- measure to take effect on Monday
The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has announced a new restriction confirming that no more than six people should be seen together in England.
This is part of the measures to combat the second wave of COVID-19.
Mr Boris who disclosed that at a press conference on Wednesday also warned that anyone caught breaking the law could face arrest.
The new restriction is to take effect from Monday, 14 September and it is to ‘simplify and strengthen the COVID-19 rules for the general public to follow.
The Prime Minister said the new restriction will help the officers to enforce the restrictions.
Mr Johnson announced the ‘rule of six’ which means that no more than six people could meet outside their household at any one time.
He said everyone should limit their social contact with other households as much as possible in order to ‘beat the virus’.
However, the Minister gave leeway to households and support bubbles to be exempted from the restriction.
Wedding and funeral can go ahead with no more than 30 people in attendance.
Children and babies will also be counted among the people allowed at the gathering.
Restaurants, gym, hospitality venues and worship places are also allowed to have more than six people inside the building, however, each group must not be less than six, the Minister added.
Mr Boris said: ‘You must not meet socially in groups of more than six and if you do, you will be breaking the law. This will apply in any setting indoors or outdoors, at home or in the park.
‘The ban will be set out in law and it will be enforced by the police, and anyone breaking the rules risks being dispersed, fined, and possibly arrested.’
Mr Boris warned that anyone caught breaking the restriction will be fined £100 and subsequent default will attract £3,200.
The Minister also said ‘rule of six’ would constantly be reviewed as long as ‘necessary’.
The government is planning to introduce COVID-19 secure marshals that will be deployed in city centres and towns and a register of environmental health officers which local authorities can ‘draw upon for support’ will be set up.
The Minister said ‘I want to see, and the public wants to see, stronger enforcement of the rules which are already in place. I have tasked the cabinet with increasing enforcement and I would like to thank the police, as always, and other authorities, for the work they are doing to keep us all safe.
‘In future, premises and venues where people meet socially will be legally required to request the contact details of a member of every party, record and retain these details for 21 days, and provide them to NHS Test and Trace without delay when required.
‘We will support local authorities to make further and faster use of their powers to close venues that are breaking the rules and pose a risk to public health. Fines will be levied against hospitality venues that fail to ensure their premises remainCOVIDd-secure.’
The restriction will also affect people arriving in the UK. The government said a passenger locator form will be simplified for passengers arriving the country.
Enforcement efforts will be stepped up by Border force to ensure quarantine rules are obeyed.
Mr Boris reassured that the new restriction is not a form of another lockdown but to avoid a second national lockdown.