Everything you need to know about the Government's new 'rule of six'

New rules on how to safely meet and socialise with other people during the coronavirus outbreak have been announced in England this week.

Thursday, 10th September 2020, 8:26 am

Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference on Wednesday, September 9 to further explain the so-called ‘rule of six’, which will come into force in England from Monday, September 14.

The change – which limits the number of people who do not live together meeting in a group – was announced to simplify the rules on social distancing and control the spread of coronavirus.

Here we look at the new restrictions, and the punishments for those who do not follow them.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a virtual press conference at Downing Street on September 9. Picture: Stefan Rousseau- WPA Pool/Getty Images.

What is the ‘rule of six’?

From Monday, September 14 it will be against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group of more than six – both indoors and outdoors.

What are the exceptions?

The Government announced a number of exceptions to the new rule – including when a single household or support bubble includes more than six people.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Witty, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance. Picture: Stefan Rousseau- WPA Pool/Getty Images.

The following circumstances are also exempt:

*For work, voluntary or charitable services

*For education, training, or registered childcare

*For legal obligations like attending court or jury service

*Providing emergency assistance or support to a vulnerable person

*To avoid illness, injury or harm

*Participate in children’s playgroups

*Youth groups or activities

*Elite sporting competition or training

*Organised indoor and outdoor sports

Weddings, civil partnerships and funerals of up to 30 people will also be permitted in compliance with Covid-secure guidance.

Protests and political activities organised in line with Covid-19 guidelines may also be allowed.

What about meeting in other places?

The Government says that venues following its Covid-secure advice – such as pubs, shops and restaurants – can continue to host more people in total; but no one should visit a premises in a group of more than six.

People are being advised to avoid social interaction with anyone outside of their group and provide their contact details for NHS Test and Trace.

What are the punishments?

Police forces have been given powers to enforce the ‘rule of six’.

Those who break the law could be given a £100 fixed penalty notices, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.

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