest May on record.

Just weeks after many parts of England and Wales were deluged with floodwater, the spring drought has seen gardens wilt, farmers fret over parched crops and reservoir levels drop. 

The Jumbles Reservoir near Bolton yesterday, where water levels have fallen this month. There are no plans for hosepipe bans despite some regions being on course for the driest May on record, according to Water UK, the industry trade body

South East Water has asked its customers ‘to help us by taking simple steps, such as not watering lawns, reusing paddling pool water and only using dishwashers and washing machines on full loads to help make sure there is enough water for everyone’.

How the South East of England has been drier than the Sahara

Only 1.25in (31.8mm) of rain has fallen on average across the UK so far this month, and forecasters say that total is unlikely to be added to significantly in the final few days of May.

This is the least since the 0.75in (19.1mm) of 1896, when Queen Victoria was on the throne and less than the 1.27in (32.2mm) of 1989, following an unusually dry and sunny April.

In the South East there has been only 0.23in (5.8mm) – one tenth the average – making it drier than the Sahara.

The driest place in the UK is Boulmer in Northumberland, which has had just 0.6 inches (15mm) of rain since mid-March.

The Met Office is predicting some regions, especially in the south of England, will record the lowest May rainfall figures on record when the final statistics are collated on Monday. 

The unusually dry weather began in March when there was an average of 3.07in (78mm) of rain throughout the country – 82 per cent of normal levels. This fell to 1.14in (29.1mm), or 40 per cent, in April.

The firm said it has been pumping an additional 78 million litres of water a day through its network and water being used on DIY projects and gardening has contributed to an additional 14 per cent of water use.

Yorkshire Water said its reservoirs are lower than normal for the time of year and currently at around 75 per cent full.

A spokeswoman said: ‘We’re also seeing people use more water than they normally would. Life is very different at the moment and we’re spending more time at home and in our gardens watering plants, filling paddling pools and pressure washing outside areas.’

She said the firm has the ability to move water around its grid network to fulfil demand, but she also asked household to help conserve supplies. The firm has asked its three million households to voluntarily cut their water usage, urging people to turn the taps off when brushing their teeth.

NFU deputy president Stuart Roberts said: ‘Many farmers are already feeling the effects of a dry April and May with some cereal crops already suffering from this early dry spell.’

Mr Roberts said irrigators were working ‘flat out’ across the country and, although water availability was ‘generally good’ at the moment, reserves were being closely monitored.

He added: ‘It could shape up to be an extremely challenging season for farmers and growers.

‘Farmers are closely following predictions of possible hot, dry spells in the weeks ahead and what this could mean for water availability, especially with livestock now turned out to graze and harvest not far away.’

BBQ like a society queen! Tatler shares its guide to the ultimate garden get-together including a ‘French Riviera’ dress code and decorating with jam jar vases (but there are no paddling pools allowed)

By JESSICA GREEN FOR MAILONLINE 

Now that we are allowed to host small get-togethers for groups of six in our back gardens, it is time to start thinking about how to make that first barbecue of the season one to remember. 

Society bible Tatler has released its ultimate guide to holding a glamorous grill at home, including the perfect dress code, sporting entertainment and menu.

The magazine encourages those looking for a more sophisticated barbecue season to ditch the ‘sticky plastic paddling pools and broken goalposts’ and embrace a ‘badminton net’ instead.

It also suggests Britons should opt for a ‘French Riviera chic’ vibe when deciding what to put on for their day in the sun.

So from what to wear to the food you should dine on, here FEMAIL reveals how to hold a glamorous BBQ, Tatler-style…

Society bible Tatler has released its ultimate guide to holding a glamorous grill at home, including the perfect dress code, sporting entertainment and menu. Stock image 

Dress to impress  

Lockdown has thrown society’s summer plans into disarray, with jaunts to the Amalfi Coast or the South of France almost certainly out of the question. 

However that doesn’t mean you can’t infuse a touch of holiday glamour into your next back garden barbecue. 

Tatler suggests bringing the Med into your home by choosing a ‘French Rivera’ dress code. Think floaty dresses, a raffia sun hat, and crisp white linen. 

If your guests are unwilling to invest in the theme then don’t despair: there is nothing wrong with dressing up alone.

Decorate with style 

Fresh flowers are a good place to start and Tatler suggests presenting them in small bunches displayed in jam jars for added charm. Stock image 

Decorations can elevate a simple – and small – gathering into something worthy of Instagram… or the society pages of a high end magazine. 

Fresh flowers are a good place to start and Tatler suggests presenting them in small bunches displayed in jam jars for added charm. 

If you have the space, why not thinking about providing a standing umbrella or a handful of parasols that guests can use to shield themselves from the sun. 

And while paddling pools and broken goalposts are a definite ‘no’, there is nothing wrong with a badminton net as a ‘sophisticated alternative’ – as long as space allows.  

A menu fit for high society 

A Pimm’s-fuelled summer BBQ can be enjoyed at the height of glamour, but even Tatler agrees that you might want to change it up sometimes.

For those wanting to be a little daring, the guide suggests trying the bourbon-based cocktail Mint Juleps, which is an American classic. 

‘When it comes to food, burgers and sausages are non-negotiables, but why not expand your BBQ horizons? Prawns and salmon both pair beautifully with the smokey flavours of a grill,’ the magazine adds.

Finish off your savoury menu with halloumi and vegetable skewers for vegetarians, plus salads and sauces.

The perfect dessert to complete an elegant day of grilling would be berry-topped pavlova or strawberries and cream with a little elderflower cordial, according to the society bible. 

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