England’s ‘rule of six’: the limits on socialising – and the exceptions | World news

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The number of people from multiple households that can attend social gatherings in England, whether indoors or outdoors, has been cut to six under new Covid-19 restrictions implemented on Monday by the government.

Boris Johnson has said the restrictions in England are necessary to stop a second wave of coronavirus after evidence showed a sharp rise in the number of cases across England. Similar rules in Wales and Scotland do not include children under 11 and 12 respectively.

But there are exemptions, which were detailed for England in updated guidance published by the government on Sunday night.

Does it change how we interact with friends and relatives?

Potentially, yes. While you do not need to physically distance from anyone in your household, someone you’re in an established relationship with or anyone in a legally permitted support bubble, you should meet in groups of six or fewer when seeing friends and family you do not live with.

So what are the exemptions for when groups can be larger than six people?

They include gatherings for work, provision of voluntary or charitable services, registered childcare, education or training and supervised activities for children, including youth groups and playgroups.

Others include providing support to a vulnerable person and continuing existing arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents.

Attending courts or taking part in jury service are also exempt for those fulfilling legal obligations.

Will sport continue to be played and organised?

The prime minister has confirmed that organised indoor and outdoor sport, including physical activity and exercise classes, will still be allowed, although plans to reopen stadiums are to be reviewed.

So organised indoor and outdoor sports in groups of more than six can be played if guidance on safety has been published by the sport’s governing body. It means, for example, that organised football league games among amateurs can go ahead but a “jumpers for goalposts” park kick-about will have to be limited to six players.

A full list of organised sport or licensed outdoor physical activity that can go ahead in groups of more than six includes shooting and hunting.

Elite sporting competition and training are also exempt.

What about weddings, funerals and religious occasions?

They can go ahead but with no more than 30 people attending. Receptions with up to 30 people can take place after weddings, but not after funerals and other religious ceremonies. The government expects that funeral providers will limit capacity based on how many people they can safely accommodate with physical distancing in place.

A potentially difficult area is protests and political events, which can can still proceed if organised in compliance with “Covid-19 Secure” guidance. However, those attending must do so in groups no larger than six and should not mix with people from outside their designated group.

Are there penalties for disobeying the rules?

Yes. Powers given to the police to enforce legal limits include being able to issue fixed penalty notices of £100. They can be doubled for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.

Source: The Guardian
Keyword: England’s ‘rule of six’: the limits on socialising – and the exceptions | World news

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