Social Gatherings Of More Than Six To Be Banned From Monday
From Monday, September 14, social gatherings of more than six people will be banned in England.
This decision marks the biggest coronavirus crackdown imposed by prime minister Boris Johnson since the easing of lockdown restrictions.
The ban will be applicable to both indoor and outdoor gatherings, and will include gatherings taking place at parks, pubs and restaurants, as well as private homes.
First time offenders will be handed a fine of £100. This fine will then double upon each repeat offence, up to a sum of £3,200.
Several exemptions will apply to these new rules, with households and support bubbles larger than six people remaining unaffected.
It’s anticipated that Johnson will deliver further details at a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, September 9.
In a preview of his address, the prime minister said:
We need to act now to stop the virus spreading. So we are simplifying and strengthening the rules on social contact – making them easier to understand and for the police to enforce.
It is absolutely critical that people now abide by these rules and remember the basics – washing your hands, covering your face, keeping space from others, and getting a test if you have symptoms.
Those who gather in a group larger than seven people will risk ‘being dispersed by police or fined for non-compliance’.
Previous guidance stipulated that up to six people from different households – or up to 30 people from two households – could gather together.
These new measures have been announced following a ‘sharp rise’ in coronavirus cases. According to BBC News, 8,396 new cases have been reported since Sunday, September 6, with 2,460 new cases reported on Tuesday, September 8 alone.
The news comes after England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van Tam warned that people have ‘relaxed too much’ over the summer, stating ‘we have got to start taking this very seriously again’.
Professor Van Tam warned that if case numbers aren’t controlled, the UK could be in for a ‘bumpy ride over the next few months’.
This is a big change, it’s now consistent over two days and it is of great concern at this point.
I think you know we’ve been able to relax a bit over the summer, the disease levels have really been quite low in the UK through the summer but these latest figures really show us that much as people might like to say ‘oh it’s gone away’, this hasn’t gone away.
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