Rule of 6 exemptions: From schools, and workplaces to weddings and funerals, what's exempt from the new rules
SCHOOLS, workplaces, weddings and funerals will all be exempt from the new laws today that ban people from meeting in groups of more than six.
Boris Johnson confirmed that the rules mean people could be slapped with a £100 fine if they're seen in a large group in order to battle the rising number of Covid-19 infections.
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The rules will apply both inside and outside, and across the whole of England.
Boris said he hoped we "could" get things back to normal by Christmas with the government's plans to roll out mass testing in the coming weeks and months.
But government scientists fear the rules are likely to remain for at least three months – and could be in place for six.
What is exempt from the new lockdown rules?
There will be some exceptions to the rules, meaning that many activities involving bigger numbers will still be able to take place.
This will include:
Schools and other venues for education purposes will still be able to operate and accomodate groups of more than six.
If the gatherings are for work-related purposes this will be ok.
Matt Hancock said that the reason work and education were exempt was because "we need to get through this coronavirus with the minimal impact".
He added: "But it does mean that when it comes to socialising, we are unfortunately having to put in place these rules because our contact tracing system – which is now excellent – shows that the majority of the transmission of this disease is in social circumstances."
Weddings can go ahead with a limit of up to 30 people in a location that follows Covid-19 guidelines – meaning it cannot be hosted in a home or garden.
Couples do not need to wear masks on their special day but if you are planning on exchanging rings, then you will need to wash your hands first.
Weddings should be kept "as short as reasonably possible" and limited to just what is legally binding.
Guests must keep socially distant where possible during the ceremony and after-party in a Covid-secure venue.
The government's current guidance on funerals in England is that up to 30 people are allowed to gather for services outdoors.
During the gathering, you must remain socially distant from anyone that is not a part of your household or support bubble.
Funerals being held can also have 30 close family and friends attending as long as the premises allows for distancing measures.
Gathering as a household where you are more than six is allowed.
For example where seven people live under the same roof.
Meeting up as a support bubble will be accepted if the bubble exceeds six.
For example if you are a single person and have bubbled up with a family of six people.
Organised team sports games will still be permitted.
Other religious services will be exempt, but they must be Covid-safe.
Registered childcare services will also be OK.
If you need to move home then the exemptions will also apply.
The Archbishop of Canterbury said he expects the rules on places of worship to remain the same and thus would not be affected.
He tweeted: "After contact with Government we hear that there is no change to guidance on places of worship.
"Worship is the work of God – not a social gathering – and gives the strength to love and serve."
A full list of the exemptions and where they apply is published on gov.uk.
Mr Hancock gave hope that the UK could "turn it around" before Christmas – but he could make no promises.
He said the new laws would be in place "for the foreseeable future".
And the police would pursue people breaking them too, after reports of people openly flouting rules by attending parties and illegal raves.
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