On 9 September, the government announced new measures to suppress the virus and keep the number of infections down. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-what-has-changed-9-september. This notes the following:
From Monday 14 September, you must not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than 6. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes. This change will simplify and clarify the rules on social gatherings, so they are easier to understand and easier for the police to enforce. There will be a limited number of exemptions. COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total but groups of up to 6 must not mix or form larger groups. This rule will not apply to individual households or support bubbles of more than 6 who will still be able to gather together. Education and work settings are unaffected, and organised team sports will still be able to proceed, as will weddings and funerals up to 30. From Monday, this limit will be enforceable in law. See refreshed guidance on social contact, including the exceptions to the 6 person limit
Details of the Prime Minister’s statement on 9 September can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-press-conference-statement-9-september-2020?utm_source=3ff25695-09ac-4588-b2ed-4fd1867ab4ad&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
The Cabinet Office has published the following coronavirus outbreak FAQ’s, last updated on 14 September: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do-after-4-july. This notes the following:
When can I gather in groups of more than 6?
If you live in a household with more than 6 people, you can continue to gather in and attend all settings together. This same applies for your support bubbles. All venues should continue to accomodate groups larger than 6 who live together or are in the same support bubble to gather in and use their services and venues.
There are exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people, including:
- for work, or the provision of voluntary or charitable services
- registered childcare, education or training
- supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care, youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups
- providing support to a vulnerable person
- providing emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm
- for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents
- fulfilling a legal obligation such as attending court or jury service
- weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions – up to 30 people, in a public place
- funerals – up to 30 people. This does not include wakes, other than for religious ceremonial purposes.
- other religious and belief-based life cycle ceremonies – up to 30 people, in a public place. This only covers the ceremonies, and does not include celebrations of these events.
- organised sport or exercises classes or licensed outdoor physical activity. This does not include informal sport or fitness activity with family or friends – this must be limited to a group of 6.
- elite sporting competition and training
- support groups – formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, recovering addicts, new parents, people with long-term illnesses, those facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.
- protests – if organised in compliance with COVID-19 Secure guidance
Rules in other venues and activities
As well as the exemptions above, venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines will be able to continue to host more people in total - such as religious services in places of worship - but no one should mix in a group of greater than 6. This includes places like a pub, shop, leisure venue, restaurant or place of worship. When you visit one of these places you should:
- follow the limits on the number of other people you should meet with as a group - no more than six people unless you all live together (or are in the same support bubble)
- avoid social interaction with anyone outside the group you are with, even if you see other people you know
- provide your contact details to the organiser so that you can be contacted if needed by the NHS Test and Trace programme