Latest rules on visiting the pub as new ‘rule of six’ comes into force in England

A fresh ban on social gatherings comes into force today, amid fears a second coronavirus outbreak could be on its way in the UK.

The ban applies in all homes, parks, pubs and restaurants in England, in the biggest coronavirus crackdown since lockdown rules were eased.

It comes amid a surge in Covid-19 cases this month, with 3,300 new infections recorded in the past 24 hours alone.

Those who break the rules could be hit with a £100 fine, which will double for every offence up to £3,200, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

It comes as nightclubs remain closed to help curb the spread of the contagious virus.

Until today, groups were limited to just one other household inside, and two households outside, up to a maximum of 30 people.

Fergus Bell et al. sitting at a table: Large groups will be asked to sit separately

                                            © Getty Images Large groups will be asked to sit separately

However, Boris Johnson is limiting this to just six at home and in public from Monday, September, 14.

While there are no plans to close pubs and restaurants, it will mean new limits on how many people can socialise at once.

Boozers and diners will be asked to limit the number of people sat together to just six.

It means if there are more of you, your group could be separated and asked to sit at least two metres apart.

Business owners have the right to refuse to serve customers who break their rules but it is not something all pubs have to enforce.

“We are going to be tightening the rules,” health secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

People caught flouting the rules could be slapped with a £100 fine each, which can be doubled for each recurring offence, up to £3,200.

Are there any exemptions?

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Wedding receptions with up to 30 guests will be allowed

                                        © Getty Images Wedding receptions with up to 30 guests will be allowed

Large families (who live at the same address) and support bubbles are exempt from the new regulations, as are gatherings of more than six people for work or education purposes.

Weddings, funerals and organised sports teams will still be able to go ahead from Monday, as long as they are Covid-19-safe.

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

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

a baseball player holding a bat on a field: It will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply, doubling on each offence up to a maximum of £3,200

© Getty Images It will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply, doubling on each offence up to a maximum of £3,200

  • Scotland: In Scotland, the rule applies to a maximum of two households

  • Wales: In Wales it applies to the same extended household

  • Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland announced a six person, two household limit on indoor gatherings on August 24, a reduction on a previous restriction of 10 people from four households.


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