Matt Hancock hopes six-person Covid rule can be lifted ‘before Christmas’

Health secretary says limit on social gatherings in England is ‘there for foreseeable future’

New rules designed to curb a resurgence of coronavirus by making it illegal for groups of more than six to meet in England will be in place for the “foreseeable future”, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, has said, although he hopes the situation can be turned around before Christmas.

In a strengthening of measures intended to help police enforcement, from Monday gatherings of more than half a dozen people indoors or outside will be banned, with a few exemptions including in schools, workplaces and for life events such weddings or funerals.

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