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Holiday ‘carnage’ as Rule of Six forces cancellations

From today, no more than six people can meet up indoors or outdoors in England, meaning holidays between large groups of friends or families cannot go ahead.

With quarantine restrictions on countries such as Spain, France and Portugal, many people have turned to the UK for their holidays instead. However, the latest ‘Rule of Six’ policy means hotels, tour operators and campsites face more cancellations after an already tumultuous year for the industry.

More than 25 per cent of self-catered accommodation in the UK is for more than six people. The Chair of the Professional Association of Self-Caterers (PASC) Alistair Handyside warned that the forthcoming booking cancellations will be “carnage”.

He told The BBC: “We have worked really hard to make sure we offer a safe environment [for guests] and we’re mystified as to why the new law comes down so heavily on a sector where you can control your environment. If we don’t get December with Christmas and New Year, which are peak weeks, we will see carnage, we honestly will.”

One man on Twitter, Adrian Steele, said: “Having already cancelled a UK holiday with children and grandchildren (six adults, four infants) we are being told to cancel again. Or alternatively exchange the cottage booking in England and book another in Wales or Scotland where apparently we won’t be breaking the law. What a mess.”

The new measures will be enforced by £100 fines, rising to £3,200 for repeat offenders. Boris Johnson said that “Covid-secure marshals” will urge people to follow the rules.

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