A HUNT group was dispersed by police just days after the introduction of the new “rule of six”.

Video footage of the gathering of the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt showed members outside a house eating and drinking in a group of more than ten.

A man behind the camera can be heard shouting at the two police officers who are present at the scene.

He says: “This is just a social. This isn’t hunting, is it? This isn’t sports, is it?

“This is just having a little drink and a bit of food, and breaking the f***ing law.”

The footage was captured by anti-hunting group West Kent Hunt Sabs at Chitcombe Farm in Sussex.

The “rule of six” was introduced on September 14, making any gatherings involving more than six people illegal.

This applied across public and private settings, both indoor and outdoor.

People breaking the new rule could be dispersed by police or face a £100 fine, which is doubled each time the offender breaches the restrictions to a maximum of £3,200.

The law was brought in as a more simplistic alternative to previous rules, but it is not without its complications and exemptions.

These include cases where a single household or support bubble is larger than six people, gatherings for work or education purposes and other gatherings including weddings, funerals, and team sports “organised in a Covid-19 secure way”.

Hunting in larger groups remains legal as it falls into the categories of outddor acitvities and sports gatherings.

But, by socialising while enjoying refreshments, the hunt group breached the new rule.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Officers on patrol approached members of a hunt group to give words of advice about the change in law on social distancing and ‘rule of six’ which came into force last Monday.

“The group accepted the words of advice and then dispersed.

“This is in line with the national policing approach which is one of first explaining, educating and encouraging to seek compliance with the regulations, with enforcement being a last resort.

“Officers made it clear to the group a further breach would not be tolerated.

“The full interaction is not reflected in the short video clip which has been shared online.

“Our officers regularly liaise with both sides of the hunting debate and we always aim to balance the rights, needs and wishes of all parties involved.”

East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt have been contacted for comment.

Coronavirus restrictions were tightened further yesterday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed a series of new measures designed to curb the resurgence of the illness.

These include a 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants and face masks becoming compulsory for bar staff, shop workers, waiters and taxi drivers.

Fines for not wearing a mask will be raised to £200 and those eating out will have to wear a mask at any time they are not seated at a table.

Mr Johnson said these measures could remain in place for as long as six months to stop the spread of Covid.