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In an ever fluid situation, restrictions in England are changing from Monday 14th September.

In England, the number of people allowed to meet socially is being reduced from 30 to six in England, amid a rise in coronavirus cases.

What do the new rules mean and how will they be enforced?

What are the new rules on socialising?

The new limit of six people will apply to social gatherings from Monday 14th.

It will apply both indoors and outdoors, and to all ages.

Meeting up socially in private homes, venues like pubs and restaurants, and in outdoor spaces like parks will all be affected.

At present, the rules allow up to 30 people from two households, or six from multiple households, to meet outdoors.

Current guidance says you should only socialise indoors with members of up to two households.

Can I be fined for breaking the rules?

The new measures will mean groups larger than six can be broken up by police.

Members of the group can be fined if they fail to follow the rules. This will be £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.”

Will any social events of more than six be allowed?

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.

What are the rules and guidance in other parts of the UK?

If you are meeting outside, the number of people who can gather varies:

There are also different rules for meetings indoors – at your home, or a venue like a pub:

What is the guidance on social distancing?

Each UK nation is advising people to stay 2m (6ft) away from anyone they don’t live with. However, there are some differences:

  • In England, if it’s not possible to be 2m away, you can stay “1m plus” apart. The “plus” means doing something else to limit your possible exposure – like wearing a face covering
  • In Scotland, there are exemptions to the 2m rule in some places –  such as pubs and restaurants. Children aged 11 or under do not need to social distance
  • In Wales, the 2m guidance reflects the fact it’s not realistic to stay that far apart somewhere like a hairdresser’s. Primary age children in Wales are also exempt
  • Northern Ireland‘s guidance was 1m (3ft) for a time, but is now back at 2m

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