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Coronavirus: Disease Control

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 99565, tabled on 6 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will amend government guidance to allow groups of up to 30 people to attend (a) Narcotics Anonymous meetings and (b) other mutual aid meetings provided that social distancing rules are observed.

Answered on

16 October 2020

Currently, support groups can take place in groups of up to 15 in a public place, if the support group is organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support to its members or those who attend its meetings. This includes, but is not limited to, providing support:

- to victims of crime (including domestic abuse);

- to those with, or recovering from, addictions (including alcohol, narcotics or other substance addictions) or addictive patterns of behaviour;

- to new and expectant parents;

- to those with, or caring for persons with, any long-term illness, disability or terminal condition or who are vulnerable;

- to those facing issues related to their sexuality or identity including those living as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender; and

- to those who have suffered bereavement.

We have to rightly balance the need for those to attend support groups, against the risk of transmission in large groups which is why we have limited the number to 15.