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Government Advice

FROM 14th SEPTEMBER IN ENGLAND (for a comparison with Welsh guidelines see the end of this page)

The Rule of six - when meeting with people you don't live with (or are in a support bubble with), you can socialise in groups of up to 6 only (including children) and every member of a household (or bubble) counts towards this total. This rule applies to both indoor and outdoor settings. This limit is now law and breaches of it can result in a fine of up to £3,200. There are some exemptions to this, one being that the limit does not apply if your household or support bubble is greater than 6. 


  • Face covering - you must wear a face covering in any indoor public places, including:
    • in all shops, including supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks, building societies and Post Offices and takeaways. 
    • on public transport 
    • in indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
    • if visiting a hospital for any reason (whether visiting or as a patient)
  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus (persistent cough, fever or sudden loss of taste or sense of smell) you must immediately self-isolate for 10 days and ask for a test - either online or by calling 119. See the Test and Trace page for full details.
  • You should continue to follow social distancing rules, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands with soap and water regularly.
  • You should avoid using public transport if you can. Cycle, walk or drive wherever possible.
  • You should avoid sharing a private vehicle with anyone outside of your household or bubble.
  • For further guidance see the government website.

​​In England you may:

  • Form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household if you live alone or are a single parent with dependent children. Bubbles now count as a household for the purposes of other rules. However bubbles are exclusive - you cannot be in more then one bubble and you may not change who you're in a bubble with.

  • meet in groups of up to six people from different households providing you observe social distancing.

  • stay overnight away from your home with your own household, or with members of one other household

  • visit any type of shop or business that's open providing you observe social distancing rules.

  • Travel to beaches, beauty spots etc; go swimming in lakes or the sea (but not swimming pools).

Whatever you are doing you should try to stay at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not a member of your household.

Those who are clinically vulnerable (the over 70's and those with certain medical conditions) - are advised to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.

Those who are Extremely Vulnerable and have been "Shielding" This group may also, if they wish, form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance. A support bubble counts as one household.

All of this information, plus advice on many other aspects of the current situation, can be found on the government website

Key differences between England and Wales

Rule England Wales

Face Covering

Legally required on public transport, at transport hubs and in all shops & hospitals. Also advised anywhere indoors if less than 2m apart

Legally required on public transport and in shops and all indoor public places

How many people can I be with outdoors?

6 from up to 6 different households. 

Up to 30

At what distance?

1m 'plus' (the 'plus' meaning that you do something else, like wearing a mask, to limit exposure

2m apart for those aged 11+ only


6 from up to 6 different households. 

Up to 6 people aged 12+ from an 'extended household' (similar to a support bubble in England)


No limit

No limit

For full details of the guidance in Wales go to their website.