After the government imposed stricter restrictions in Greater Manchester due to rising Covid-19 infection rates, it raised many questions for residents. Here is all the important information you need to know.
What are the restrictions?
This is a summary of the main restrictions now in place:
- Separate households are BANNED from meeting each other indoors
- People are also NOT permitted to mix with OTHER households - apart from those in their support bubbles - in private homes and gardens. Police can issue dispersal orders and fixed penalty notices, starting at £100 (£50 if paid in the first 14 days) which will double for subsequent offences.
- You should NOT visit someone else's home or garden, even if they live outside of the affected areas. People from outside the affected areas should NOT visit your home or garden either.
- People from the SAME household CAN still go to places such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions whilst trying to avoid interaction with other households - but two DIFFERENT households should NOT go together, even if going outside the affected area
- You can continue to meet people in public outdoor spaces, including outdoor seating or beer gardens, in groups of no more than six people, with social distancing in place at all times
- Business owners are being told to take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 secure guidance
- You should NOT visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.
Do the restrictions affect me?
These are the places where the restrictions apply:
- Greater Manchester:
- City of Manchester
- Tameside (including Hollingworth, Broadbottom and Mottram)
- Blackburn with Darwen
- West Yorkshire:
What about meeting people outdoors?
In line with the national guidance, the government says you can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than six people from multiple households. You cannot meet people you do not live within a private garden.
At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble. Current social distancing rules is "one metre plus".
Can I still go to work?
Yes. People living both inside and outside the affected areas can continue to travel in and out for work, as long as workplaces have implemented COVID-19 secure guidance.
Can workers still come into my house?
Yes. People can still come inside your home when they’re doing so as part of their work, including cleaners, nannies, and repair workers.
What about shielding?
Clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer have to follow the shielding guidance, unless they live in Blackburn with Darwen where shielding continues.
What about childcare?
Where people from single adult households (people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) have formed a support bubble with another household, they can continue to visit each other for childcare purposes.
Parents and carers can continue to use registered child care provision, including childminders.
They can also continue to employ nannies as long as they follow government guidance on working safely in other people's homes, which can be found here.
Early years and childcare settings may continue to provide education and childcare to all children, whilst following government guidance at all times. Providers can continue to operate with their normal groups sizes in line with the policy in place since 20 July.
Providers offering holiday clubs, tuition or other activities to children may also remain open as usual, whilst following the national guidance on protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings.
What about weddings?
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can still go ahead. No more than 30 people should attend a marriage or civil partnership, where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in a COVID-19 secure venue. Further guidance can be found here.
Large wedding receptions or parties should NOT be taking place, and any celebration after the ceremony should follow the broader social distancing guidance of involving no more than two households in any location or, if outdoors, up to six people from different households.
People can travel inside and outside the area to attend a wedding ceremony, but people coming into the affected area should not go into a private home or garden.
Can I still visit a place of worship?
Yes, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of two metres, or one metre with mitigations (for example face coverings). The government is recommend that prayer/religious services take place outdoors where possible.
Can funerals still take place?
Yes but funerals should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 secure guidelines.
People living outside the area may travel into the area to attend a funeral.
Can I go to the affected area for a holiday or to visit leisure facilities, cafes, or shops?
Yes. However, you must avoid socialising with people indoors when doing so.
Can I leave to go on holiday?
You should NOT travel outside of the area to meet people in their homes or gardens. You can still go on holiday, but you should only do this with people you live with (or have formed a support bubble with).
Can I leave to go on a day trip?
Yes. There are no restrictions on the distance you can travel out of the area for leisure.
But the government guidance says you should NOT travel outside of the area to meet people in their homes or garden. You can still go on a day trip, but you should only do this with people you live with (or have formed a support bubble with). At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with.
Can I still move house?
Yes. Estate and letting agents, as well as removals firms, can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings. More government guidance on moving house can be found here.
Can I travel in a car with someone I don't live with?
You should try NOT to share a vehicle with those outside your household or social bubble. If you need to, try to:
- share the transport with the same people each time
- keep to small groups of people at any one time
- open windows for ventilation
- travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
- face away from each other
- consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
- clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
- ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering
The government has provided specific guidance on using private vehicles, including on car sharing and travelling with people outside your household group, which can be found here.
Keep up to date with all the latest local and national developments here: https://www.