COVID: Rules On Social Gatherings And What You Need To Know

By Rachael Grealish

Just days ago the number of COVID cases in the U.K. increased to almost 3,000 and the surge in cases has caused the government to take action.

In reaction to this it was announced yesterday, Tuesday September 8, the number of people allowed to meet socially is being reduced from 30 to six, in England.

These new rules will come into effect on Monday September 14 and mean there is a new limit of six people at social gatherings – at homes, indoors and outdoors.

The rule applies to people of all ages and only for people of the same household or support bubble.

Currently, up to 30 people from two households or six from multiple households are allowed to meet outdoors.

The new rules will not only affect people meeting up socially in private homes, venues like pubs and restaurants, and in outdoor spaces like parks, but also comes with fines if they’re broken.

Under the new measures parties of over six can be broken up by police and people can be fined £100

for a first offence, doubling on each further offence up to £3,200.

The government says: “Putting the new, lower limit in law will make it easier for the police to identify and disperse illegal gatherings.”

However, even with these new rules and the dramatic rise in cases the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has reiterated the Prime Minister’s goal to be ‘back to normal for Christmas’ – although he did say these new measures would be here to stay for the ‘foreseeable future’.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s absolutely therefore the foreseeable future. I really hope we can turn this round before Christmas.

“I think that, in a pandemic, Christmas is a long way off.”

Some gatherings of more than six people will be allowed, for example:

  • If your household or support bubble is larger than six
  • Where gatherings are for work or education purposes
  • Weddings and funerals
  • Team sports organised in a way limiting the spread of coronavirus

A full list will be published before the law changes on Monday.