From May 17, people in England may be able to give friends and family a “cautious cuddle”.
The government said it wants to see “intimate contact” between family and friends “restored”, with prime minister Boris Johnson expected to give those living in England the green light to hug loved ones they have not been within two metres of since March 2020.
In Wales, people have been able to enjoy a cwtch – Welsh for a cuddle or hug – since May 3 with loved ones in their extended bubble. Those in Northern Ireland and Scotland will have to wait a little longer before they can embrace those outside of their household or bubble.
As desperate as we are to throw our arms around our loved ones, experts have struck a note of caution: Covid is a virus that thrives on human contact, and we are being urged to cuddle with care.
How should I should hug?
Experts says hugs should be selective and short.
Prof Hunter said: “If you do need to hug someone then try and keep your faces away from each other and you are not rebreathing each other’s air.”
Prof Noakes reiterates that: “We know the viruses in people’s breath. And when you hug you are much closer to somebody’s breath. It is just simple things like, perhaps not being quite face-to-face, would help people not breathe each other’s breath as much.”