England is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to announce new restrictions on social gatherings.
Among the new rules, PM Johnson said that groups of more than six people would be banned from meeting, in what he called a “rule of six”. The limit before this on the number of people who could socialise together was 30.
“I wish that we did not have to take this step, but as your prime minister, I must do what is necessary to stop the spread of the virus and to save lives,” he said in a televised appearance. “I will be absolutely clear. This is not, these measures are not, another national lockdown. The whole point is to avoid a second national lockdown.”
The new rules however will not apply to workplaces or schools, and exceptions will also be made for weddings, funerals and some organised team sports.
According to England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, the COVID-19 cases in the country are following a similar pattern as France which also saw an increase in number a few weeks ago.
England is conducting widespread testing and the number of people in hospital continues to decline. However, experts fear that the situation may go out of control especially as young people socialise in large groups.