As of Monday, it is illegal for people in England to meet in groups of more than six – both indoors and outdoors.
The measures were announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in response to a rise in infections as it appears that the ongoing public health emergency is worsening.
The new rules are to be in place for an indeterminate amount of time, meaning Christmas might be cancelled for many families right across the UK.
The Royal Family is no exception, and as things stand, Christmas traditions will have to be put on hold in December should the situation not improve.
One tradition which is unlikely to go ahead is The Queen’s traditional pre-Christmas dinner at Buckingham Palace.
Every year, just before she departs for Sandringham, Her Majesty invites members of her family to the palace for Christmas Dinner.
It is always an extremely large affair, with extended members of the monarch’s family who would not join her at Sandringham usually attending.
Due to the Rule of Six, Her Majesty’s cousins, great-nieces & nephews, and other extended family members will be unlikely to join the monarch for dinner this year.
Indeed, even the Cambridge Family alone would not be permitted to attend Buckingham Palace for dinner because assuming the Duke of Edinburgh joins The Queen in hosting, this would result in seven people at the dinner table.
For similar reasons, the traditional Christmas Eve dinner at Sandringham will also have to be cancelled.
Royal staff and chefs will be exempt from the Rule of Six as they are in a workplace.
Perhaps the most important tradition of the festive period is The Royal Family’s Christmas Day church attendance at St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate.
Theoretically, it would be possible for this event to still go ahead, so long as members of The Royal Family observed social distancing rules.
However, there are concerns within the palace walls that if the royals walk to church, it could encourage a crowd of people to congregate.
Last Christmas, more than 1,500 people gathered outside St Mary Magdalene to get a glimpse of The Royal Family arriving at church.
A source told the Mail on Sunday: “Any sort of church attendance on Christmas Day is highly unlikely under the current guidelines.
“There is no desire to create crowds and over the years, the Royals’ walk to church has become more and more popular.
“It is now something of an event, so this year will need to be looked at very carefully. Perhaps it could be ticketed, as the church does stand on private land, but there could be no interaction.
“The Royals do not want to encourage crowds.”
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been quarantined since March alongside a small bubble of staff.
Due to the couple’s advancing ages, incredibly stringent bubble protocols are in place to protect the monarch and her consort.
Until the global health emergency subsides, it is unlikely that Her Majesty will partake in any event which would cumulate in a crowd being present.
The new Rule of Six simplifies the rules on social gatherings, making them easier to understand and easier for the police to enforce.
It means that – apart from a set of limited exemptions including work and education – any social gatherings of more than six people will be against the law.
Police will be able to disperse any such gatherings and fine individuals involved £100, doubling up to a maximum of £3,200.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Across the country, we have all made enormous sacrifices in the fight against coronavirus. However, the recent rise in cases makes it clear that more needs to be done to stop the spread of this disease.
“From Monday new laws will enable the police to fine anyone in breach of the rule of six. As we continue to fight this virus, I urge the public not participate in social gatherings of more than six people in any setting, indoors or outdoors.”