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The rule of six

New rules come into force today (Monday, 14 September) which mean that people will not be able to meet socially with others from other households in groups of more than six people

That applies indoors and outdoors, including in people’s own homes, and the rules around social distancing and the use of face coverings still apply too.

There will be penalties for breaching the new rule; the police will have powers to enforce, and fines of £100 could be issued – fines will keep doubling for further breaches, to a maximum of £3,200.

There are exemptions. COVID-19 secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total, but then groups of up to six people at those venues mustn’t mix or form larger groups.

If your household or bubble already has more than six people, that’s fine. You can still gather because you’re from the same household or bubble.

Education (schools, colleges, universities etc) and workplaces are unaffected. Weddings and funeral groups can also be larger, up to 30 people. Some organised team sports will still be able to carry on.

There’s more detail about those exceptions on the government’s website.