New lockdown rules for Lancashire, Merseyside, North West and North East, as local restrictions tighten

Local lockdowns are being put into place across England in a bid to stop a second wave of coronavirus, on top of the 'rule of six' that applies nationwide. The Government imposed new restrictions on the areas of Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire on Friday, September 18.  Similar restrictions were also announced for Wolverhampton and Oadby & Wigston in the Midlands, along with the areas of Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale in West Yorkshire.  From Tuesday, September 22 onwards, residents in these areas will no longer be allowed to socialise with other people outside of their own households or their support bubble in private homes and gardens.  Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only and restaurants, pubs, and cinemas are required to close between 10pm and 5am.   Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Bolton and parts of the North East are also among the areas under local lockdown.  Here's everything we know about the restrictions.  Which areas are in local lockdown and what are the rules? North West Households in  Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire (excluding Blackpool and Greater Manchester), are banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble.  From Tuesday September 22, the following additional restrictions also apply to these areas: Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only.  A 10pm curfew on restaurants, pubs, and cinemas. The curfew will be in place between 10pm-5am Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection: Only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.   The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said on Friday September 18:  “We are seeing cases of coronavirus rise fast in Lancashire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Warrington, Halton and Wolverhampton. "Local leaders in these areas have asked for stronger restrictions to be put in place to protect local people, and we are acting decisively to support them." Midlands In Wolverhampton and Oadby & Wigston residents will be banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens from 22 September. Individuals who are shielding in Leicester City will no longer need to from 5 October.  West Yorkshire All parts of Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, will now be banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens, from 22 September. Some wards in these areas had been exempt from restrictions on gatherings introduced at the start of August, but these wards will now also be subject to the ban. North East Households in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham should not socialise with other people outside of their household or support bubbles.  From Friday, September 18, the following additional restrictions also apply to these areas: Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only A 10pm curfew on pubs, restaurants and other leisure and entertainment venues. The curfew will be in place between 10pm-5am All of these areas have seen a significant increase in cases, with Sunderland now having an incidence rate of 103 per 100,000 of population. In South Tyneside, Gateshead and Newcastle, this rate is above 70. Announcing the restrictions, Mr Hancock said: "I know that these decisions have a real impact on families, on businesses and local communities. And I can tell everyone effected that we do not take these decisions lightly. "We agree with the local councils that we must follow the data and act. And the data says we must act now so we can control the virus and keep people safe." "I know that the people of the North East will come together to defeat this virus, as defeat it we must," he added. These are the latest rules for areas in local lockdown across the UK Birmingham Includes: Solihull and Sandwell boroughs Households in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull have been banned from meeting each other since Tuesday September 15. From September 15 you must not: Host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble Meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble Your household is defined as the people you live with and any support bubble. A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight and visit public places together. It comes as cases in Birmingham have increased rapidly. According to NHS Digital data, the latest seven-day rate for Birmingham to September 8 showed 78.2 cases per 100,000 with 892 cases over t

New lockdown rules for Lancashire, Merseyside, North West and North East, as local restrictions tighten

Local lockdowns are being put into place across England in a bid to stop a second wave of coronavirus, on top of the 'rule of six' that applies nationwide.

The Government imposed new restrictions on the areas of Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire on Friday, September 18. 

Similar restrictions were also announced for Wolverhampton and Oadby & Wigston in the Midlands, along with the areas of Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale in West Yorkshire. 

From Tuesday, September 22 onwards, residents in these areas will no longer be allowed to socialise with other people outside of their own households or their support bubble in private homes and gardens. 

Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only and restaurants, pubs, and cinemas are required to close between 10pm and 5am.  

Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Bolton and parts of the North East are also among the areas under local lockdown. 

Here's everything we know about the restrictions. 

Which areas are in local lockdown and what are the rules?

North West

Households in  Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire (excluding Blackpool and Greater Manchester), are banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble. 

From Tuesday September 22, the following additional restrictions also apply to these areas:

  • Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only. 
  • A 10pm curfew on restaurants, pubs, and cinemas. The curfew will be in place between 10pm-5am

Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:

  • Only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
  • Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.  

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said on Friday September 18:  “We are seeing cases of coronavirus rise fast in Lancashire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Warrington, Halton and Wolverhampton.

"Local leaders in these areas have asked for stronger restrictions to be put in place to protect local people, and we are acting decisively to support them."

Midlands

In Wolverhampton and Oadby & Wigston residents will be banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens from 22 September.

  • Individuals who are shielding in Leicester City will no longer need to from 5 October. 

West Yorkshire

All parts of Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, will now be banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens, from 22 September.

Some wards in these areas had been exempt from restrictions on gatherings introduced at the start of August, but these wards will now also be subject to the ban.

North East

Households in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham should not socialise with other people outside of their household or support bubbles

From Friday, September 18, the following additional restrictions also apply to these areas:

  • Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only
  • A 10pm curfew on pubs, restaurants and other leisure and entertainment venues. The curfew will be in place between 10pm-5am

All of these areas have seen a significant increase in cases, with Sunderland now having an incidence rate of 103 per 100,000 of population. In South Tyneside, Gateshead and Newcastle, this rate is above 70.

Announcing the restrictions, Mr Hancock said: "I know that these decisions have a real impact on families, on businesses and local communities. And I can tell everyone effected that we do not take these decisions lightly.

"We agree with the local councils that we must follow the data and act. And the data says we must act now so we can control the virus and keep people safe."

"I know that the people of the North East will come together to defeat this virus, as defeat it we must," he added.

These are the latest rules for areas in local lockdown across the UK

Birmingham

Includes: Solihull and Sandwell boroughs

Households in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull have been banned from meeting each other since Tuesday September 15.

From September 15 you must not:

  • Host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • Meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble

Your household is defined as the people you live with and any support bubble. A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight and visit public places together.

It comes as cases in Birmingham have increased rapidly.

According to NHS Digital data, the latest seven-day rate for Birmingham to September 8 showed 78.2 cases per 100,000 with 892 cases over the period - among the highest in the city since April.

Greater Manchester

Includes: City of Manchester, Trafford, Oldham, Bury, Bolton, Tameside, Rochdale and Salford.

In Wigan and Stockport, restrictions have now been eased to align with the rest of the country.

The following restrictions - in addition to those below - apply to Bolton:

  • All hospitality venues in Bolton have been restricted to takeaway service only, meaning the closures of pubs and restaurants - bringing the town back in line with the national restrictions prior to July 4.
  • All venues will be required to close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Visits to care homes and hospitals in Bolton will also be tightly restricted.

You must not:

  • Meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble, or for other limited reasons specified in law
  • Visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas

You should not:

  • Socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants and cafes (all of which are now takeaway-only in Bolton), shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions
  • You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with individuals or groups from other households. If you run such a business or organise events on their premises, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with Covid-19 secure guidance
  • Visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should make sure that they restrict visits to these circumstances. Restrictions are tightest in this regard in Bolton

The following cannot reopen or resume:

  • Casinos
  • Skating rinks
  • Bowling alleys
  • Indoor play areas, including soft play areas
  • Exhibition centres and conference halls
  • Close contact services, which are any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application
  • Wedding receptions and celebrations for more than 20 people, in the form of a sit-down meal

Trafford will remain under its existing coronavirus restrictions “following a significant change in the level of infection rates over the last few days”, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said on September 2 following an about-turn by the Government.

Lancashire

Includes: Blackburn, Pendle and Preston,

In Rossendale, Hyndburn, Burnley and South Ribble, West Lancashire, Chorley, Wyre, Fylde, Lancaster, Ribble Valley new restrictions have been imposed on Friday September 18. 

You must not:

  • Meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law)
  • Visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas

You should not:

  • Socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with individuals or groups from other households. If you run such a business or organise events on their premises, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with Covid-19 secure guidance
  • Visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances

The following cannot reopen or resume:

  • Casinos
  • Skating rinks
  • Bowling alleys
  • Indoor play areas, including soft play areas
  • Exhibition centres and conference halls
  • Close-contact services, which are any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application
  • Wedding receptions and celebrations for more than 20 people, in the form of a sit-down meal

In Blackburn the following must also remain closed:

  • Indoor gyms
  • Indoor fitness and dance studios
  • Indoor sports courts and facilities
  • Indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks
Many indoor activities in Blackburn are still not permitted Credit: REUTERS

Leicester

Includes: Leicester City

You must not:

  • Meet people from different households in a private home or garden
  • Host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • Meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of Leicester, unless they’re in your support bubble 

Some business were able to reopen in Leicester from Tuesday, September 15, and will now be subject to the same business restrictions as the majority of England.

They were: 

  • Casinos 

  • Skating rinks

  • Bowling alleys

  • Exhibition halls

  • Conference centres  

  • Indoor play areas (including soft play areas) 

Guidance will be updated and socially distanced indoor performances will be able to resume, and remaining restrictions on certain close contact services (treatments on the face, such as eyebrow threading or make-up application) will be lifted.

The next review of Leicester's lockdown rules is expected on September 24.

Markets are open in Leicester but there are restrictions on social gatherings Credit: REUTERS

Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire

The rules: People in the Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire local authority areas should not meet with people from other households in indoor household settings, whether in these areas or elsewhere. Members of different households can continue to meet outdoors, including in gardens, and in hospitality settings.

Anyone living in this area who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 should isolate for 14 days. This quarantine extends to everyone in their household group.

Indoor visits to hospitals and care homes are limited to essential visits only. Outdoor visits to care homes are permitted by up to three individuals at a time from no more than two households.

Northern Ireland

The rules: Limits are in place on indoor and outdoor gatherings. Health Minister Robin Swann said that the number of people who could meet in groups outdoors was now 15, down from 30, following a rise in cases.

Groups meeting indoors is now limited to six people from two households, down from 10 people, while there will be additional police enforcement in affected areas.

Wales

Restrictions have been reimposed in Caerphilly, Wales, following a spike in Covid-19 cases. Measures have also been extended to Rhondda Cynon Taf from September 17.

The rules: People will not be allowed to leave or enter the county area without a "reasonable excuse", people over 11 must wear face coverings in shops and people will only be allowed to meet outdoors.

Extended households will also be temporarily suspended.

How are the restrictions enforced?

The police will be able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing £100 fixed penalty notices. For repeat offenders, these fines can increase up to £3,200

People aged 18 or over can be fined:

  • £100 for the first offence, lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days
  • £200 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £3,200

Should I shield?

The Government advice for vulnerable people to shield ended on August 1, but clinically extremely vulnerable people in Leicester and Blackburn are still being advised to shield.

But if cases of the virus return to dangerous levels up to 4.5 million people deemed to be at risk of serious illness from Covid-19 will be asked to stay at home or given tailored advice on protecting themselves.

Can I travel in the lockdown areas?

You should try not to share a car with those outside your household or social bubble. If you need to, the Government advises you 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
  • 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 mask

Read more: Can I travel with friends, and stay overnight with family?

Can I visit my family in one of the lockdown areas?

No. Two households are no longer permitted to meet at home or in a private garden, except where they have formed a support bubble.

You should not travel outside of your area to meet people other than those in your support bubble, in their homes or gardens, or indoor public places.

You can only go on holiday outside of your area with people you live with (or have formed a support bubble with).

What if they want to visit me?

The same rule applies. Even if you live outside the lockdown zone, they are not allowed to come to your home. 

I live in one of these areas. Can I see my family and friends? 

People living in the lockdown zones can meet in outdoor public spaces in groups of up to six people. They will still be required to socially distance

Can I go to work? 

There is no restriction on travelling to and from the office. 

Should I cancel my wedding? 

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are still permitted, with up to 30 people able to attend. However, large receptions or parties afterwards should not go ahead. People can also travel in and out of lockdown zones to attend weddings. 

Funerals of the same size can also take place. 

Read more: The latest wedding rules

Can I go to a place of worship? 

You may attend a mosque, church, synagogue, temple or other place or worship, but you should socially distance from people outside of your household. Maintain a distance of 2m, or 1m if you are wearing a mask.

If possible, prayer or religious services should take place outdoors.

Are you in a local lockdown? Tell us how you're coping in the comments section below