All the loopholes in Boris Johnson’s new coronavirus rules – from theatres to takeaways


BORIS Johnson has announced a swathe of new coronavirus laws this week, which will come into place in the coming days.

But the rules – which differ across the four nations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – are littered with loopholes and exemptions.

Pubs and bars will have to close from 10pm – but off-licenses can stay open

Boris Johnson unveiled the new measures last night

Here are all the differences in the rules and how you can (legally) get around them.

Off-licences stay open

Pubs will have to shut at 10pm, but-off licences and supermarkets remain open across England if people want to buy booze after the curfew.

However, in Wales supermarkets will also shut up shop and refuse to sell people alcohol – over fears that people are getting drunk and failing to social distance.

Drinking after hours can continue

People can carry on drinking in their own homes, even after the pubs close, though.

Up to six people can meet indoors in England under the current rules.

That doesn’t apply in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, however, where mixing households indoors is banned or limited.

But people in Scotland and Northern Ireland will be able to carry on drinking in private gardens, as long as they follow the rule of six.

Extra friends can come along to weddings if they’re working

While the number of people who are allowed to go to weddings has been slashed from 30 to 15 from September 28 there is a very handy loophole to squeeze in some extra friends.

The new guidance says “anyone working is not counted as part of the limit”.

So technically, you could hire your friends as waiters – or musicians if they have a bit of talent – so they can watch you tie the knot.

They won’t be able to join the dinner, which can only be, sit-down, but they will be able to be present at the main ceremony.

Weddings can only have 15 people – but you can hire an extra friend to work as a waiter or musician to get around the rules

Theatres & cinemas can stay open past 10pm if it started before

But you must get your popcorn in beforehand.

The guidance says: “cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open after 10pm, only if the performance started before 10pm.

“They should not serve food or drink after this time.”

You can still see your partner

People worried about seeing their girlfriend, boyfriend or partner who they don’t live with can breathe easy.

The new guidance gives a loophole for people who are in an “established relationship”.

But be warned, if you are in “the early stages of a relationship” you should “take particular care” to socially distance from them.

If you are meeting up with them, you can reduce your risk by both of you avoiding close contacts with other people you don’t live with.

But when asked about bans on one-night stands, a spokesperson from Downing Street said: “That is not an area where any announcement has been made pertaining to the law.

“The law is the rule of six.”

Drive thrus are on

Maccies fans will be delighted to know that even though they can’t walk in to pick up a burger and shake on their way home – you will be able to use a drive thru, at least in England.

Restaurants can still serve take-away food, but you won’t be able to queue up at the kebab shop once the clock strikes 10pm.

Bring someone else into your house if they’re working

The guidance means people can only meet in your house if there are no more than six of you.

But that doesn’t apply if where a group “includes someone who is working”.

The guidance says that they “are not counted as part of the gatherings limit”.

The rules give them example of a tradesperson going into a household to do some work – so if you have something that needs fixing and your friend is handy with a hammer, you can hire them to come over.

Kids don’t count in the rule of six

In Scotland and Wales, kids aren’t counted, meaning people can have larger gatherings north of the border but it is limited to two households for adult.

For teens aged between 12-18 in Scotland, they still have to follow the rule of six, but get a free pass from the two-household limit, so they can still hang out with five of their friends.