Hugging is back for the first time in a year

Time for a cuddle? In a normal month, the average person will spend an hour hugging.

Is a hug the best way to show someone you love them? Today, more lockdown rules are lifting around the UK. For many people, this means hugging friends and family is no longer banned.

What’s happening

Today, lockdown rules across the UK are changing. In Wales, friends can meet outside in cafes and restaurants. People in Scotland and England will be able to meet up indoors.

But the change that many are most pleased for is simple: in parts of the UK, people will be allowed to hug again.

Find out more

Last March, the UK went into lockdown for the first time. The government advised people against making contact with anyone outside their household.

Now, the rules are changing. In Scotland and England, hugging will be allowed between people who do not live together. For people living alone, it is the first time for over a year that they will have contact with others.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon is looking forward to the change.

“I actually feel a wee bit emotional saying this,” she said last week. “You can hug your loved ones again.”

Hugging is the most common way to show friendship. And research says friendship is the experience that makes humans happiest.

Is a hug the best way to show someone you love them?

Some say…

No, there are lots of other ways to show you care. You could say something kind to a friend. You could tell a joke to cheer somebody up. Actions can also be a way to show you love somebody. You could give a gift, or simply help a family member with a job around the household. Hugging is just one way to share love!

Others think…

Yes! Nothing compares to it. A simple hug can cheer someone up when words cannot. It is the best way to greet someone after a long time. And group hugs are brilliant too! They can give you the feeling of shared love between friends and family that nothing else can.

You Decide

  1. What are you most excited to do when all lockdown rules are lifted?

Activities

  1. Write a poem about the importance of hugs with each line starting with a letter of the word: hugging.

Some People Say...

“I have learnt that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words.”

Ann Hood (1956 – ), American writer

What do you think?

Word Watch

Restaurants
A public eating place. It comes from an old French word, restaurer, which meant to provide food.
Government
A group of people that have the power to make laws and rules in a country. In the UK, adults vote for who is in government.
Advised
Gave their advice, recommended. Hugging was never illegal, but today is the first day the governments have stopped advising against it.
Household
All the family or group who live together in one home.
First minister
The leader of the Scottish government. Nicola Sturgeon has been first minister since 2014.
Wee
An informal way to say small or little. It is commonly used in Scotland and Ireland.
Emotional
Emotions are feelings like being happy, upset or scared. If you feel emotional, you are full of feelings.

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