How will the new rules on gatherings affect me?

9 September 2020, 08:26 | Updated: 9 September 2020, 10:15

Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Boris Johnson is due to further explain the tightening of restrictions on social gatherings later today - a decision that was made to stem the spread of coronavirus.

It comes after nearly 3,000 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded on Sunday in the highest daily rise since May, and a further 2,420 were recorded on Tuesday.

Downing Street said these figures prompted a joint agreement between the government, chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance to act with urgency.

The tightening of restrictions is expected to come into force on Monday
The tightening of restrictions is expected to come into force on Monday. Picture: PA

So - what are the new rules? And how will they affect you?

What is the new restriction?

Social gatherings of more than six people will be made illegal in England from Monday.

It will apply to all gatherings - whether indoors or outdoors, in private homes, pubs, parks and restaurants.

Can I still go to work and school?

Yes. Where gatherings are workplaces or education facilities, the limit does not apply.

Are there any other exemptions?

Gatherings of more than six people will still be allowed where the household or a support bubble are larger than the legal gathering limit.

Weddings, funerals and Covid-secure organised team sports are also exempt from the new law.

A full list of such exemptions will be published by the government before the restriction comes into effect on Monday.

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Does this apply to the whole of the UK?

No, this is only applicable to people in England.

Currently, in Scotland, up to eight people can gather indoors, while this figure rises to 15 people in an outdoor setting.

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The group can consist of up to five different households in the latter setting, but must maintain a social distance.

In Wales, up to 30 people can still meet outdoors, while in Northern Ireland, this number is at 15.

How will it be enforced?

The prime minister is announcing the ban on gatherings as a change in law - meaning it will be illegal to break the rules by Monday and will be enforceable by police.

Failure to comply could result in a £100 fine. This figure will double for each repeat offence up to a sum of £3,200.

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