The rule applies to private homes and gardens, as well as inside restaurants, pubs and bars.
But conflicting opinions have caused confusion today over whether people from different households can continue to socialize in outdoor gardens and outdoor restaurant terraces.
The official guidelines released this morning for the North West of England only covered interior areas of restaurants, cafes and bars.
But Health Secretary Matt Hancock released conflicting information this morning, telling BBC Breakfast viewers: “The new restrictions do not allow meeting another household in pub gardens or in an outdoor restaurant.” .
Now the official guidelines have been updated to confirm Mr. Hancock was wrong.
He now says: “You can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces, including outdoor seating or open-air gardens in groups of no more than 6 people, unless the group consists of only people from 2 households. ”
Customers who eat or drink indoors will only be able to sit with people they live with or members of their supportive bubble.
Dating in private gardens is still prohibited – and new laws will be passed to enforce it.
Police will be able to ask people gathered in private homes and gardens to disperse and issue fixed penalty notices starting at £ 100 – halving to £ 50 if paid within the first 14 days – and doubling for recurrences.
Manchester restaurant and bar owners say they have been hit by a wave of cancellations – including for open-air bookings – following last night’s announcement and subsequent confusion over the gardens of beer.
Greater Manchester’s nocturnal economy adviser Sacha Lord said it was imperative to slow the spread of the virus, but said the ‘sudden and shocking’ measures would be another ‘hammer blow’ for the hospitality industry hard hit.
He said: “As an industry already on its knees, it is inevitable that we will now see cancellations and a reduction in frequentation of restaurants, pubs and bars, and I am also very concerned about hotels in the area which are already. struggling with a lack of tourism. , football and events.
“To the general public, I would like to point out that the premises are always open for business and ready to welcome you. Within your household, try to support your inhabitants and your favorites during this difficult time. Many are participating in the Eat Out To Help starting Monday, and I encourage you to enjoy what our area has to offer, but in a safe way.
“If you have a reservation booked in the next few weeks that is no longer viable, please be sure to cancel or modify the reservations to give our operators time to plan ahead and give them the best chance of make it out. “