What is the new Covid Rule of Six and how does it work?

22 February 2021, 14:33 | Updated: 22 February 2021, 16:18

The Rule of Six will be returning to England
The Rule of Six will be returning to England. Picture: Getty Images/PA Images

What is the Covid rule of six and how will it work? Here's what we know about Boris Johnson's roadmap to easing lockdown.

Boris Johnson has set out new roadmap for easing lockdown in England today.

Under the proposed plans, the Prime Minister announced that schools will reopen on March 8, as well as new rules on socialising.

The current government advice is to stay at home and not socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble.

But what will the new lockdown rules mean for the Rule of Six? Here’s what we know…

Boris Johnson will set out his lockdown easing roadmap for England today
Boris Johnson will set out his lockdown easing roadmap for England today. Picture: PA Images

What is the Rule of Six?

From March 29, Boris Johnson will allow friends and families to meet outdoors.

Read More: When will gyms reopen in England?

The government has re-introduced the ‘rule of six’ which was in place for much of last year.

This will allow six people from up to six different households to meet outdoors, while maintaining social distancing at all times.

While this means people will be allowed to mix with their friends and family for the first time in months, they will not be allowed indoors.

The Rule of Six may be reintroduced in England
The Rule of Six may be reintroduced in England. Picture: Getty Images

At the end of March, organised sports will be allowed to resume and outdoor sports facilities will be allowed to reopen.

These plans are based on four tests which must all be met before the rules are loosened.

These include:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows jabs are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which puts unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • The Government’s assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern

Ahead of revealing his roadmap, Mr Johnson said: "We will be cautious about this approach so that we do not undo the progress we have achieved so far and the sacrifices each and every one of you has made to keep yourself and others safe.

“We have therefore set four key tests which must be met before we can move through each step of the plan. I’ll be setting out a roadmap to bring us out of lockdown cautiously.”

He added: “Our priority has always been getting children back into school, which we know is crucial for their education as well as their mental and physical well-being.

"And we will also be prioritising ways for people to reunite with loved ones safely.”

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