PM to ban larger gatherings of family and friends
Social gatherings of more than six peopleare to be made illegal. Boris Johnson will make the announcement today after a sudden surge in coronavirus cases prompted fears of a second wave. It is the first time the Prime Minister has reimposed a national lockdown measure since restrictions were eased, reflecting growing alarm at the rise in infections and daily deaths. At a Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson will say: “We need to act now to stop the virus spreading.” From Monday, anyone breaking the six-person rule potentiallyfaces a 100 spot fine. The limit of six people from up to six households will apply to adults and children indoors and out – in homes, gardens, parks and venues such as pubs and restaurants. The “two-household” rule, which allowed up to 30 people from two different homes to meet, is scrapped. It makes family and social gatherings of more than six illegal – but there are some exceptions. Readwhat you can and cannot do from Monday.
The Telegraphhas learnt ministers are also considering a national “curfew” after hospitality venues in Bolton wereordered to close from 10pm to 5am. The Greater Manchester town now has the highest rate of infections in the country – traced back to young people apparently ignoring social-distancing rules. Ministers fear Britain is now only weeks behind other European countries in experiencing a second wave after easing lockdowns. View the charts that showhow the UK’s cases are picking up pace. And search for confirmed infectionsby postcode.
Launch of new Brexit Bill – which breaks the law
Controversial legislation that would override elements of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal with Brussels and breach international law will be published today. Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis provoked a furious reaction when he confirmedplans to change parts of the Withdrawal Agreementwould break the law. The row erupted as Sir Jonathan Jones QC, head of the government legal department, quit in protest yesterday.Read a profileof the straight-shooting civil servant whose resignation was long in the making. And take a moment to allowMattandBlowerto raise a smile with their Brexit-themed cartoons today.
Sussexes’ demands for speaking events leaked
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be able to dictate who moderates any discussion with them,according to a leaked documentoutlining the conditions for booking the couple as “virtual” speakers. Event organisers will also be required to specify in advance the fee being offered and give full details of any sponsors, including “what they are receiving in return for their sponsorship” before even issuing an invitation to Prince Harry and Meghan. Associate EditorCamilla Tomineyhas more on the steps bookers must taketo secure an online audience with the couple.
At a glance: More coronavirus headlines
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
Donors turn on XR| Extinction Rebellionfaces a split with millionaire backers in the USfollowing its blockade of UK newspaper printing presses. The protest group last year received 270,000 from the Climate Emergency Fund, which was set up by wealthy environmentalists including descendants of the Getty and Kennedy clans. Trevor Neilson, one of its co-founders, said that blocking newspapers was “not a helpful strategy”.Nick Allenhas ourfull, exclusive reportfrom Washington.
Around the world: Mask enforcement in Bali
A woman is stopped by Pecalang police for not wearing a face mask in Jalan Pantai Pererenan in the Mengwi region of Bali. The Indonesian island has imposed a 100,000 rupiah (5) fine on people who do not wear a mask in public as a measure to prevent Covid-19 from spreading. View more striking pictures from around the world intoday’s gallery.