Covid: I 'misspoke' over North East Covid rules, says PM

3 weeks ago 6
A street ranger and a police community support officer patrol NewcastleImage copyright Reuters

The prime minister has apologised after failing to clarify the detail of new tighter coronavirus restrictions in north-east England.

Boris Johnson said he "misspoke" when answering a question on the rules, when he replied by talking about the rule of six instead of households not mixing.

Mixing between households in pub gardens and outdoor restaurants spaces will be against advice from midnight.

Labour said the PM was "grossly incompetent" for not knowing the rules.

Critics say a lack of detail has led to confusion.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said the PM was "grossly incompetent" for not knowing the rules, saying: "These new restrictions are due to come into force across huge parts of the country tonight. The government needs to get a grip."

Earlier, education minister Gillian Keegan was also unable to clarify the new rules.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, she said: "I don't know the answer to that question."

On Twitter, Mr Johnson clarified that the new rules meant those in the North East "cannot meet people from different households in social settings indoors, including in pubs, restaurants and your home".

"You should also avoid socialising with other households outside," he added.

In areas not covered by extra restrictions in England, the rule of six - meaning social gatherings are limited to six people - applies in private homes, indoors and outdoors, and places such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and public outdoor spaces.

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