Social gatherings of more than six to be banned as national coronavirus cases rise

PUBLISHED: 10:40 09 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:40 09 September 2020

Coronavirus Picture: Getty Images

Coronavirus Picture: Getty Images

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Social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal from Monday (September 14) as the Government seeks to curb the rise in coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use a press conference today (Wednesday, September 9) to announce the change in the law after the number of daily positive Covid-19 cases in the UK rose to almost 3,000.

The legal limit on social gatherings will be reduced from 30 people to six. It will apply to gatherings indoors and outdoors - including private homes, as well as parks, pubs and restaurants.

Gatherings of more than six people will be allowed where the household or support bubble is larger than six, or where the gathering is for work or education purposes.

Exemptions will also apply for weddings, funerals and Covid-secure organised team sports, with a full list to be published by the Government before Monday.

Mr Johnson is expected to tell the press conference: “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.”

Downing Street said chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and the Government had jointly agreed that urgent action was needed after the rise in coronavirus cases.

Some 2,420 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus were recorded in Britain as of 9am on Tuesday (September 8), following the 2,988 reported in the UK on Sunday, which was the largest daily figure since May.

The Government hopes that the change to the law will make it easier for the police to identify and disperse illegal gatherings. Failure to comply could result in a £100 fine, which will double on each repeat offence up to £3,200.

Number 10 said Mr Johnson held a virtual roundtable with police forces last week where officers expressed their desire for rules on social contact to be simplified.


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