FROM today, it is illegal for people in England to meet in groups of more than six, inside or outside.

Fines can be issued to anyone found flouting the rules, starting at £100, but which could climb to £3,200.

*The Government’s new rule of six can seem “somewhat irrational” at times, but the alternative could be a wider lockdown, a top scientist has said.

Professor Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London and an adviser to the Government on respiratory viruses said the rule “does seem somewhat irrational in some of the detail and I can appreciate that”.

However, he added: “I’m afraid it’s going to cause pain and suffering for us all to go back to some degree of lockdown but I’m afraid if we don’t do this now we’re going to be right back in hard lockdown.

* Professor Peter Openshaw also believes there is a possibility at least one vaccine trial will produce a positive result before Christmas.

“Before the winter of 21/22 I hope that we should have vaccines that are effective," he added.

*Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said there is an issue with young people forgetting the rules when asked if the Government could 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.”

He also said that a national lockdown remains a “nuclear option”.

* Over the weekend, police in the Manchester area dispersed a number of illegal gatherings as revellers make the most of the final weekend before the “rule of six” coronavirus restriction comes into force.

*The Government said that as of 9am on Sunday, there had been a further 3,330 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. Overall, 368,504 cases have been confirmed.

*The Government dashboard said a further five people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Sunday. This brings the UK total to 41,628.

*Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 57,400 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

*There have been a further 162 cases of Covid-19 in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 19,390.

*Public Health Wales said no further deaths had been reported, with the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic remaining at 1,597.

*A further five people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,661, NHS England said on Sunday.

Patients were aged between 67 and 86 and all had known underlying health conditions.

The dates of the deaths were September 11 and September 12.

No deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

*A total of 244 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland in 24 hours, as of yesterday afternoon, the latest Scottish Government figures show – the highest daily figure since May 6.

The statistics show that 22,679 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 22,435 the day before.

This is 3.7% of newly-tested individuals.

No deaths of confirmed Covid-19 patients have been recorded in the past 24 hours and the number of fatalities remains at 2,499.

There are 259 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, down by two in 24 hours.

Of these patients, seven were in intensive care, down one.