Social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal from Monday September 14th – with some exemptions – amid a steep rise in coronavirus cases across the UK.
A new legal limit will ban larger groups meeting anywhere socially indoors or outdoors, the Government has said.
It will not apply to schools, workplaces or Covid-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sports.
It will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply with police, doubling up to a maximum of £3,200.
Several exemptions apply to the new rules – which will come into force on 14th September – with households and support bubbles bigger than six people are unaffected.
Ministers have expressed concern over a “sharp rise” in cases. Overall, there have been 8,396 new cases reported since Sunday – with 2,460 reported on Tuesday alone. There were also 32 deaths reported.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to deliver further details at a Downing Street news conference today (Wednesday).
In a preview of his address, the PM sasy: “We need to act now to stop the virus spreading. So we are simplifying and strengthening the rules on social contact – making them easier to understand and for the police to enforce.”
“It is absolutely critical that people now abide by these rules and remember the basics – washing your hands, covering your face, keeping space from others, and getting a test if you have symptoms.”
No. 10 said any group of seven or more people gathering anywhere “risks being dispersed by police or fined for non-compliance”.
Previously, guidance in England allowed gatherings of up to six people from different households – or up to 30 people from two households.
At-a-glance: What are the new rules?
- Social gatherings of more than six people in England will not be allowed in law from Monday 14 September
- The new rule applies to private homes, indoors and outdoors, and places such as bars and cafes
- The rule does not apply to schools and workplaces, or weddings, funerals and organised team sports
- A full list of exemptions is due to be published before the law changes
- People who ignore police could be fined £100 – doubling with each offence to a maximum of £3,200