Since the relaxation of lockdown this week in England, meeting friends or a simple handshake has become rather confusing. The UK Government has allowed groups of six people to meet in public, but they have ensured a minimum distance of 2 meters from one another.

People who had their jobs laid off amidst the pandemic have been called back to work, but they’re not allowed to travel via public transport.

The question remains, however, as to how real this easing is, is a way of hiding the Government’s incompetency of coping with the pandemic at hand or, merely a way to get the masses back to work, leveraging responsibility of the population to get the economy started back again.

Director of the Medicine department at Oxford University, Professor Carl Heneghan says, “We cannot stay under lockdown forever. It is too informal to make this all about one disease. You have got to look at the varied spectrum of health issues here. The unembellished impact on people’s lives and shutting down of schools and universities, which, as we know has been linked to health aftermaths.

Meanwhile, as major limitations are being lifted, it is somewhat easy to forget about the minor ones. They must, however not be underestimated. Professor Carl Heneghan says, “Acute respiratory infection in the week before lockdown, dropped to as low as half of what it was at the beginning of the pandemic, so social distancing and washing your hands were indeed having a noteworthy influence.”

This somewhat “ease” in lockdown in England, does give rise to a few rational but confusing questions. How can you be sure that the party or gathering you have just been invited to will have exactly six people and no more?

If you know it is going to end up with a large number of people joining, what is the best way you can refuse politely?

An etiquette coach William Hanson is just the man to answer this question. “Before the pandemic, it was felt a bit awful to ask, who else is going to be there?” But now, the concern is genuine and rather healthy to ask without sounding rude. One way is to simply disguise it in a way like, “If you are bringing a cake, let me know how many people it will be for?”

What people should be focusing on isn’t, if they’re allowed to do it, it’s rather, ‘Is genuinely constructive or necessary?’