Today (Monday, 17 May) marks a significant step in the Government’s roadmap to the easing of lockdown restrictions across the country.

From Monday, most legal restrictions on meeting people outdoors will be removed, however, gatherings of more than 30 people continue to be unlawful. For the first time since last year up to six people or two households will be permitted to meet indoors, including within hospitality venues such as bars and restaurants.

Likewise, another important part of Monday’s easing sees the controlled return of crowds to entertainment venues such as football stadiums, theatres and cinemas. Ahead of large events, the Met will be in contact with venues, offering safety advice and deploying officers to help welcome crowds back with confidence.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Jane Connors, the Met’s lead for Covid-19, said: “This is a significant date in the Government’s roadmap, for the first time in months people can once meet and socialise with their friends and family indoors.

“We know that footfall across London’s high streets will no doubt increase and the Met is ready to welcome people back as well as clamp down on those people looking to cause trouble. We want Londoners to feel safe and have confidence to return to our city’s hospitality sector and that’s why we will be stepping up our patrols in those areas likely to be busier.

“We’ll also be working closely with entertainment venues as they reopen, offering safety advice and deploying officers to help reassure those crowds as they once again return indoors.

“We are still in a critical phase of the pandemic and large indoor gathers such as dangerous unlicensed music events, remain illegal. Not only do these events risk undermining the efforts of everyone to drive down the infection rate, they can be breeding ground for trouble and violence. We make no apology for taking direct action to shut these down and I would urge communities to contact police if they have any information on these events being organised.”

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