The government’s new ‘rule of six’ restrictions is now in force, prohibiting the gathering of seven or more people, indoors or outdoors and includes in pubs, bars and restaurants across England and Scotland.
However, in Wales the ‘rule of six’ will only apply in indoor environments.
The new rules come after the UK’s reproduction, or “R”, number increased to between one and 1.2 for the first time since March.
There were a further 2,621 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK yesterday, a fall after three consecutive days with more than 3,000 positive tests.
Hospitality venues will still be able to accommodate more than six people, but people cannot gather in groups of more than six and separate groups must not mix socially.
The public have been warned that should the rule of six fail pubs could be subject to a 9pm curfew. According to a daily newspaper ministers are to hold a l meeting today (Tuesday, September 15) to review the growth in COVID-19 cases and what to do about it.
One insider told the newspaper that curfew is “hurtling up the agenda”, however, industry observers are warning that the government will have to step up with a “massive level of support” should it impose a curfew.
Greg Mulholland, of the British Pubs Confederation, said: “If this happens, the industry will need a massive level of support, through grants and extended furlough. Pubs have been diligently following the rules, making sure people sanitise and social distance. That will be the same at 6pm, 9pm or 11pm.
“These proposals risk destroying the Great British pub.”
Police have been given powers to issue fines to individuals breaching the rules, starting at £100 and doubling with each violation to a value of £3,200.