Boris Johnson confirms tough new restrictions to avoid second lockdown in England
9 September 2020, 16:45 | Updated: 9 September 2020, 16:55
Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a press conference from Downing Street this afternoon as he confirmed new lockdown rules for England.
After a rise in coronavirus infection rates across England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty held a press conference to update the country.
Boris Johnson confirmed that from Monday, people will not be able to meet in groups of more than six.
This figure has come down from 30 following a spike in infection rates across England.
In the press conference, Chris Whitty explained that the number of cases of COVID-19 have been "going up rapidly over the last few days".
He added that this is not just happening in a small number of areas in England, but across the entire country.
The Government want to act now in order to bring rates down and get the virus "back under control".
He added that if we do not act now, we could see the figures rising over the following weeks and months.
Boris Johnson reminded people of the main precautions and rules around coronavirus; wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds, wear a face covering, isolate if you have symptoms, get tested and socially distance.
The Prime Minister also confirmed the new rules of group gatherings, explaining this applies to indoor and outdoor gatherings, private homes, parks, pubs and restaurants.
He warned that people breaking the new lockdown rule could face a fine of £100.
Boris went on to say that education and work settings have been unaffected by the new regulations, with the Prime Minister adding that schools will only shut again as a "last resort".
Weddings, funerals and organised team sports that are COVID-secure are also unaffected by the changes.
Speaking at Downing Street, Boris said: "I must do what is necessary to stop the spread of the virus and save lives."
The new rules on group gatherings will be kept under review, but the Prime Minster said they will be in place "as long as necessary".
He added that at the moment it is too early to say how long they will be in place for, meaning Christmas could be affected for millions of people in England hoping to spend the day with their families and friends.