Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced a tightening of social distancing rules by banning social gatherings of more than six people in England in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.

The new rules will be implemented in England from Monday as the legal limit on social meet-ups is cut back down from 30 to single digits in response to a recent spike in COVID-19 infections across the country.

The new measures, revealed after the number of daily cases in Britain rose to almost 3,000 on Wednesday, will apply to gatherings indoors and outdoors, including private homes, as well as parks, pubs and restaurants.

The prime minister told a press conference that the virus has “evolved over many months”, but it “still remains true we want people to be able and confident to go back to work in a COVID secure way and pupils back in school is a priority”.

The “whole objective is to allow that to continue” and today’s restrictions “clarify, simplify and intensify the message so everyone understands the rule of six… preventing another wholesale lockdown,” he said.

Johnson announced the new restrictions at a time when countries, such Britain, China, Russia and the United States, are engaged in a race against time to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

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