Coronavirus cases are on the rise in the UK and as a result the government is introducing a new rule.
From Monday (September 14) you won’t be able to gather in groups of more than six, whether you’re indoors or outdoors.
There will be some exceptions, but for the most part everyone will have to follow this new rule or face a fine.
It comes as there were over 3,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK yesterday for a second day in a row.
In London the R rate has soared to between 1.1 and 1.3, meaning the virus is unfortunately spreading quite quickly through the city.
The R represents the number of people an infected person passes the virus onto on average.
So, if the R is is 0.5, 10 people would infect roughly five others.
Here’s 9 things you need to be aware of ahead of the rule change tomorrow.
1. You can only meet with up to six people at a time
From Monday, if you’re meeting up with friends and family you don’t live with, you shouldn’t meet in a group that’s larger than six unless you are coming together as a household or support bubble that’s bigger than six.
2. This applies both indoors and outdoors
There is no difference between indoors and outdoors this time. Whether you’re meeting at someone’s house or going for a walk in the park, you should still not exceed six people in either instance.
3. There are exceptions
There are a number of exceptions in cases where it would be impossible to follow this rule. In the following instances, groups larger than six are still allowed:
- 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
- For work, and voluntary or charitable services
- For education, training, registered childcare, or providers offering before or after-school clubs for children
- 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 sports, outdoor 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
4. There will be fines if the rules are broken
The police will have the power to enforce this new rule through a fine. This will be a fixed penalty notice of £100, which will double for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.
5. You can still go to shops, pubs and restaurants
You can still go out to pubs, restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and other entertainment venues that are open but you must not meet with more than six people while there.
You must also comply with any rules the venue has in place, e.g. for shops you must wear a face covering while inside unless you are exempt.
6. You should still socially distance from people you don’t live with
It still stands that you should socially distance from people who aren’t in your household or support bubble. Those in an established relationship do not need to socially distance either.
But if none of the above applies and you are meeting with people from another household, stay two metres apart if you can. If you can’t, then stay more than a metre apart and take as many extra precautions as possible, including staying outside if you can or opening up windows for better ventilation if you’re inside.
7. You should leave your contact details if you visit a leisure venue
If you go somewhere like a pub, remember to leave your contact details with the organiser so you can be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace programme if necessary.
8. The old rules about wearing face masks and washing your hands still apply
While a new rule may be coming in, don’t forget it’s important to remember the old ones too.
You should still wear a face covering on public transport, inside shops and when getting takeaway food, and in any other entertainment venue, other than pubs and restaurants where you are sitting down to eat or drink.
9. The rules are different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
The above rules only apply in England, and there are slightly different versions of the rule of six in the devolved nations.
In Wales, people can only meet in groups of six or under if they’re inside, although children under 12 don’t count. Anyone meeting in this way must belong to the same extended household group – you can form an extended household group with up to four different households.
Outside, however you can still meet in groups of up to 30.
In Scotland, a maximum of six people will be able to meet up and there must be no more than two households together at once.
There will be some exceptions like in Enlgland, and up to 20 people will be able to gather for weddings and funerals.
Northern Ireland has not implemented a universal rule of six at this stage, but there are local restrictions in both Belfast and Ballymena, where people from two or more households are banned from meeting in private settings.
-- to www.mylondon.news