The British public’s support for the rule of six appears to be falling, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.
Boris Johnson announced the rule of six last month, which came into effect on the 14th September. It stated that no more than 6 people can socialise in any indoor or outdoor space, with few exemptions.
It was part of a package of measures aimed at preventing a second national lockdown, like that seen in the spring.
The rule of six was then rolled into the local lockdown “tiers” system on the 12th October.
But survey data collected over the last 3 weeks by the Office for National Statistics show that the percentage points of people who “strongly support” the rule of six has dropped by 6% since the 24th September.
The percentage points of people who think that the rule of six measures are “very simple” has also dropped, from 25% to 20%.
Police can fine anyone caught gathering in groups of more than 6, starting at £200 for the first offence. Fines can reach up to £3,200 for repeat offenders.
Police also have powers to issue fines of up to £10,000 to organisers of larger illegal gatherings, as happened last week in Birmingham and Walsall.
Superintendent Rich Harris said of those gatherings, “Everyone has a part to play in reducing the spread of coronavirus, and no one is above the law when it comes to that.”
“We understand that some of the regulations are confusing and we will be explaining where we find breaches, but if people continually flout these measures, we will not hesitate to take action.”