From Monday 14th September, anyone living in England meeting in a group of more than 6 people will be breaking the law and could be fined or arrested.
Restaurants, bars and other venues that host multiple people will still be allowed to do so under the new changes, however, any business that allows more than 6 people from different households to sit together will be in breach of the new law.
The government has also made it a legal requirement for hospitality businesses and large venues to request contact details of the lead member of a party, as well as the number of people in their group and retain their details for 21 days, (this is already the case in Scotland & Wales) referring them to NHS Test & Trace if required. Fines will be issued to hospitality venues who fail to comply with the law. More information on the Track & Trace rules can be found here.
Exemptions to the law will include Covid-19 secure weddings, funerals and sports events, however, relevant rules will still apply in regards to social distancing measures and limits on attendees.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that “the reason for the change is to simplify and strengthen the rules to make it easier for police to enforce.”
He reiterated the importance of keeping your distance from anyone you don’t share a household with, including friends and family, and advised meeting outdoors to lower the risk of infection.
Restrictions to opening hours will be enforced in some areas where Covid-19 cases are high and the pilot scheme to get audiences back into large venues from October 1st will be shelved for now until rates decline across the UK.
To keep you up-to-date – Wales and Scotland have now introduced their own rules for six people gathering which differ from England, just to complicate things for everyone!
- In Wales, the “rule of Six” will only apply to people meeting indoors and all six people must all belong to the same “extended household group”. Outside, people will still be able to meet in groups of up to 30 under existing social distancing rules
- An “extended household group” can contain people from up to four separate households
- Children under 12 will be exempt and will not count towards that total.
- The Rule of six will not apply in Caerphilly because it is under a local lockdown so stricter rules are in place there.
- In Scotland, the six people can only be from a maximum of two households
- However, like Wales, children under the age of 12, who are part of the two households will not count towards the limit of six people
- But, like England, the Scottish Rule of Six will apply in all public and private gatherings, both indoors and outdoors
- There will be “some limited exceptions”, covering organised sports and places of worship
- Up to 20 people will be able to attend weddings, civil partnerships and funerals
To stay up-to-date with all the latest Covid-19 developments, visit our Coronavirus Hub.