Ban on gatherings of more than six people due to come into force on Monday


A government announcement has confirmed gatherings of more than six people in homes, parks, pubs and restaurants will be banned from Monday (September 14).

The move has been prompted by a rise in cases over recent days of almost 3,000 new positive tests on Sunday. At the height of the pandemic there were around 6,000 new cases each day. In July this dropped to below 1,000. However there has also been a hike in testing with mobile testing sites and home kits. The rise in positive tests is not mirrored by a rise in people needing hospital admission or a rise in covid-attributed deaths.

The guidance in England currently says two households can meet indoors. Outdoors up to six people from different households can meet – or up to 30 people from two households.

But the new rules mean the maximum number of people gathering will be six although exemptions apply for work, education, weddings, funerals, and organised team sports as well as households or bubbles that have more than six people.

COVID Secure venues like places of worship, gyms, restaurants and hospitality venues can still hold more than 6 people in total. Within those venues however, there must not be individual groups larger than 6, and groups must not mix socially or form larger groups.

A £100 fine will be imposed for a first ‘offence’ which will double on each repeat offence up to £3,200,

Until now the police have had no powers to stop gatherings unless they exceeded 30. The new law, coming into force on Monday (September 14), is aimed at tightening the rules.

A “Hands, face, space,” campaign will also launch.

The government says the rise in Covid-19 rates is especially prevalent among people aged 17- 29.

The briefing is expected to be made at around 5pm today.

New rules

From next Monday, any gathering of more than six people in England will be illegal, unless it meets one of the exemptions

The rule is for groups both indoors and outdoors

People will at first be fined £100, but this will double on each further repeat offence up to £3,200

The list of exemptions will be announced before the law changes on Monday.

Premises and venues where people meet socially will be legally required to request the contact details of a member of every party, record and retain these details for 21 days, and provide them to NHS Test & Trace without delay when required.

Local authorities will be supported to make further and faster use of their powers to close venues that are breaking the rules and pose a risk to public health.

Fines will be levied against hospitality venues that fail to ensure their premises remain COVID Secure.

The enforcement capacity of local authorities will be boosted by introducing COVID Secure Marshalls to help ensure social distancing in town and city centres, and by setting up a register of Environmental Health Officers that local authorities can draw upon for support.

The Passenger Locator Form needed for travelling to the UK will be simplified, and take measures to ensure these are completed and checked before departure.

Border Force will step up enforcement efforts at the border to ensure arrivals are complying with the quarantine rules.

The government will also restrict the opening hours of premises, initially in some local areas.


  1. I do hope all non-contact outdoor exercise groups will be exempt. 30 ramblers in open countryside are very low risk, and are of course assisting in both their physical and mental well-being.

  2. It should be a blanket ban ! No exceptions we have all got to pull together and wipe this virus out once and for all, no more selfish behaviour from anyone, .

  3. It is almost like the government pretending there isn’t any problem & reopening everything without proper staggering has led people to behave like there isn’t.

  4. lol vote tory, get tory.

    Hope you’re enjoying your memes England.

    Hide, don’t hide, run away, don’t run away, stand still, don’t stand still, die, don’t die etc etc. lol

    • Good God. You honestly believe any other major party would have done better? Of course mistakes have been made – all in hindsight – but you are in cloud cuckoo land if you think any other party would have got it right from the start. The trouble lies with those who think it is all over when it clearly isn’t. and in particular those who think they are immune. Everybody stick to the rules, admittedly often changing, and we will come out of this a lot sooner.

  5. The minority as always ruins it for the rest of us.

    The big problem trying to convince people this is vital is made difficult when you hear 3500 are off to watch horse racing on the same day it is announced.

  6. And only last Wednesday Boris Johnson boasted that at a meeting of the 1922 backbenchers those attending were jammed in cheek-by-jowl. Attendance was reported as 50 when the limit was 30. So once again one rule for them and another for us

  7. So I cant meet six people I know as family and friends but I have to meet six who arent my family or friends but people I happen to work with. People that I have no idea what they get up to in their non work life. So I work hard all week with people who arent family and friends and that is safe according to the government but I cant meet a small group of friends and family. Not very fair is it ? Work comes before family

  8. My son has 4 daughters so it now means that I can’t meet son, daughter and grandchildren together? I understand and completely agree with the need to protect people, but honestly don’t think it has been well enough thought through. What about saying that a family who all live in one house can meet with a max of 3 others? That allows flexibility but still limits contact.

  9. Someone pointed out that most social activity was curtailed, unless there was a credit card involved, in which case carry on.
    This government was at least two weeks too late in imposing lockdown, and two weeks too early easing it.
    The message to keep 2 metres apart was easy to understand. “Keep Alert” means nothing.
    I notice that some supermarkets have taken away the “2 metre” signs and replaced them with ones asking us to stay a “safe” distance apart. What’s a “safe” distance?
    The signs have gone from Ramsgate High St, too.
    Is it any wonder that covid is spreading? Both national and local government and some businesses are giving the impression that it’s all over.

  10. I have not seen any social distancing signs in Margate or Cliftonville for the past month. Did TDC think it was all over when the leader was encouraging day trippers to take advantage of our beaches during this pandemic and make a mess everywhere? Did he not listen to the updates?
    There is no distancing within shops once you get through the doors, what’s the point in the supermarkets having one door in and one out when it is a frre for all once inside? That is crazy and insults the intelligence of most people.
    Well, here we go with more lockdowns apparently inevitable!

  11. I was in the checkout queue in Iceland and there was a woman really close behind me. So I asked her quite politely to give me a bit of space, and she looked at me as though I’d made a lewd suggestion. She grudgingly shuffled back a couple of steps, and I found myself apologising to her!
    On the train yesterday I would say that 30% of passengers weren’t wearing a face covering. I can’t believe they all had a medical condition.
    And actually, if wearing a face covering is so important in saving lives, then irrespective of your medical condition, either wear one or don’t travel.

  12. Since last April I have contacted over a dozen local/government agencies that supermarkets are infecting their customers by NOT disinfecting the handles of shopping trolleys AFTER every use! My reasoning goes: Someone collects a trolley, they may even disinfect their hands, but five minutes later, if they have the virus unknowingly, and cough into their hand as most people do, they then infect the handle when they replace their hand on the trolley handle! They then return the infected trolley to the rack, for the next person to use, who will get infected! SO PEOPLE, DISINFECT THE HANDLES OF SHOPPING TROLLEYS BEFORE YOU USE THEM if the supermarket is not doing this AFTER every use!

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