Groups and gatherings

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The regulations, offences and fixed-penalty notices applicable to groups of people, including Section 63 gatherings.

First published
Updated
Written by College of Policing

Tier 4

As of 6 January 2021 all areas in England are in Tier 4.

Participation in gatherings           

Restrictions       

Indoors:

  • no gatherings permitted (exceptions apply)

Outdoors: 

  • specified outdoor place – no more than 2 people (exceptions apply)
  • any other outdoor place – prohibited (exceptions apply)

Specified outdoor place    

An outdoor gathering of up to two is permitted if it takes place in a public outdoor place. This must be a place where no payment is required or the place falls within one of the following categories:

  • botanical gardens
  • gardens or grounds of a castle, stately home, historic house or other heritage site

Exceptions to all gatherings, including (but are not limited to):

  • gatherings of linked households
  • provisions for children (some childcare provisions are for critical workers or vulnerable children/young people only)
  • fulfilling a legal obligation
  • communal worship (conditions apply)

Gatherings with limits to the number of people permitted:

  • marriages, civil partnerships and alternative weddings no more than six people (conditions apply)
  • commemorative events following a person’s death no more than six people
  • support groups no more than 15 people
  • funerals no more than 30 people

Specific exceptions apply to indoor gatherings (and specified outdoor gatherings):

  • where the person is visiting a person who is reasonably believed to be dying (conditions apply)
  • where the person is visiting a person receiving treatment in hospital or staying in a hospice or care home or is accompanying them to a medical appointment (conditions apply) 

FPN amounts    

General gatherings – FPN for any of the offences above is £200 payable within 28 days, reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days. The reduction to £100 only applies to the first FPN. The fine amounts double for each subsequent offence. Court proceedings may be brought for non-payment.  

Section 63 gatherings

Organisation and facilitation of an event    

Restrictions      

No person may hold, or be involved in, a Section 63-type gathering. A Section 63-type gathering:

  • consists of more than 30 persons
  • takes place indoors
  • would be an event of the kind mentioned in Section 63(1) of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 if it took place in open air, such as a rave or other unlicensed music event

Offences      

Anyone contravening the requirements listed above commits an offence, punishable on summary conviction by an FPN.

FPN amounts       

For organisation or facilitation of a restricted gathering (either a Section 63-type or other relevant gathering), the FPN amount is £10,000 payable within 28 days.

Court proceedings may be brought in case of non-payment. Unlike FPNs for some other offences, such FPNs are not taken into account for the purposes of doubling.

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