UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference last week and announced a ban on meetings of groups of more than six people in England, calling it the "rule of six." This rule will apply both indoors and outdoors starting September 14.

Rule of six

The new law replaces existing guidance on no more than two households meeting indoors, which means that the six individuals can be from up to six households.

Households and support bubbles of more than six people are exempted, as reported by The Guardian.

In England, the "rule of six" will not be changed to exempt children under 12, according to Michael Gove. Similar rules in Wales and Scotland do not include children under 11 years of age and 12 years of age, respectively. But Gove said that England's rules were absolutely right.

So what happens if someone breaks the rules? Prime Minister Johnson warned that there would be on-the-spot fines of £100, which will double on repeat offences up to £3,200, for those breaking the rules, which he said were to avoid a second national lockdown.

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Over the weekend, the UK police dispersed a number of illegal gatherings as revellers make the most of the final weekend before the restrictions came into force this week.

According to the police in Greater Manchester, they closed down illegal gatherings at properties in Altrincham and Flixton on September 12, as well as a large gathering of about 70 people in Mottram. Fixed penalty notices were also issued at each of the incidents.

Police officers also attended a gathering at an address in Stockport, which had 45 people present. Meanwhile, another gathering in Manchester had more than 30 people present.

Police in Nottinghamshire issued a teenager with a £10,000 fine for hosting a massive house party in Lenton that was attended by more than 50 people. The force said that if the 19-year-old offender failed to pay the fine, he would need to appear before a court.

A professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, Peter Openshaw, said that the rules were being introduced in England to avoid another hard lockdown, but he agreed that some of the details were irrational.

Openshaw told Sophy Ridge of Sky that he thinks people have been complaining and are confused about the fact that they can go out in groups and attend get together but can't have other family members visit them if they are a family of five in a household.

The professor added that the rule would inevitably create difficulties that are hard to explain, and but it is, in fact, very simple.

Does the "rule of six" apply to indoor gatherings in Wales?

The rule of six applies to indoor gatherings in Wales, but the rule excludes children under 11 years of age, and all must belong to the same extended household group, according to BBC.

As for outdoor meetings, there are no changes in Wales. People can still gather as long as they are not more than 30 in attendance, and they observe proper social distancing.

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