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Coronavirus restrictions: What are the new rules for seeing friends and family?

From Monday, it will be illegal for people in England to meet socially in groups of more than six people, with a few exemptions.

For example, the new law will not apply to those meeting in schools and workplaces.

The legislation has been brought into place to combat the rising number of coronavirus cases in the last week.

Boris Johnson is expected to offer further details about the new rules in a Downing Street conference on Wednesday.

Here’s everything we know so far about the new rules for social gatherings.

What are the new rules for meeting up with friends and family?

As of Monday 14 September, the number of people permitted to meet socially will be reduced from 30 to six in England.

This new rule applies to both indoor and outdoor gatherings and to people of all ages.

It means that people will no longer be able to socialise in homes, parks, pubs, and restaurants in groups of more than six.

Currently, it is permitted for up to 30 people from two households to meet socially, or six from various households.

In Wales, you can still meet in a group of up to 30 people outdoors with no limit to the number of households. Additionally, up to four households can form an “extended household” for indoor socialising.

In Scotland, you can meet up to eight people from three other households indoors, so long as you maintain social distancing.

And in Northern Ireland, it’s permitted for six people from two households to meet indoors and up to 15 to meet outdoors with no limit on households.

What are the exemptions?

There are several forms of meetings that will be unaffected by the new rules in England, such as weddings and funerals.

Schools and workplaces will also be unaffected, as will organised team sports.

A full list of exemptions will be published by the government ahead of Monday.

How will the new rules be enforced?

Anyone caught socialising in groups larger than six in England will be fined.

For the first offence, the fine will be £100 and this will double for every additional offence up to the value of £3,200.

Will pubs and restaurants be affected?

Yes, people will not be able to meet in groups larger than six in pubs and restaurants in England.

Anyone who is caught breaking the rules will be fined.

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White Rock supporters who bought ‘planks’ thanked by Friends of Pier

The repaired White Rock pier in December 2019.

Geoffrey Yue / PNG

Close to a year after a windstorm sent boats smashing into the White Rock Pier, causing it to collapse in the centre, supporters gathered to receive certificates of appreciation for their donations to help rebuild the span through a fundraiser organized by Friends of the Pier.

Committee member Morley Myren and Jim Purcell, past-president of the Semiahmoo Rotary club, braved a blustery day to personally thank donors who gave $1,000 each to buy a plank on the pier’s rebuilt centre span.

“There are 1,300 planks that we want to sell to raise money to continue the pier rebuild and we’ve sold over 200,” said Myren. Each plank carries a plaque with the donor’s name.

The pier, built in 1914-15, is owned by the City of White Rock. Although insurance and funding from various levels of government covered much of the repair to the 30-metre section destroyed in the storm, the city wants to complete further enhancements, said Purcell.

Piles were changed to steel with a concrete substructure below the timber planks, and will be strong enough to withstand storm surges and earthquakes, and support emergency vehicles.

“The pier is iconic and represents the city,” said Purcell.

For artist Larissa Walkiw, who creates her intricate designs in the sand just below the pier throughout the summer, making a donation to purchase a plank in the name of her artistic endeavours, Pierdoodles, was a no-brainer.

“The pier is the perfect spot to do the artwork, and the pier itself is a major aspect of the art because people stand 30 feet up to see them,” said Walkiw.

She remembers the day after the storm as surreal and heartbreaking.

“This is where I come to make art, to walk and jog and think. It’s a special place,” she said.

Photographer Geoffrey Yue said: “I grew up coming out here with my family since 1967 and it’s a real honour to contribute and see my family’s name out there.”

White Rock Coun. Scott Kristjanson, who also bought a plank, said: “It just gives me goosebumps to see how the whole community has come together over this.”

The pier reopened after partial repairs on the 30-m section that was destroyed were completed in August, but further enhancements to bring the remaining two-thirds of the pier up to code will cost another $12 million-13 million, said Kristjanson.

The pier reopened to the public in August 2019, and is the longest pier in Canada. Anyone interested in buying a plank can go to

[email protected]

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