‘There will be tears’: Norwich mum calls for children to be exempt from rule of six

Police say they are confident the majority of people across the county will "respect the rationale"

Police say they are confident the majority of people across the county will "respect the rationale" behind the rule of six. Picture: Daniel Moxon - Credit: Archant

A Norwich mother added her voice to the dozens calling on the government to rethink its “rule of six” saying the restrictions “will cause tears” and isolation.

In the wake of several high profile policy U-turns this summer, ministers have so far refused to heed calls to remove children from the new law, which prevents groups of more than six from meeting indoors or outdoors from Monday.

However, many parents of larger families who spoke to the PA news agency felt it was unfair that people could go to pubs, play sports and commute into offices while they and their children were separated from friends and family.

Sarah Pearson, 41, from Norwich, has six children, five of whom are at school and live with her at home.

The rule means she would face a fine of £100 if the group met with anyone outside the family, leaving them once again isolated after months in lockdown.

“My children didn’t leave our front garden for months. It’s been incredibly hard,” the trainee teaching assistant told the PA news agency.

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“It will cause tears, I am already the parent being strict and saying we play outside and no to sleepovers when others are doing them. And we are being careful. It’s another thing that separates them from friends.

“These kids are all in classes together at school but can’t play in the park together on the way home from school. It’s a nonsense.”

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Ms Pearson called on the Government to be “sensible like Scotland and Wales” and exempt children from the rule, which can lead to fines of between £100 and £3,200 if breached.

She added: “I had someone tell me I should stay at home, but it’s not that simple when my children need to go to school and I have to carry on with placement and look for work so my benefits aren’t sanctioned.”

Despite the pleas of many families, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove indicated again on Saturday that the Government would not consider removing children from the rule, which comes into effect on Monday.

He told BBC Breakfast: “No. I entirely understand, family life is so important, but the rule is there, the rule is clear and it commands public confidence.”

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