Lockdown easing measures will not help families of six or more, minister admits

Sophie Morris, PA Political Reporter

Families of six or more will be unable to meet with additional people together, the Environment Secretary has confirmed.

George Eustice admitted that the Government’s new policy, which allows individuals to meet in groups of up to six people from different households in parks on private gardens on Monday, will not help families of six or more who already reach the limit.

He added that the Government “had to draw a line somewhere” and suggested a solution would be for some of the family members to go and meet grandparents or friends while the others stay at home.

Ms Eustice was asked by a member of the public called Claire whether her family of six would be able to meet other people together and extend their social circle under the new rules.

“We think that six is about a sensible level.

Environment Secretary George Eustice (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/PA)

“We know that the risk of transmission outdoors is actually very low, but obviously if you’ve got lots of people crowded in a garden, if you’ve got two families of six crowded in, obviously that starts to be more difficult to maintain social distancing,” he replied on BBC Breakfast.

Pushed again on whether a family of six could meet anyone else, Mr Eustice added: “Obviously if they are six on their own than the answer is these rules don’t really help them very much if they want to meet as a full family.

“But for instance if Claire wanted to go with two of the children and take them to see for instance their grandparents if they have grandparents, or uncles, they would be able to do so.

“So you have to draw a line somewhere otherwise it goes on and on.”

From Monday in England, individuals will be able to meet in groups of up to six people from different households outside, either in parks or now also in private gardens, as long as people remain two metres apart.