Boris Johnson beleives Britons should not reort neighbours to the police unless they are having a huge ‘Animal House’ type party
Members of the public should not report their neighbours for breaching the the ‘rule of six’ unless they are having large parties, the Prime Minister has said.
Any social gathering of more than six people in England is against the law, with people facing fines of up to £3,200 if they do not abide by the new measure, which applies to both indoor and outdoor settings.
But Boris Johnson has now urged people to speak with rulebreakers before notifying the authorities.
He told said: “I have never much been in favour of sneak culture, myself.
“What people should do in the first instance is obviously if they are concerned is raise it with their friends and neighbours.
“But I think what is reasonable for anyone to do is if they think there is a serious threat to public health as a result of their neighbours’ activities – if there is some huge kind of Animal House party taking place, as I am sure, hot tubs and so forth, and there is a serious threat to public health then its reasonable for the authorities to know.”
Animal House is a 1978 American comedy which marked John Belushi’s film debut as a hard-partying college fraternity member.
It comes as
- Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson were warned the testing fiasco is on the brink of dooming the country to a de facto lockdown with keeping schools open ‘unsustainable’
- Covid-19 cases are soaring among middle-aged people in England and have risen by upwards of 90 per cent in a fortnight as the outbreak continues to grow, official figures show.
- The boss of British Airways defended his decision to cut up to 12,000 jobs and said the pandemic has left the national carrier ‘fighting for survival’
- One hospital in Manchester accounted for a third of all Covid-19 deaths in England last week, it was revealed amid fears the life-threatening disease is spreading between wards.
- Boris Johnson failed to rule out a second national lockdown as he admitted the government’s coronavirus testing system cannot cope
The Prime Minister mentioned the party film Animal House in his advice to the nation
‘Young people forget the rules’ says Justice Secretary Robert Buckland the day before the new’rule of six’ launches
Ministers are considering a 10pm curfew for pubs next week and Justice Secretary Robert Buckland warned that young people are ‘forgetting the rules’ the day before the new limits on gatherings came into force.
The controversial so-called ‘rule of six’ came in on Monday, as the government tries to tackle rising coronavirus infection rates by restricting meetings both indoors and outdoors.
Ahead of the crackdown, Mr Buckland has warned the government could go even further next week and introduce curfews.
He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: ‘I think that as you’ve seen we’ve been very prepared to move quickly where necessary and where the evidence points us.
‘I think there’s an issue about social occasions and social events and particularly young people getting together and enjoying themselves sometimes a bit too much and forgetting the importance of the rules.
‘I think it would be idle of me to speculate as to what measures we might have to bring in as we approach the winter.’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is believed to be considering introducing a 10pm or 11pm curfew on restaurants, bars and pubs if local measures are unable to bring the spread of the virus under control.
The move stems from a concern that adherence to social distancing measures diminishes the more people consume alcohol.
It comes amid rising fears that the virus could rampage through Britain once again.
On Saturday, more than 3,000 coronavirus cases were recorded overall in the UK for the second day in a row – the first time since mid-May that recorded cases have been above that level on consecutive days.
The Government said that as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 3,497 lab-confirmed cases in the UK, slightly lower than the 3,539 cases recorded on Friday.
Speaking about the rise in cases, Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine, Imperial College London, said a ‘trickle’ of cases can turn into a ‘cascade’, adding that if people do not abide by the ‘rule of six’ now then the country faces going back into ‘hard lockdown’.
The Prime Minister’s advice, reported in The Sun, is seemingly at odds with that of the Home Secretary, who said on Tuesday she would report breaches of coronavirus restrictions by neighbours and even suggested families stopping to talk in the street could be breaking the new laws.
Ms Patel was asked if she personally would report her own neighbours two days ago – which she confirmed she would.
She told Sky News: ‘I’m rarely at home but if I saw something that I thought was inappropriate then, quite frankly, I would call the police.
‘It’s not dobbing in neighbours, it’s all about us taking personal responsibility.’
Ms Patel added it was a ‘personal choice’ on whether to report breaches, but if there was a ‘big party taking place’ it would be ‘right to call the police’.
‘Anyone that is effectively defying the rules, they will be helping to spread coronavirus,’ she said.
‘That is not a good thing and obviously we all have a role to play.’
Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales John Apter has said that police officers on the front line were “trying to interpret” the rules, which came into effect on Monday.
In response to a question about having “more guidance” on Good Morning Britain, he responded: “Maybe we should have ‘guidance’, because we haven’t had any yet.”
Meanwhile, people in the North East are awaiting an announcement on Thursday on new restrictions which are expected to come into effect from midnight, while a local lockdown will begin from 6pm in south Wales.
The PM’s advice comes after a slew of parties and indoor gatherings hosted by young people which have descended into social distance nightmares.
In Brighton police failed to break up a 100-strong house rave at the weekend claiming they were too busy.
Youths flouted Covid rules and partied the night away in the house and garden and spilled out onto the street as desperate neighbours called police only to be told it was not a priority.
Residents were shocked when ‘hundreds’ of young people turned up to the party, contravening all social distancing rules.
Meanwhile on the same weekend an illegal rave took place in a leafy Surrey village as young revellers partied ahead of the new COVID crackdown.
Snapchat footage from the event on Saturday night shows a large number of people dancing in very close proximity to each other.
The video, which is tagged in RHS Garden Wisley, shows the partygoers listening to electronic dance music.
A number of of the outlawed events have taken place throughout lockdown, with many clearly making the most of last weekend before new restrictions began to be enforced on Monday.
Officers broke up house parties in Altrincham, Stockport and Flixton, all in Greater Manchester, on Saturday night, while police in Nottingham tackled a 50 person gathering in Lenton.
In the largest gathering said to have been broken up by officers last night, a team from Greater Manchester Police dispersed around 70 party-goers from a house in Mottram.
Last night it was revealed the North East is set to have new coronavirus restrictions enforced, including pubs closing at 10pm and households banned from socialising with anyone outside their home.
The new rules are expected to come into force just after midnight tonight after a dramatic rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the area.
Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said ‘additional, temporary’ measures are being planned to prevent another full lockdown. He said he expected Health Secretary Matt Hancock to make an announcement later this morning.
Public Health England (PHE) data reveals 23.4 cases are now diagnosed for every 100,000 people aged between 40 and 49 — up from 12.4 at the end of August. And coronavirus infection rates have nearly doubled in just a week for people in their fifties, jumping from 10.9 to 20
The most up-to-date PHE data, which was released on Friday, clearly shows cases are spiralling across every age group. People in their twenties — who aren’t as vulnerable to the disease and are likely to escape death or serious illness — are driving the spike with an infection rate of 46, which has doubled in the last three weeks
The restrictions will reportedly apply to Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland – which have all seen rises in cases, according to the latest weekly rates.
The lockdown measure will include a 10pm curfew on pubs, restaurants and other licensed premises and people will be banned from socialising with anyone outside their household.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We constantly monitor infection rates across the country and keep all measures under review in consultation with local leaders.
“Any changes to local restrictions will be announced in the usual way.”
The most recent figures show Newcastle to have recorded a sharp increase in its weekly rate, up from 51.2 to 64.1, with 194 new cases in the seven days to September 13.
It comes after local measures in the likes of Greater Manchester and Birmingham have been put in place in a bid to address rising rates of infection.