Boris Johnson apologises after he 'misspoke' on rule of six

29 September 2020, 12:50 | Updated: 29 September 2020, 19:22

Boris Johnson appeared to get his own rules wrong when describing the Rule of Six
Boris Johnson appeared to get his own rules wrong when describing the Rule of Six. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Boris Johnson has apologised after getting his own rules wrong when asked to clarify the 'rule of six'.

Speaking in a press conference today, the Prime Minister said: "On the rule of six, outside the areas such as the North East where extra measures have been brought in, it's six inside, six outside, and in the North East or other areas where extra tight measures have been brought in you should follow the guidance of local authorities.

"But it is six in a home, six in hospitality, but as I understand it, not six outside. That is the situation here."

Read more: Boris Johnson sets out post-coronavirus job and training plan for adults

Read more: City leaders issue dire Covid-19 economic warning for Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester

However current rules in England state gatherings of more than six people - whether it be indoors or outdoors - are banned.

The only exemptions for this rule are for households which are already larger than six, bubbles of more than six, or gathering for education or work.

First-time offenders who break this rule will be fined £200, which will double with every subsequent offence up to £3,200.

Boris Johnson apologises after getting rule of six wrong

But the PM has since apologised for the mistake.

He tweeted: "In the North East, new rules mean you cannot meet people from different households in social settings indoors, including in pubs, restaurants and your home. You should also avoid socialising with other households outside.

Read more: UK records 4,044 new Covid-19 cases as death toll rises by 13

"This is vital to control the spread of coronavirus and keep everyone safe. If you are in a high risk area, please continue to follow the guidelines from local authorities. "

Boris Johnson apologised after he 'misspoke' on the rule of six

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: "For the Prime Minister to not understand his own rules is grossly incompetent. These new restrictions are due to come into force across huge parts of the country tonight.

"The government needs to get a grip."

Confusion remains over whether two households in the North East can meet in pub gardens, something which Downing Street and ministers have so far refused to clarify, but the Prime Minister is set to hold a press conference on Wednesday afternoon to address the situation.

Read more: Worldwide coronavirus death toll reaches one million

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said: "You can't just bluster your way through situations like this - making it up as you go has massive consequences, confuses people and undermines the very public health goals both local and central government are trying to achieve."