Sunday, October 17

‘It’s been hard work’: Joy when loved ones gather amid easing of England’s Covid rules Coronavirus

For Allyssa Bravo, “everything lined up perfectly” on Monday, her 27th birthday, when she met her fiancé for the first time in seven months when confinement restrictions were eased.

With the end of the official stay-at-home order, Bravo traveled with his family from Burton upon Trent to Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham, while his partner, Paul Abustan, traveled from London, leading to an emotional reunion.

“It has been a mixture of emotions. We are both so happy that I can’t even describe it. It’s the longest time we’ve gone without seeing each other, ”said Bravo, a ward sister at Queen’s Burton Hospital. The family had prepared a picnic, complete with purple birthday cake, to mark the occasion and Bravo said she was delighted to be able to celebrate with her family after a long months incarcerated.

Having helped treat Covid patients during the pandemic, she knows the importance of following the rules, but was relieved to finally be able to spend time with her family now that restrictions allow outdoor gatherings of two or six homes. persons.

“I know the severity of Covid because I’ve seen it, so we didn’t even think about trying to break the rules one bit,” he said. “It was an adequate test, but obviously there is a bigger picture and it is really serious.”

Nurse Allyssa Bravo with her fiancé, Paul Abuston, whom she has not seen for seven months.
Nurse Allyssa Bravo with her fiancé, Paul Abuston, whom she has not seen for seven months. Photograph: Fabio de Paola / The Guardian

They weren’t the only family using the park as a meeting place in the middle, now people can travel further from home. Pam Guthrie was giddy with excitement as she drove to Birmingham from Bristol with her husband, Phil, to see their grandchildren for the first time since October.

“As soon as we knew the rules were lifted on the 29th and the kids were on vacation, that was it, we were going to come first thing on the 29th,” said Pam, like five-year-old Edward and two-year-old Edward. old Benjamin ran through the trees after her. “Obviously, we’ve seen the kids on Facetime, but I was just saying, ‘Look, they’re in 3D’!”

The couple had a tearful reunion with their daughter Gemma Cox that morning and, like many, were heading to the park for a picnic in sunny weather, thankfully. “This confinement has been a long job, it feels like a long time. We’re fed up, ”Gemma said.

“We haven’t met at all and you see people around you who haven’t been abiding by the rules, so it’s been tough, but we’ve really stuck with it,” Pam said.

“We saw signs on the highway that said to minimize travel, but I thought that is not going to happen today,” added Phil.

Cannon Hill Park was bustling with life Monday morning, with groups of runners and walkers meeting for the first time after closing, now outdoor sports are allowed, and tennis courts and crazy golf course they welcomed their first visitors in months.

Joe Seakins and Lucy Bailey, mechanical engineering students at the University of Birmingham, were improving their tennis skills after a few long months of studying at home.

“Sitting at your desk in your bedroom every day can be quite exhausting and you don’t see many people,” Seakins said.

“We usually just go for a walk, but now that tennis courts have opened we thought we’d better give it a try. It really makes our day, ”added Bailey.

Valentina Basile had brought her children Noah, nine, and Joshua, six, to play crazy golf at the start of their Easter vacation. “We used to come here quite often, but we had to stick to the local parks because we weren’t allowed to travel far from the area, so this is a bit of a novelty,” he said.

Tony Fox, president of the Cannon Hill Park group of friends, said he was delighted to see the park’s facilities re-open and larger groups return to its 250-acre grounds. “The community has shown real resilience and we are focused on getting back better. It is really important for the future of our green infrastructure ”.

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