Rule of six explained for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and how restrictions are different to England

THE RULE of six came into force from Monday September 14, banning groups of more than six from meeting up inside or in public to help curb coronavirus cases.

But what are the differences in the rules across all four nations of the UK?

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What are the 'rule of six' rules?

The devolved nations have been setting their own coronavirus restrictions.

All four UK nations have broadly moved in the same direction, but they have made changes at their own pace during the pandemic.


People in Wales will only be able to meet in groups of six or under indoors and must all belong to the same extended household group.

Up to four households are able to join together to form an extended household.

But, unlike in England, children under 12 will be exempt and will not count towards that total.

Also unlike England, people will also still be able to meet up in groups of up to 30 outdoors, as long as social distancing is maintained.

The changes will not apply in Caerphilly county borough due to its rise in Covid-19 cases.


A maximum of six people from two households will be allowed to meet together in Scotland.

Just like in England, the new limit applies when people meet in restaurants, pubs and beer gardens, as well as in homes.

However, children under the age of 12, who are part of the two households meeting will not count towards the limit of six people, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

There will be “some limited exceptions”, covering organised sports and places of worship.

Up to 20 people will be able to attend weddings, civil partnerships and funerals, as well as receptions and wakes, which is more stringent than both England and Wales.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, the number of people who can gather indoors in a private home was already reduced from 10 people from four households to six people from two households in August.

Currently, up to 15 people can meet outdoors in Northern Ireland.

How are the rules different to England?

In England children of any age are included in the six people group limit but they are not in Wales and Scotland.

Restrictions in England affect everyone, but do not include children under 11 in Wales or under 12 in Scotland.

In Wales, up to 30 people from different homes can still meet outside.

In Scotland, the rule applies to a maximum of two households and in Wales it applies to the same extended household.

Northern Ireland announced a six person, two household limit on indoor gatherings on 24 August, a reduction on a previous restriction of 10 people from four households.

Northern Ireland has not announced any new changes since last month.

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