Covid: How the rest of the UK spent May 2020 as Downing Street held drinks party

ITV News at Ten Presenter Tom Bradby looks back at what the rest of the country was enduring in May 2020

People across the UK have been using the power of social media to share what they were going through on May 20, 2020 - the day Downing Street staff held a drinks party to "make the most of the lovely weather," while the UK was in the midst of a national lockdown.

In an email shared exclusively with ITV News, Downing Street staff were invited to the garden party on May 2020. Meanwhile the rest of the country were adhering to strict lockdown measures, which included only being allowed to meet one other person from outside their household.

So as some in power flouted the rules, this is what others had to endure.

On the day of the Downing Street party, Jeff Smith had to say goodbye to his mother. The number of people who could attend funerals was restricted at the time and only 10 people could attend Marjorie Smith's funeral. All mourners had to be socially distanced and no hugging was allowed.

Jeff said "many family members stayed at home adhering to the rules and sadly watched a live stream which unfortunately kept breaking up".

Jeff Smith's mum's funeral took place with just 10 in attendance and all socially distanced. Credit: Jeff Smith/Twitter

During the first national lockdown, loved ones could not visit relatives in hospitals and care homes. Irene was one of those people - she died alone without her daughter by her side.

Sue Carney's father, Albert James Carney, was admitted to hospital with Covid on May 20, 2020. On the 24th, he passed away, without his family to hold his hand as he died.

Sue Carney with her father, Albert James Carney. Credit: Sue Carney/Twitter

Becca Gibson had no choice but to say goodbye to her grandad through just an iPhone screen, after he contracted Covid during the first lockdown.

Those on the NHS frontline were in the midst of fighting this unknown and frightening disease in May 2020, working long hours, with heavy PPE on and watching people die everyday.

Tom Lawton and Samantha Batt-Rawden were just two of those working on May 20, while Downing Street staff were enjoying their drinks party.

Sukh Dubb had finished a 24-hour shift on the NHS frontline and then spoke to his family on the phone - it had been months since he had been able to see them face to face.

Sukh Dubb after finishing his 24 hour shift at the height of the lockdown. Credit: Twitter/Sukh Dubb

And on May 20 GP Eilir Hughes discovered the FFP3 masks he had been given were three years out of date. During the first lockdown it was revealed that millions of pieces of PPE in the UK's stockpile had expired when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Meanwhile, across the country people were grappling with strict limitations on their movements, friends and family were not allowed to go into one another's homes or gardens.

Lauren Machin was forced to cancel her wedding and held a Zoom party instead.

Fiona Dolman's daughter could only meet her friend through a downstairs window and James Mitchinson's mother had to sit outside by the bins with her own crockery to celebrate her grandson's birthday - there were no hugs, no kisses, no contact and no garden party.