Grant Shapps issues warning as he insists ‘rule of six’ means two households cannot meet

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Grant Shapps has explained the very strict rules to the rule of six restrictions that Boris Johnson announced yesterday. The Transport Secretary noted his family of five could not meet with his parents at the same time because it would exceed the group number. It comes as the Prime Minister urged people to limit their social contact “as much as possible”.

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Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Shapps said: “In my family, there’s five of us and if I want to see my parents and have them over at the same time I cannot do that.

“I can’t have seven inside my house or outside my house or go for dinner with them somewhere else either.”

Presenter Charlie Stayt asked: “Even if they’re an established support bubble?”

Mr Shapps continued: “There are just a couple of exemptions, one of which is a support bubble which is a genuine support bubble.

“If somebody lives on their own and they would otherwise be isolated.

“But broadly speaking, it is now the case that if all five of my family were at home I could not have my parents over at the same time.

“We do have to have a limit and we do have to have clear rules.

“Rather than saying households which was leading to a complication in the rules, the rule of six if very straightforward. You cannot have more than six people whether they are from different households or not.”

He went on to admit there is “some pressure” on the testing system at the moment.

Asked about why there is talk of ambitious targets for the future when there are immediate problems, he said: “There are pressures on testing right now, even though we can perform 300,000 a day.

“Now we’re going to bring that up to half a million tests per day.”

He said two new test centres will be opened.

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Mr Shapps said the UK is doing more tests than France, Italy, Germany and other places.

He said the reason there are pressures on the system is due to schools and universities returning.

While on Sky News, he said the technology for the Government’s “moonshot” plan of 10 million COVID-19 tests a day does not yet exist.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “We know this isn’t simple to achieve, but we hope it will be possible through technology and new tests to have a test which works by not having to return the sample to a lab.”

He said the Government was hoping to develop a test that provided a result in between 20 minutes and 90 minutes.

“This is technology that, to be perfectly blunt, requires further development – there isn’t a certified test in the world that does this but there are people that are working on prototypes,” he said.

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