'They know the rules' - What Gazette readers said about 'rule of six' fines

Those who breach the Government’s new ‘rule of six’ restriction on how to safely meet other people in a social setting “should be fined” as a deterrent to other rule breakers.

Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 6:00 am

That’s the message from Gazette readers as they react to the new rule, which was brought into law as of Monday, September 14.

Announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week, the rule makes it illegal for groups of more than six people to meet up indoors or outdoors, with limited exemptions.

These include in an organised sports setting, for school or for work.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week that the rule of six would come into force from September 14. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse suggested on Monday that people should be educated on how to properly follow the rule on their first breach of the guidelines, before then being fined if they refuse to comply.

The national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, John Apter, has also called for guidance over enforcement of the measures, adding that police officers working on the front lines were “trying to interpret” the rules and work with the public.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, September 15, he added: “Maybe we should have ‘guidance’, because we haven’t had any yet.”

We asked you if first-time offenders should be fined for not following the ‘rule of six’ – with the majority of readers saying people “know the rules” so have no excuse for breaking them.

This is what you said on the Shields Gazette Facebook page:

Chris King: “Should be fined if you can’t follow the rules, if you’re a family of six it is not the Government’s fault and surely you want to keep your family safe whatever it takes!”

Steve Gourley: “This is not the first time for anyone that we have been asked to minimise contact with family or in general. If you cannot stick to these rules at this stage then you should be fined.”

John Wright: “Have to have deterent, fine them.”

Lynsey Mason: “They know the rules ... fine them!”

Barry Feetham: “Obey the rules and get rid of Covid so it dosn't affect our kids and grandkids in years to come.”

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