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Coronavirus: Social gatherings of more than six people to be banned in England from Monday

A ban on groups of more than six people gathering in homes, parks, pubs and restaurants in England is being imposed by Boris Johnson in the biggest coronavirus crackdown since lockdown rules were eased.

The ban will apply to indoor and outdoor gatherings, including private homes, parks, pubs and restaurants and first offenders will be fined £100, which will double on each further repeat offence up to £3,200 and the prime minister will announce in a bid to stem an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases in the UK.

According to England’s Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, “We need to act now to stop the virus spreading,” Mr Johnson will declare at a Downing Street news conference, coinciding with a new government advertising campaign entitled “Hands. Face. Space.”.

“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.”

  • From next Monday, any gathering of more than six people in England will be illegal, unless it meets one of a limited list of exemptions.
  • This applies to gatherings both indoors and outdoors.
  • The new rule does not apply to households or bubbles of more than six, or gatherings for work or education.
  • Weddings, funerals, and organised team sports carried out in a COVID-secure way are also exempt.
  • People will at first be fined £100, but this will double on each further repeat offence up to £3,200.
  • The full list of exemptions will be revealed by the government before the law changes on Monday.
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Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality businesses will also be forced to collect customers’ details to aid with contact tracing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said, instead of it just being voluntary.

The crackdown comes after warnings from government medical chiefs that the public – particularly young people – are now too relaxed about coronavirus, with the result that COVID-19 rates are now above 20 per 100,000 people.

The PM’s announcement follows the Health Secretary Matt Hancock imposing a ban on socialising with people from other households in Bolton, with restaurants in the town limited to serving takeaway food and a 10pm-5am curfew on all venues.

Sourcs: Sky Reports

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