New coronavirus rules: What CAN and CAN’T people do in England from Monday?
The Prime Minister will announce on Wednesday that social gatherings of more than six people, both indoors and outdoors, across all of England are banned from Monday.
A full explanation of the new rules, and why they are coming into force is provided below.
What are the new rules?
From Monday, gatherings of more than six people will be illegal. Currently, the lawful limit on gatherings is 30 people.
A graphic shows the new lockdown rules set to be announced by the Prime Minister which will apply across England from Monday
Why are they being introduced?
The chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, have agreed that the action is needed urgently after the number of positive cases rose steeply.
In a Zoom meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week, police forces said they would like rules on social contact to be simplified.
Where will they apply to?
The rules will apply across England to all ages and to indoor and outdoor gatherings. This will include private homes, parks, pubs and restaurants and they will be applied to all ages.
Will there be any exemptions?
There will be a few scenarios where the restrictions do not apply, such as if your household or support bubble is larger than six people, or if you are gathering in a large group for the sake of work or education.
Weddings, funerals and organised team sports will also be exempt if they are conducted in a Covid-secure way.
Boris Johnson will ban social gatherings of more than six people, both indoors and outdoors, across all of England from Monday
What will the punishments be for breaking the rules?
The Government hope the new rules will make it easier for the police to break up large gatherings. Failure to stick to the new rules could mean a £100 fine, which will double with every subsequent offence up to £3,200.
What does the Prime Minister say?
The Prime Minister will officially announce the new rules at a press conference on Wednesday. He is expected to then tell the public: ‘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.’