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2 November 2020, 11:08
The government has confirmed that young children will be exempt from the two-person lockdown rule.
Babies and toddlers will be exempt from a two-person limit on outdoor meetings under England's second lockdown.
Under Boris Johnson’s new rules, people in England are not allowed to meet socially indoors with friends or family unless they are part of the same household or support bubble.
People can however, exercise or visit outdoor public spaces with one person from another household.
The government has now confirmed that children under school age will not count towards the two-person limit on meetings between members of different households.
Announcing the change on Twitter, health minister Nadine Dorries said: "Children under school age who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside.
"This will mean that a parent can see a friend or family member with their baby or young children.
"Children and adults who are dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, will also be included.
"The guidance will be updated to reflect this."
It will also apply to anyone of any age who requires round-the-clock care.
The exemption follows concerns over parents becoming isolated if they have young children as England heads into a four-week national lockdown.
Joeli Brearley, chief executive of parental rights group Pregnant Then Screwed, has since said: "Parents of children under school age can breathe a sigh of relief that they can meet another person with their child."
This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new rules which will begin on Thursday and last until at least 2 December.
All non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and gyms will be forced to close.
While schools, nurseries, universities will remain open, as well as essential shops including supermarkets and pharmacies.
Speaking at a press conference at No10 Downing Street on Saturday, Mr Johnson said: "We have got to be humble in the face of nature, in this country alas - as much of Europe - the virus is spreading much faster than the reasonable worst case scenario.
"Unless we act, we could see death in this country at several thousand a day, a bigger mortality than in April."
Detailing the new rules, he added: "From Thursday, until the start of December, you must stay at home - only leave for education, for work, for exercise and recreation outdoors with your household, on your own, or one person from another household, for medical reasons, escape from danger or harm, and to shop for food and essentials".