Health and wellbeing New Government restrictions

At 9pm on Thursday 30 July, the Government announced that people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors in Greater Manchester from midnight.

This new guidance covers all 10 local authority areas in Greater Manchester, including Manchester. There is no set period for the new restrictions, the Government will review the situation in 1 week.

Why are the new restrictions in place?

The new restrictions have been brought in by the Government as a result of an increase in positive tests.

What does this mean?

The new restrictions mean:

  • You cannot meet people from other households in your home or garden. Household support bubbles are exempt
  • You cannot visit someone else’s home or garden, even if they live outside of the affected areas
  • You can only go to pubs, bars and restaurants with people you live with or your support bubble.
  • Up to two households (or six people from a number of households) may meet outdoors in public space with social distancing (not in gardens).
  • Places of worship and other settings with strict COVID secure arrangements remain open.
  • Try not to share a vehicle with those outside of your household unless it is part of a school or work bubble

Easing of lockdown measures due to take effect from 1 August have now been delayed until 15 August 

This includes the reopening of:

  • Bowling alleys
  • Indoor skating rinks
  • Casinos
  • Exhibition halls and conference centres
  • All close contact services including any treatments on the face, such as eyebrow threading or make-up application

Plans to allow wedding receptions for as many as 30 people have been put on hold until 15 August.

Face covering rules will be extended to additional settings in England from 8 August, including museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship. 

Do I still have to shield if I live in Manchester?

The guidance around shielding has not changed. In line with national guidance, people no longer have to follow the shielding guidance from 1 August, but they should continue to take extra care when out and about and follow social distancing and public health advice.

N.B Shielding guidance is still in place for people living in Blackburn with Darwen.

Is it safe to stop shielding?

Shielding is a restrictive measure and the Government does not want to be advising anyone to follow these measures for longer than is necessary. The measures that have been introduced in Greater Manchester now focus on minimising contact between households and will therefore also continue to reduce the risk of those who are clinically extremely vulnerable from coming into contact with the virus. Those who are vulnerable should take extra care and follow social distancing and public health advice.

Can I be fined if I ignore the new restrictions?

Yes. The government will pass new laws so that the police can take action against people that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices (starting at £100 – halving to £50 if paid in the first 14 days – and doubling for subsequent offences).

Does my household include close family members?

Your household – as defined in law – is only the people you live with. If you have formed a support bubble (which must include a single adult household i.e. people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) these can be treated as if they are members of your household.

Can I still meet indoors with people in my support bubble?

Yes. Where 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, stay overnight, and visit other public places as if they were one household.

Can I still meet people outdoors?

Yes, but you cannot meet people you don’t live with in a private garden and you must adhere to social distancing (unless people are in your support bubble). In line with the national guidance, you can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than six people, unless the group includes only people from two households. 

Can I still go to work in this area?

Yes. People living inside and outside of Manchester can continue to travel in and out for work. Workplaces must implement and adhere to Covid-19 Secure guidance.

Can I still go to cafes, restaurants, the gym and other public places?

Yes. But you should only go with members of your own household – even if you are going outside of the restricted area.

Can people from outside of the lockdown area visit me at my house?

No. This will be illegal.

Can I visit a care home?

You should not visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.

Can I still have my wedding if it’s in the lockdown area?

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies in these areas 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 currently 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.

Read the Government guidance and Q & A in full.

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