THE latest coronavirus rules that came into force on Monday, state social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal and may result in fines.

So how will the new rules affect students heading to university this month?

Forming a new bubble

The government's website, gov.uk, explains that as soon as students move into new student accommodation they will form a new household - similar to a family home - which "will be a key part of how you will be able to socialise".

Students should note they can see others at their university as long as they "socialise safely" and remember to keep a two metre distance.

Going out

A key part of university life, the government guidance is for students to "Go out, socialise and enjoy student life".

But it is stressed students should "be responsible".

The rules at university are the same as anyone else enjoying a night out - currently a maximum of six people indoors and outdoors, whether in a beer garden, bar, restaurant or cinema.

All six could be from different households, but any more breaks the law.

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However, if a household of more than six students, for example seven living together, went out that would be allowed as it comes under the exemptions.

The guidance adds: "Avoid social interaction with anyone outside the group you are with, even if you see other people you know."

READ MORE: New Covid rules: Can two families meet indoors?

Moving to a new area

It is advised, if a student is moving to a different town or city in England for university, to check to see if that area has additional restrictions in place.

This is because they could be moving from a low risk area to a higher risk area, in a local lockdown, and that will mean extra measures that might be in place that they will need to follow.

It also should be noted if a student is moving to a university outside of England, there are going to be different rules to follow.

These details can be found on the country’s government website – for instance Scotland has gov.scot.

Anything else to know?

The guidelines add students should follow the rules set out by their university, for example on wearing face coverings in lectures and other teaching situations.

The government say: "In other university settings you should wear a face covering where it’s difficult to maintain a two metre distance, such as in corridors and communal areas and in social groups such as student clubs and societies".

It is also advised to try avoiding car sharing, and using public transport at peak times, and walk or cycle when possible and safe to do so.

"These basics will help protect you, university life and local residents, especially those that are more vulnerable," gov.uk adds.

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