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Coronavirus – meeting with people

This advice applies to England

It’s against the law to meet in a group of more than 6 people unless you're all from the same household – this includes children. In some situations you can meet in larger groups.

The police could tell you to go home or fine you £200 if you meet in a group of more than 6 people. They can fine you up to £6,400 if you keep meeting in big groups, and up to £10,000 if you'd organised a meeting. If you have children under 18, you’re responsible for making sure they follow the rules.

The government guidance also says you should:

  • meet people outdoors if possible
  • keep at least 2 metres away from people who aren't members of your household - or at least 1 metre if that's not possible

If you’re in an area with a local lockdown 

You’ll need to follow stricter rules if there’s an increase in people testing positive for coronavirus in your local area. This is called a local lockdown. You can check if there’s a local lockdown in your area on GOV.UK.

Check if you can meet in a larger group

You can meet up with the people in your household even if there are more than 6 of you.

You might be able to join with 1 other household and treat them like part of your household – this is called being in a ‘support bubble’.

In some cases, you can meet with other households in a group of more than 6 people - for example if the meeting is:

  • for work, volunteering or training
  • for education or childcare
  • for a wedding or civil partnership, including a reception – you can meet in a group of up to 15 people
  • for a funeral – you can meet in a group of up to 30 people
  • for organised sport or an exercise class – it must be outdoors unless it’s for people with disabilities
  • to avoid harm or help someone in an emergency
  • organised by a business, charity or political or public body
  • to do something the law says you have to – for example jury duty

You can read the government’s latest guidance on what you can and can’t do on GOV.UK.

Going to public places like pubs, shops and restaurants

You can still go to places like pubs, shops, restaurants and places of worship. You can’t:

  • go in a group of more than 6 people, unless you’re all from the same household

  • mix with people outside your group

  • join another group

Making a support bubble

You might be able to join with 1 other household and treat them like part of your household – this is called being in a ‘support bubble’.

You can only be in 1 support bubble and you can’t change the household you’re in a bubble with.

You can only make a support bubble if either:

  • you live with no other adults
  • there’s only 1 adult in the other household

If you live with children under 18, they’re also part of your support bubble.

If you’re separated from your children’s other parent and your children see both of you, they can be part of 2 different support bubbles.

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