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Today marks the end of restrictions on hugging close family and friends for the first time since March 2020, and one family reunion left Lorraine viewers in tears this morning.
Jennie Grimes, a grandmother-of-11 from Cambridgeshire, was surprised on the show by her daughter Kerry, who drove 200 miles so that her mother could finally hug her granddaughters.
The family was kept apart for 17 months due to Covid-19 restrictions, with carer Jennie unable to meet her granddaughter Savannah, who was born during lockdown last year, or to see Kerry's other daughters Sophie and Sienna.
The heartwarming moment moved viewers to tears, who said the story 'got them good.' © Provided by Daily MailGrandmother-of-11 Jennie, pictured, works as a carer and followed government guidelines very strictly to protect the vulnerable people she looks after
Kerry, who drove overnight for the special moment, admitted lockdowns had been hard on her family.
'It's been horrendous, it's been such a long time coming,' she said.
'Having a baby during lockdown was really, really difficult. My mother's a key worker, my husband John, is at home, he's a key worker. So we didn't get to travel very much at the beginning,' she explained.
The mother-of-three and her children were waiting on Jennie's drive with Ria Hebden, who had travelled to capture the special moment.
When Ria knocked on the door, Jennie, who had been waiting patiently, finally stepped out, and started crying immediately when her eyes set on her family.
'Oh my god,' she said, bringing her hands to her eyes. © Provided by Daily MailViewers were left 'bawling' after a family who were kept apart for 17 months due to Covid-19 restrictions reunited live on air on Lorraine today and hugged for the first time in almost a year and a half (pictured)
© Provided by Daily MailViewers were deeply moved by the heartwarming family moment caught on camera, with some saying they wanted to see their own grandmothers
She took Kerry in her arms and the family grouped together for a shared hug, letting emotions take over.
Loving grandmother-of-11 gently stroked Savannah's cheek as she told her hello in person for the first time.
Ria, who witnessed the tender moment, explained that Jennie worked as a carer and had been following lockdown rules very strictly in order to protect the vulnerable people she works with.
Presenter Ria Hebden travelled to Cambridgeshire and kept Kerry and her three daughters company while they waited to see Jennie © Provided by Daily Mail
The older children, Sophia and Sienna also cried as they hugged their grandmother for the first time in almost a year and a half.
After the initial waves of emotion, the grandmother and daughter were all smiles and joked they'd spend the whole day kissing and hugging.
Jennie said she hoped they would be able to organise a family reunion 'as soon as possible' so that Savannah could meet her cousins, aunts and uncle.
The moment reduced viewers to tears, with some saying they were 'bawling,' and hoped to see their own grandmothers soon. © Provided by Daily MailPresenter Lorraine Kelly, pictured, was also moved to tears as she watched the family hug for the first time in 17 months
'Gah! That family reunion on #Lorraine just made me bawl my eyes out! 17 months apart, 200 miles away, Mother and 3 daughters (one born in lockdown) drove overnight to finally get to see and hug their Grandma. That one got me good,' one said.
'That family on #lorraine reuniting and grandparent meeting baby for the first time,' one said with a smiling emoji.
'Absolutely bawling my eyes out watching the nana with her grandkids on #lorraine I can't wait to see my little nana, 14 months is a long time,' one said.
People have been sharing photos and videos of the moment they were finally allowed to officially embrace again. © Provided by Daily MailHappy hug day! Early morning swimmers in Sunderland were among the first to take advantage of the easing, greeting each other on Seaburn beach with a dawn embrace
© Provided by Daily MailA friend looks on as the swimmers enjoy a big hug in the surf after the new rules came in at midnight on Sunday - despite scientists warning hugging was still considered a 'high risk activity'
Sweet reunions captured and shared across social media included tearful grandparents finally getting a squeeze from much-missed grandchildren and friends back in each others' arms for the first time since March 2020.
May 17th has been dubbed Happy Hug Day in England after social distancing measures that have banned physical contact between family and friends - outside of bubbles - were relaxed in the the latest phase of Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown.
Some scientists have urged caution though, suggesting that embracing loved ones again is still a 'high risk activity'. © Provided by Daily MailKatie Taylor said she was sobbing uncontrollably as she hugged her mother for the first time in 14 months as she shared this image on Twitter
© Provided by Daily MailFriends in separate household bubbles, Dawn and Sarah, from York share a friendly embrace after the latest lockdown easing became official today
Early morning swimmers in Sunderland were among the first to take advantage of the easing, greeting each other on sun-lit Seaburn beach with a dawn embrace.
Elsewhere, among the images being posted under the hashtag #firsthug was a touching photo of a young girl offering a hug to her grandfather.
Posting the family snap, @SeanC_Mayo said the moment was a sign that 'normality' was finally returning to life.
Two youngsters from Hamilton, Scotland enjoyed a cuddle at the door of their nursery as Nicola Sturgeon also relaxed restrictions. @jojofalconer shared the adorable image, captioning it: 'The day where hugs are a thing'.
Two youngsters from Hamilton, Scotland enjoyed a cuddle at the door of their nursery as Scotland also relaxed restrictions © Provided by Daily Mail
Two weeks ago, the Government said advice 'on social distancing between friends and family' would be updated on May 17, and despite fears that the Indian variant would scupper people being allowed to embrace, the hug ban has been lifted as planned.
Another Twitter user posted a photo of herself hugging her mother this morning. Katie Taylor, who runs the The Latte Lounge, captioned the image: '14 long months later & we can #hug our friends & family. I think this picture says it all.'
She added: 'I was sobbing uncontrollably as Ithrew my arms around my mum (we have both been doubly vaccinated) - I can't tell you how good it felt - i will never, ever take #hugging for granted again.' © Provided by Daily Mail Read more