Social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England “for the foreseeable future” starting Monday as the government seeks to limit the increase in Corona Virus cases.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson A press conference on Wednesday will be used to announce the law change After the number of daily positive Covid-19 cases in the UK has risen to nearly 3,000.
The legal limit for social gatherings will be reduced from 30 to six.
It will be applied to indoor and outdoor gatherings – including private homes, as well as parks, bars and restaurants.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he hopes the ban will be lifted by Christmas.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “It’s definitely the future. I really hope we run this tour before Christmas.”
“I think Christmas is a long way off in the event of a pandemic.”
He also insisted that the public should follow the new rules on social distancing despite the government’s willingness to break international law on the EU Withdrawal Agreement.
He told LBC: “It is clear that we are determined to implement Brexit at the end of the transitional arrangements with the European Union. There has been good work going on, and I very much hope and expect that we will get an agreement.”
“We are putting the Northern Ireland peace process first and I think everyone will understand why we decided to do so.”
Gatherings of more than six people will be permitted where the family or support bubble is greater than six, or when the gathering is for work or education purposes.
The exemptions will also apply to weddings, funerals and team sports organized in a way that is safe from COVID-19.
While the restrictions are not as severe as they were from March to June, Mr. Hancock refused to rule out the second lockdown, despite the PM’s assurances.
Speaking to LBC, he said, “I wouldn’t make a vow like that.
“Don’t expect me to – I’m the health minister in the middle of a pandemic as we’re trying to keep the country safe.”
But he added that he “hoped” that the closure could be avoided, saying, “The number of cases is largely driven by social contact.”
Robert Beston, ITV News political editor, explains what he’s learned from the latest coronavirus measures from the government
Mr. Johnson is expected to tell the press conference: “We need to act now to stop the spread of the virus. So we are simplifying and strengthening the rules for social communication – making them easier to understand and for police to implement.”
“It’s crucial that people now adhere to these rules and remember the basics – washing your hands, covering your face, keeping your distance from others, and getting tested if you have symptoms.”
His press conference comes just a day after the Deputy Chief Medical Officer in England warned that the rise in coronavirus cases was a “major concern”.
Professor Jonathan Van Tam said the latest increase was a “big change” and after expectations appeared to be “relaxing during the summer”.
He added that if the UK did not control its case numbers, the country could experience a “bumpy ride over the next few months”.
Mr. Van Tam said: “This is a big change, and it is now going on for two days and is a major concern at this point.
“I think you know we were able to relax a little during the summer, levels of disease were very low in the UK during the summer, but these latest numbers really show us that as much as people may want to say, ‘Oh it’s gone away, that hasn’t gone away'” , He said.
Mr Van Tam’s warning mirrors a member of the Emergencies Scientific Advisory Group (SAGE) on Tuesday Robert Beston, ITV News’ political editor, said the number of cases “is growing exponentially.”“.
Professor John Edmunds warned that the R number in England was already above 1 and this could be exacerbated by the reopening of schools and universities across the country.
He said the UK was facing a serious challenge to control the virus during the fall.
Professor Edmunds added: “The epidemic continues to increase and after that we have Christmas. And this is very difficult. What is Christmas?”
“Well, it’s a very close meeting with your family. Restaurants, bars and things like that. It’s all high stakes. It’s all inside. Inside that makes a difference.”
“We were lucky with the weather – and it has turned,” he continued.
Downing Street said chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and the government had agreed on the need to take urgent action after the rise in coronavirus cases.
About 2,420 confirmed cases of coronavirus had been recorded in Britain as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, after 2,988 cases were reported in the UK on Sunday, the largest daily number since May.
The government hopes that changing the law will facilitate the identification and dispersal of illegal gatherings of the police. Failure to comply could result in a fine of £ 100, which for each repeat offense would be doubled up to £ 3,200.
Number 10 said Mr Johnson held a virtual roundtable with the police force last week where officers expressed a desire to simplify the rules for social communication.
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