This week has seen the new ‘rule of six’ for social gatherings introduced, which simplifies and strengthen the rules, helping to keep people safe and control the virus. Sadly, despite the sacrifices most of us have made over the last few months, the latest figures have shown an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, following what has been happening on the continent. While starting from a very low base, the numbers have been growing everywhere, with evidence showing that most infections have been happening in the home due to different households mixing.
With reasonable exemptions, the number of people legally allowed to meet socially has been reduced from thirty to six. This new lower limit makes it easier for everyone to understand and for the police to identify and disperse illegal gatherings. To keep vulnerable people safe and to stop further restrictions that are bad for our economy and people’s jobs, it is vital that we all abide by these rules and remember the basics - washing ours hands, covering our face, respecting personal space of others, and getting tested if symptoms develop.
While I know that having restrictions placed on our lives is never welcome, I do welcome the fact that the rules are simplifying and easier to understand. These new rules apply in both indoor and outdoor settings, replacing both the existing ban on gatherings of more than 30 and the current guidance on allowing two households to meet indoors.
It is helpful to know the limited exemptions to the rule of six. These are if a single household or support bubble is larger than six, they can still gather. Likewise, Covid-secure venues like places of worship, gyms, restaurants and hospitality venues can still hold more than six people in total – however, within the venues there must not be individual groups larger than six. Education settings and workplaces are unaffected.
It remains important to get information relating to Covid-19 from reputable sources. Misinformation and conspiracy theories on social media may have contributed to some people relaxing their guard too much, contributing to the rise in cases.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
16th September 2020