‘Rule of six’ comes into force today

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Legislation Law Government Boris johnson

The Government’s ‘rule of six’ will be enforced from today (Monday 14 September) meaning those breaking it could be arrested.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined details​ of the new law last week (Tuesday 8 September and Wednesday 9 September).

He said: "In England from Monday (14 September) we are introducing the rule of six. You must not meet socially in groups of more than six and if you do, you will be breaking the law.

"This will apply in any setting indoors out outdoors at home or in the pub. The ban will be set out in law and it will be enforced by the police. Anyone breaking the rules risks being dispersed, fined and possibly arrested."

He added: "This single measure replaces both the existing ban on gatherings of more than 30 and the current guidance on allowing two households to meet indoors now you only need to remember the rule of six.

"There will be some limited exemptions. For example if a single household or support bubble is larger than six then obviously, they can still gather."

Updated guidance

Johnson said: "Covid-secure venues like places of worship, gyms, restaurants, hospitality venues, can still hold more than six in total within those venues however, there must not be individual groups larger than six and groups must not mix socially or form larger groups."

The updated guidance states: “To prevent the spread of the virus, from 14 September there will be legal limits on how many people someone can spend time with in a social group at any one time.

“Whether indoors or outdoors, people from different households must not meet in groups of larger than six.

“This limit does not apply to meetings of a single household group or support bubble where it consists of more than six people.

“Venues following Covid-19 secure guidelines can host more than six people in total, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than six.

“It is also important people from different households or support bubbles meeting in a single group remain socially distanced.

“Businesses should not intentionally facilitate gatherings between a greater number of people than is permitted in their local area and should take steps to ensure customer compliance with the limits on gatherings.”

What are the Covid-secure rules?

  • Social distancing at two-metres or one-metre with risk mitigation where two-metres is not viable
  • Encouraging customers to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter the venue.
  • Minimising customer self-service of food, cutlery and condiments
  • Reducing the number of surfaces touched by staff and customers
  • Encouraging contactless payments where possible and adjusting the location of card readers to social distancing guidelines
  • Ensuring all outdoor areas with particular regard to covered areas have sufficient ventilation
  • Encouraging use of contactless ordering from tables where available.
  • Adjusting processes to prevent customers from congregating at points of service.
  • Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique
  • Assisting NHS Test and Trace by taking contact details of one member of every party who visit the pub (this will be mandatory from 18 September) and keeping these details for 21 days.
  • Looking at how people move through the venue and how this could be adjusted to reduce congregation and contact between customers such as queue management or one-way flow, where possible.

For more information on the full guidance from the Government, please see here​.

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