In order to prevent a second shutdown, the United Kingdom is now under the ‘Rule of Six’, a new set of strict social distancing laws making it a criminal offense for more than six people from different households to gather together, as well a host of different policies based on what region one is in.
The draconian law brings with it a limiting of normal activities. A mother and father with 4 kids would not be able to socialize with other families, or even stop to talk on the street for a brief chat with their in-laws or friend while wearing masks, as that would be ‘mingling’ and against the law. Lest one think that an extreme example, the health minister cited that very thing as being against the rules.
Church is allowed, but families may not cluster in more than 6 people and must socially distance while wearing masks, with singing strongly discouraged. Small groups bible studies may also take place in people’s private homes or in church, but they must be limited to 6, and all participants must socially distance and wear masks, under threat of punitive monetary damages.
At the same time that small group bible studies or small group prayer groups of more than 6 are absolutely prohibited, even in a private residence, the new regulations allow those attending ‘support groups that ‘provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support to its members or those who attend its meetings’ to be exempt. What are some of those categories? Those suffering bereavement, those caring for persons with, any long-term illness or terminal, condition, and anyone ‘facing issues’ related to being gay or transgendered.
If you are a heterosexual needing spiritual support, facing issues relating to your identity in Christ, then you’re out of luck. If you’re transgendered deciding whether or not to get top surgery, then you’re fine.
The government is encouraging neighbors to snitch on each other and to report all breaches to a non-emergency number, with the police being given the power to fine rule-breakers up to £3,200.