Social gatherings ‘rule of six’ comes into force in Scotland

The limit applies in people's homes and in public places, such as cafes, bars or restaurants.

Social gatherings ‘rule of six’ comes into force in Scotland Getty Images

Rules limiting social gatherings in Scotland, whether indoors or outdoors, to six people have now come into force.

The tightening of Covid restrictions means no more than six people can meet from a maximum of two households.

The rule applies in people’s homes and in public places, such as cafes, bars or restaurants.

However, children under 12 from either of the two households do not count towards the total of six.

The restrictions do not apply where their is other specific guidance in effect, for example in gyms, childcare settings or organised sports. Other exceptions include education and places of worship.

These measures do not overrule local restrictions, which have been introduced in Glasgow, East or West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and North or South Lanarkshire, where residents should not visit other households indoors.

The change comes as cases of coronavirus rise in Scotland, with daily figures reaching more than 200 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Sunday’s tally of 244 represented the highest daily increase since May 6, when 272 new cases were recorded.

The First Minister said last week that as the country has eased lockdown restrictions, the virus has been released.

Nicola Sturgeon said she hopes a reduction in group numbers can help keep the hospitality sector open.

She said: “In recent weeks, we have reopened significant parts of our economy. People are meeting up more, going out more, and travelling more. All of that is positive.

“But as we released ourselves from lockdown, we also released the virus. Rather than the threat to public health receding, the pandemic is accelerating again – albeit, and thankfully, from a low base and not as rapidly.

“The hospitality industry has put a lot of effort into creating safe spaces for people to meet.

“We hope that reducing the risk of transmission in hospitality settings through the use of face coverings and reducing group numbers will help keep the sector open.”