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​What The Rule of Six And Two Households Rule Actually Mean

​What The Rule of Six And Two Households Rule Actually Mean

From 29 March, the government plans to reintroduce the Rule of Six, with another option for two households to mix outdoors instead

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman

Yesterday (22 February), Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out a four-step 'roadmap' for lifting lockdown in England, with the first stage beginning from 8 March.

As part of the second stage of Step One, which is brought into effect on 29 March, the government plans to reintroduce the Rule of Six, with another option for two households to mix outdoors instead.

UK Government

Johnson said yesterday: "As part of Step one, we will go further and make limited changes on 29 March, when schools go on Easter holidays.

"It will become possible to meet in limited numbers outdoors, where the risk is lower.

"So the Rule of Six will return outdoors, including in private gardens and outdoor meetings of two households will also be permitted on the same basis, so that families in different circumstances can meet."

It's okay, we're all slightly confused too - it's a lot to take in, especially after being cooped up indoors for months.

All you need to know is that, to meet up with others outdoors, you must either follow the Rule of Six OR the two household rule.


Downing Street confirmed to LADbible that the Rule of Six applies to an unlimited number of households, although obviously only up to six people can meet.

With the two household rule, you can exceed six people, so long as you are all from no more than two homes.

For example, a family of five will be able to meet up with a family of three as they are considered two households.

Or, if there six different households meeting up, you can only have one person from each home.

Whichever option you follow, you must still maintain social distancing from those outside of your household.


Explaining the rules in more detail, the government's Covid-19 Response - Spring 2021 document states of the rule changes from 29 March: "People will be able to meet outside in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (the Rule of 6) or with one other household, though people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other.

"This will apply in all outdoor settings, including private gardens.

"Applying either limit provides greater flexibility, recognising the different situations faced by families and individuals; two households will be more helpful for families, while the Rule of 6 is likely to help people in different households to reunite outdoors, including those living alone or in shared accommodation.


"Those eligible to form a support bubble will still be able to do so, enabling close contact for many of those in most need of support, and will continue to be counted as part of the same household."

It adds: "Guidance will set out how people can see others safely: the evidence is clear that this is safest to do in the open air, at a safe distance, while minimising the frequency of social gatherings and the numbers present wherever possible.

"It will remain critical - with most people still unprotected by vaccines - that people continue to follow the guidance, use common sense and socially distance from other households."

The Rule of Six and two household rule will only apply to outdoor socialising initially. It will then apply to indoor mixing from no earlier than 17 May.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, Coronavirus