Meeting with other people

This guide sets out information for students and staff at Goldsmiths about how to meet in a Covid-secure with other people in social and other situations.

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Tier 2 restrictions

London is in the Tier 2 (high) risk category for Covid-19. This limits how you can meet people socially indoors.

You cannot meet indoors with anyone from who is not in your household for social reasons.

You can still meet for study purposes in lectures, workshops and studios, providing you follow social distancing.

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Rule of six

It is against the law in England to meet socially in a group of more than six people.

As London is in the Tier 2 (high) risk category for Covid-19, this only applies to meeting socially outdoors. You cannot meet indoors with anyone from who is not in your household for social reasons.

The prime minister called this the “rule of six” – a name which has been widely reported in the media and shared on social media ­– and is in place to help protect everyone and prevent transmission of Covid-19.

These groups of up to six people can come from different households.

Groups of up to six people cannot join together to form a larger group of people – for example, three groups of six people cannot meet to make a total gathering of 18 people.

Failing to follow the rules around meeting safely with other people is against the law. Police can break up groups larger than six and members of the group can be fined if they fail to follow the rules. This will be £100 for a first offence, doubling on each further offence up to £3,200.

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On campus

The rule of six does not include educational settings. This means more than six people can attend lectures, seminars and work in labs and offices providing they follow social distancing.

It does apply to groups elsewhere on campus like cafes and outside areas. For example, if you were already a group of six friends meeting on College Green no one else could join you. If there were two groups of six friends on the Green they could not join together.

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Socialising in hospitality venues

Venues like cafes, pubs, restaurants and cinemas remain open and there is no limit on the number of people who can enter them if they comply with safety rules and allow for social distancing.

Each individual group cannot have more than six people and venues must allow for social distancing between each group. Groups of up to six people cannot join together to make larger groups in total.

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Socialising in homes

The laws around meeting socially apply in homes too – so you must not meet in groups of more than six people. However, households with more than six people can gather – information about this is set out below.

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Places of worship

Similar rules apply for places of worship – groups of up to six people can attend as long as the venue complies with safety rules and allows for social distancing.

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Playing sport

You can play organised outdoor sports in groups of more than six, if the sport's governing body has published safety guidance.

If you play sports informally with people you don't live with, you must not play with more than six people.

So, for example, a Sunday League football match can still go ahead, but you can only have a kickabout in the park if six or less people take part.

Group exercise classes are also exempt from the rule of six, where they are being organised under Covid-secure guidelines.

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Households explained

It’s important to think about your household when planning to meet with other people. The government defines a household as being made up of people living in the same property and sharing the use of a kitchen and, if applicable, social spaces such as a lounge.

Household sizes can vary ­– for example, a household ­can be one person living on their own or eight people living in a large shared property.

Households of more than six people can gather together but cannot collectively meet with people from another households.

For students living in halls of residence, the definition of your household will have been shared directly by either the Accommodation Service at Goldsmiths or the private provider you have an agreement with.

It's important to remember that if one person in a household develops Covid-19 symptoms all members of that household should isolate for 14 days. Read more about self-isolating.

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Meeting in groups of more than six

There are some exceptions which allow more than six people to meet. These include:

  • If your household or support bubble is larger than six
  • Education and training settings
  • Workplaces
  • Protests and political events, if compliant with safety guidelines
  • Jury duty or other legal commitments
  • Children's playgroups and youth clubs
  • Support groups, such as for addiction or abuse
  • Weddings, funerals and special religious occasions can go ahead with up to 30 people attending, in groups of six or less. However, celebrations afterwards are limited to weddings or civil partnerships

If you attend a protest, political event or other permitted outdoor event, you should attend in a group no larger than six. Although you might know others at the event, it is against the law to "mingle" with anyone outside your designated group.