RULES on social gathering have taken a U-turn as the government announced the ‘rule of six’. Meaning people could no longer meet up in groups larger than six.

This change will be in place from September 14 and applies to both indoor and outdoor gatherings.

There are some exceptions and we’ve explained everything you need to know about rules for meeting at home.

Can two families meet at home?

Yes. You can meet people indoors as long as your group is no larger than six people.

However, if your support bubble is larger than six, you can still socialise together, just make sure you don’t invite anyone else.

We are two households of four people each - can we meet?

No. After September 14 you will not be allowed to meet with more than six people.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: This rule of six will of course throw up difficult cases, for example two whole households will no longer be able to meet if they would together exceed the limit of six people and I’m sorry about that, and I wish that we did not have to take this step." 

Video Credit: PA

What is a support bubble?

A support bubble is formed of two households that will essentially act as one. Meaning you can interact with close family or friends as if you were living together. But you can only choose one other household to join in a bubble, and you’ll have to stick with it.

Those who live alone or single parents who live with children under 18 can form a support bubble with another household. This allows them to stay overnight and travel together in the same vehicle.

Who can’t I meet indoors?

Anyone showing symptoms must self-isolate. This means you can’t meet indoors nor outdoors.

Clinically vulnerable people who are shielding can’t visit you at home for a social gathering. But you are allowed to go to their home and stay the night to support them.

Make sure you take extra precautions when caring for vulnerable people.

Are we allowed to have dinner together?

There is no rule stopping you from having dinner with those you invited over to your house.

However, you should avoid sharing food and drinks from the same containers unless you live together. Make sure that plates and other utensils are thoroughly cleaned before use.

Can you stay overnight in someone else’s home?

Yes, you can stay overnight, as long as your group is not more than six people.

If they are in your support bubble the limit of six doesn't apply, as you don’t need to maintain social distancing measures.

Maintaining hygiene, however, is important. Regularly wash your hands for more than 20 seconds and wipe surfaces.

Can I meet people indoors but not in my home?

You can still meet up to six people at Covid-secure venues. This includes pubs, restaurants and cafes as well as places of worship.

Social premises and venues, including pubs and restaurants, will be legally required to request test and trace information from customers and keep the details for 21 days, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

There are exemptions to the rule of six, and those include meeting people for work or education purposes.

Weddings and funerals are also exempt as long as they are adhering to social distancing and safety measures. These gatherings cannot include more than 30 people.

What happens if I don't follow the new rules?

Police may break the gathering and ask you disperse. The could also give you a £100 fine, which the government hopes will deter people from breaking the rules. Fines will double with every subsequent offence, going up to £3,200. In some cases, police may arrest you.