Return to 'rule of six' for England being considered amid Omicron spread

By Helen Johnson
Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 4:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 4:30 pm
A return to the “rule of six” for England is one of the options reportedly being considered by government officials amid the spread of the Omicron Covid variant (Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images)
A return to the “rule of six” for England is one of the options reportedly being considered by government officials amid the spread of the Omicron Covid variant (Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images)

A return to the “rule of six” in England is one of the options reportedly being considered by government officials amid the spread of the Omicron Covid variant.

According to the Telegraph, key figures in industry associations that could be impacted by the implementation of the rule of six have been sounded out by government figures.

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It’s reported that modelling looked at recently by government scientists analysed a return to "step two" measures from earlier this year, which included the rule of six.

The rule of six was in place in spring and limited social gatherings to six people or two households, with the latter allowing two families totalling more than six people to meet up.

However, the discussions are taking place at government official level and have not yet been formally presented to ministers, which means the rule may not be adopted as policy again, according to The Telegraph.

Sajid Javid announced on Monday (27 December) that no new restrictions in England would come into effect before the New Year, but no decision has yet been made for the weeks afterwards.

What are the rules across the UK?

In Scotland, only three households can meet at indoor and outdoor venues like bars, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and gyms. A social distance from others of one metre is also required to be kept.

Large events have been limited to 100 people standing indoors, 200 people sitting indoors and 500 people outdoors, with the one-metre rule in place.

In Wales, a maximum of six people are allowed to meet in pubs, cinemas and restaurants.A total of 30 people are allowed at indoor events and 50 at outdoor events.

Two-metre social distancing is also required in public premises and offices, and nightclubs have temporarily closed.

In Northern Ireland, socialising is capped at three households, while six people can meet in pubs, bars and restaurants - or 10 if they are from the same household.

Only table service is allowed in hospitality venues and a two-metre social-distancing rule is in place in public premises and offices.