The new ‘Rule of Six’ comes into effect today: Here’s what you can and can’t do

Boris Johnson’s ‘Rule of Six’ officially comes into force today (14 September) – meaning members of the public are only permitted to socialise in groups of half-a-dozen max.

The curbs on mass gatherings have been introduced as part of the government’s recent efforts to arrest the rise of coronavirus cases in the UK – with the country now recording over 3,000 positive tests per day.

The Rule of Six is set to be enforceable by law; applying in any setting, whether that’s “indoors or outdoors, at home or in the pub.”

Those who do not follow the rules could face a “criminal record“.

Police have powers to issue fixed penalty notices of £100 for breaches, doubling for further breaches up to £3,200.

Those found guilty of organising mass gatherings of 30 people or more are liable for fines of up to £10,000.

Socialising restrictions remain even tighter in the ‘high-risk’ area of Greater Manchester.

Anyone living in one of the local boroughs (except for Stockport and Wigan) should avoid mixing with other households in any setting.

In Bolton – which has more coronavirus cases than any other part of the country –  businesses and venues must close from 10pm to 5am each day, whilst the hospitality sector can only operate takeout services.

Casinos, skating rinks and bowling alleys – which opened last month in other parts of Greater Manchester – remain closed.

The government has also listed a number of exceptions to the Rule of Six.

These include:

  • Where everyone lives together or is in the same support bubble, or to continue existing arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents
  • Work, and voluntary or charitable services
  • Education, training, or registered childcare
  • Fulfilling legal obligations such as attending court or jury service
  • Providing emergency assistance, or providing support to a vulnerable person
  • For you or someone else to avoid illness, injury or harm
  • Participate in children’s playgroups
  • Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions, or for other religious life-cycle ceremonies – where up to 30 people will be able to attend
  • Funerals – where up to 30 people will be able to attend
  • Organised indoor and outdoor sports, physical activity and exercise classes (see the list of recreational team sportsoutdoor sport and exercise allowed under the gyms and leisure centre guidance
  • Youth groups or activities
  • Elite sporting competition or training
  • Protests and political activities organised in compliance with Covid-19 secure guidance and subject to strict risk assessments.

Holidaying is still permitted, provided you go with the people in your household/bubble and the group is no larger than six.

Restaurants and pubs not currently under local lockdown rules can continue to welcome patrons; but those who attend should not do so in groups of more than six.

For a full list of exemptions, visit the government website.

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