THE TWO household mixing loophole means that the Rule of Six is IMPOSSIBLE to police, cops have warned.
Loopholes in the Government's Covid rules mean that more than six people can meet up outdoors from March 29 – which has caused a nightmare for enforcement.
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The Rule of Six returned on Monday as part of the easing of lockdown – letting Brits meet up with six mates outside while outdoor sports are back on.
Under the rules, people can also meet as two households in public spaces or gardens as the Government tries to make it easier for friends and family to get together over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
But with the new Rule of Six, cops have said it's no longer as simple as counting six people and fining larger groups.
This is because the rule also states that a group of "any size from up to two households" which includes "an existing support bubble, if eligible," can meet.
And there is also a loophole regarding to two households mixing, called the "linked childcare household."
This means two households can meet if one has a child aged 13 or under which the second household looks after.
The policing source told the Telegraph: "We made it very, very clear to Government that they have made it almost impossible to enforce the 'Rule of Six'.
"It used to be relatively simple.
"As long as you can count to six, you can enforce it as seven is beyond the rule.
"Now you could have 26 people in a group, 13 from each household. That makes it very, very difficult.
"How do you prove that they don't live in the same house?"
It comes as…
- Pfizer's jab is '100 per cent effective at preventing illness in 12-15 year-olds'
- School days could be made longer to help kids catch up on lost lockdown learning, a top minister said today
- Brits have been warned not to "blow it now" after thousands packed beaches and parks, sparking fears of a lockdown extension
- The UK economy bounced back more strongly than first thought in the last six months of 2020, but was still down 9.8% overall for the year
- Angela Merkel is adamant she'll have the AstraZeneca Covid jab – as Germany bans it for under-60s over blood clot fears
- Hope for summer holidays as UK vaccine success 'should open travel'
The source said police were taking a more "permissive" approach than in lockdown as more people were vaccinated and infection levels flatlined or fell.
This comes after Brits were warned not to "blow it now" after thousands packed beaches and parks, sparking fears of a lockdown extension.
Experts have warned of a spike in infections after cooped-up sunseekers flocked outdoors to mark the hottest March day in more than half a century yesterday.
Heath Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: “Let’s enjoy the sun but let’s do it safely. We’ve come so far – don’t blow it now.”
GMB's Dr Hilary Jones said "worrying" scenes of packed-out parks and beaches "speak for themselves".
He added: "You can have a group of six but you can't have socially distance from another group of six if they are sitting right next to you.
"That's not a group of six, it's a group of 12, and so it goes on, When I look at those pictures I do worry about the numbers of infections that we are going to see going forwards."
He added: "When you're getting mass gatherings like that you're going to get transmission of the virus."
What is the Rule of Six?
The Rule of Six returned to England on March 29.
You can meet up outdoors with friends and family you do not live with, either:
- in a group of up to 6 from any number of households (children of all ages count towards the limit of 6)
- in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible)
- If you are eligible to form a support bubble, you and your support bubble count as one household towards the limit of 2 households when meeting others outdoors.
- This means, for example, that you and your support bubble can meet with another household, even if the group is more than 6 people.
- You and your two households or Rule of Six can meet in places including: parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests, public and botanical gardens, the grounds of a heritage site, outdoor sculpture parks, allotments, public playgrounds, outdoor sports venues and facilities
Tourism chiefs urged Brits not to flout the easing of restrictions by taking day trips, with the rules set to relax again and permit overnight stays in self-catered accommodation on April 12.
Sally Everton, director of Visit Devon, said: “Coming up on the A30 all I saw was cars with surfboards on the roof. Either they’re going to get their surfboards waxed or serviced, or they’re looking for some waves.
“I’m quite disappointed because people will flout the law. What we need is an enforcement notice from the Government to say that while people can move around, they should stay local and to still minimise travel."
Crowds of revellers appeared to throw caution to the wind during yesterday's 24C scorcher, despite cops banning booze in parks in Nottingham due to rowdy drunken brawls on Monday.
In Brighton, celebrations kicked on well into the night with beachgoers erupting into an impromptu party with flame throwers as huge crowds gathered to watch.
While in Leeds, police descended on a park rammed with sun seekers following reports of a stabbing – but West Yorkshire Police found no-one injured after searching with officers and a helicopter.
Boris Johnson on Monday urged people to remain cautious as the relaxation of lockdown measures in England coincides with the ongoing “exceptionally warm” spell of weather.
The PM has lifted the stay-at-home guidance to allow groups of up to six, or two households, to meet outside in England.
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