New lockdown rules

Gatherings of more than six to be banned in England

pubs and bars

Gatherings will be restricted in England

Social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England from Monday – with some exemptions – as Downing Street becomes increasingly nervous about a rise in coronavirus cases.

There was no word from the Scottish Government on whether it would follow, although the announcement was made late on Monday evening.

However, Nicola Sturgeon indicated that she may ‘put the brakes’ on the easing of lockdown.

Downing Street said the new legal limit will ban larger groups across England meeting anywhere socially indoors or outdoors.

The change applies to England only, to people of all ages, and to gatherings indoors and outdoors, in private homes, public outdoor spaces, and venues such as pubs and restaurants.

It will not apply to schools, workplaces or Covid-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sports.

It will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply, doubling up to a maximum of £3,200.

A full list of exemptions will be published by the government on Wednesday.

Critics said that although there had been talk around Westminster that a tightening was to be announced, there was a feeling that it was timed in an attempt to sweep the dispute over the Brexit ‘law breaking’ statement off the front pages.

Sicily and Sardinia could be added to Britain’s quarantine list as early as Wednesday. Mainland Italy is likely to stay off the list because coronavirus cases are not causing sufficient concern.

Amid growing tensions between the government and the travel industry the UK government’s aviation minister Kelly Tolhurst has been moved to the local government department

Test football matches

Two pilot Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) matches are to take place in front of 300 home supporters following extensive discussions involving ministers and the football authorities.

The games – Aberdeen v Kilmarnock and Ross County v Celtic – on Saturday 12 September, have been approved after each of the home teams submitted detailed operational plans for the safe admission of fans.

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