The law is changing in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to make gatherings of more than six people illegal under most circumstances.
The limit means members of the public will be allowed to meet with just five other friends in most parts of the UK – with the measures intended to help bring down the recent sharp rise in Covid-19 positive cases.
Those who ignore the new rules will be slapped with a £100 fine – and that will increase for repeat offenders.
Groups of a maximum of six will not be permitted between friends or family anywhere – either indoors or outdoors.
However, the limited number of people in one gathering will not be applied to schools, workplaces, universities, gyms or places of worship – but Covid-secure measures should be in place at all locations.
There are variations to the rules in each of the four nations of the UK – so here is a run down of what you can do, and what you can't.
What are the rules in England?
From Monday 14 September social gatherings in excess of six people will be illegal.
This applies to both meeting inside and outside – and extends to arranging to meet in venues like pubs and restaurants.
The limit also applies to all age groups – including babies and children.
Those who ignore the new law will face £100 fines, doubling on each repeat offence up to £3,200.
The six people can be from any number of households – but those from different households should continue to socially distance from each other.
And if those are in a support bubble or household that is larger than six people, they will still be allowed to meet and/or live together.
The gathering limit of six does not extend to work, education, places of worship, or gym classes.
While a maximum of 30 will be able to attend "wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions, or for other religious life-cycle ceremonies" – where social distancing must be enforced, face coverings are required, and dancing is banned.
What are the rules in Wales?
From Monday 14 September social gatherings are limited to a maximum of six people.
Indoor gatherings are already illegal in Wales – unless those meet are from "extended households" which can be up to four households who have agreed to meet exclusively as a bubble.
The new rule of six will also apply to meeting friends and family in venues such as pubs and restaurants.
However, children under the age 11 will not be included in the headcount.
While meeting friends and family outdoors can be of up to 30 people in Wales.
From Monday, face coverings will also finally become mandatory indoors in public spaces – bringing Wales in line with much of the rest of the UK.
What are the rules in Scotland?
From Monday 14 September social gatherings will be limited to six people.
This rule applies to meeting both inside and outside – however the head count will not include children under the age of 12.
Gatherings of six can only be from a maximum of two different households.
The limit will not be applied in places of worship, schools, universities, workplaces or gyms.
While weddings and funerals will be allowed to go ahead but with a maximum of 20 people.
What are the rules in Northern Ireland?
While the rules are not explicitly changing in Northern Ireland, local laws will continue.
People from two or more households are not allowed to meet in private settings.
There are exceptions – for when it comes to providing childcare, and for those where one household has formed a social bubble with another.
A limit of six people from two households can meet in private gardens – while the number of people who can meet indoors in a private home was already reduced from 10 people from four households to six people from two households last month.
A maximum of 15 people can meet outdoors.
The rules according to pub meetings;
You can meet friends and family in a pub, restaurant or bar – but again only for a maximum of six.
This can be from any number of households, however.
Multiple meetings are also permitted in England – for example, you could meet four friends from four different households on Monday, and then meet four other friends from four other households on Tuesday.
Social distancing from those outside your own household is expected.
The rules according to work, education and childcare;
The rule of six is not extended to “work, and voluntary or charitable services".
And there is an exemption for "education, training, or registered childcare (including wraparound care)".
The rules are not applied to these areas as workplaces, schools, universities etc are expected to have Covid-secure measures in place.
The exemption is also applied to children’s playgroups – again as long as Covid-secure measures are in place.
The same applies to "youth groups or activities”.
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