Brits to bask in 19C sunshine today as lockdown eases allowing six friends to meet in parks and beaches

BRITS are set to bask in glorious sunshine today as lockdown eases and the 'rule of six' returns.

Temperatures will hit 19C this afternoon with even warmer weather to come – just in time for outdoor meetups in parks and on beaches.

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The sun is finally showing its face, with southern England "turning increasingly sunny and warmer" this afternoon.

Temperatures are expected to reach 19C in Humberside and East Anglia, and 18C in other areas including eastern Scotland, according to the Met Office.

The sunny spell comes just in time for the easing of lockdown restrictions – with six pals allowed to meet outside and the 'stay at home' order ditched from today.

It will be slightly cloudier and breezier in northwest England, North Wales and Northern Ireland, with some drizzle at times.

Western Scotland will continue to be "very wet" as yellow weather warnings for rain remain in place until Tuesday evening.

But things will improve for many areas from tomorrow with sizzling March temperatures.

Parts of the UK will be hotter than Ibiza as the mercury soars as high as 23C on Tuesday in eastern England.

It is even set to hit 24C on Wednesday in southeast England in London, Herefordshire and Cambridgeshire, making it the second highest temperature recorded in March since 1884.

The maximum temperature recorded in the month was 25.6C on March 29, 1968, at Mepal in Cambridgeshire.

Elsewhere, temperatures will be above 20C across southern and central England, and in the high teens in the north.

Met Office chief meteorologist Andy Page said: "In sheltered central and southern parts of the UK, weather conditions will be much calmer with temperatures climbing in the March sunshine to highs into the low 20s, with the possibility of 24C in southeast England by Tuesday."

This week's mini-scorcher comes at the perfect time as Britain enters the next stage of its roadmap out of lockdown.

Two households can socialise in parks, gardens and beaches once more, while outdoor sports facilities can reopen.

Football and cricket pitches, tennis and basketball courts, outdoor swimming pools, golf courses and sailing clubs are now free to reopen after months of being shuttered.

Organised team sports can also resume outdoors, meaning grassroots competitions can take place ahead of the Easter break without the need for social distancing.

The warmth could continue well into April – in time for the reopening of hairdressers, non-essential retail and boozers.

But Brits may first face cold air from the north over Easter weekend, bringing a dip in temperatures.

The Met Office told The Sun Online things will "take a bit of a tumble from Thursday" with cloud and some showers spreading to most areas.

Temperatures likely to be around or below average for the time of year, continuing over the Easter weekend.

There is even the potential for widespread overnight frosts.

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