THE government has confirmed that awkward English hugs neither party is comfortable with are permitted from next week.
Britons are bracing themselves to once again be compelled to embrace relatives, friends and friends’ partners for a brief, self-conscious moment before disengaging while looking in different directions from May 17th.
Eleanor Shaw, aged 32, said: “The social minefield of acquaintance-hugging has been officially restored and I for one am cringing in anticipation.
“Nobody ever knows how to approach it. Before distancing rules I was constantly going in for a hug at the wrong moment, tensing in discomfort and then suffering a dry peck on the cheek.
“How long should the hug last? Am I compelled to hug friends’ boyfriends just because I hug the friend? Will Mum still use it to check how much weight I’ve put on? Will Dad still stiffen in terror?”
Joe Turner of Basildon agreed: “Clammy, deeply uncomfortable physical contact is surely something Chris Whitty could come out and delay for a few months. We’d accept it, as a nation.
“Let’s leave hugging until say October. We’ve got the pub.”