England to band social gatherings of more than six people

First offenders will be fined £100, which will double on each further repeat offence up to £3,200, the prime minister will announce in a bid to stem an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases in the UK.

“We need to act now to stop the virus spreading,” Mr Johnson will declare at a Downing Street news conference coinciding with a new government advertising campaign entitled “Hands. Face. Space.”

“So we are simplifying and strengthening the rules on social contact, making them easier to understand and for the police to enforce,” the PM will announce.

“It is absolutely critical that people now abide by these rules and remember the basics – washing your hands, covering your face, keeping space from others, and getting a test if you have symptoms.”