Last reviewed 16 September 2020

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reminded employers that the Government’s new rule of six does not apply to the workplace.

As of Monday 14 September, people may not meet socially in a group of more than six people, indoors or outdoors, when meeting friends and family they do not live with (or are in a support bubble with).

Police will have the powers to enforce these new legal limits, with fines of £100 to £3200.

There are however exceptions where groups can be larger than six people. These include:

  • the workplace, or the provision of voluntary or charitable services

  • registered childcare, education or training

  • supervised activities provided for children, eg children’s playgroups

  • providing support to a vulnerable person

  • providing emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm

  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents

  • fulfilling a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service

  • elite sporting competition and training

  • wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions (up to 30 people, in a public place)

  • funerals (up to 30 people) (not including wakes, other than for religious ceremonial purposes)

  • other religious and belief-based life cycle ceremonies (up to 30 people, in a public place)

  • organised sport or exercises classes or licensed outdoor physical activity (but not informal sport or fitness activity with family or friends — these must be limited to a group of six)

  • support groups (formally organised groups to provide therapy for example)

  • protests — if organised in compliance with Covid-19 secure guidance.

Where a group includes someone covered by an exception above, for example, someone who is working, they are not counted as part of the gatherings limit. This means, for example, a tradesperson can go into a household of six without breaching the limit, if they are there for work.