Find out what you can and cannot do if you live, work or travel in these areas.
An outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull. The government and the relevant local authorities are working together to control the spread of the virus.
Restrictions and guidance apply to the specified areas below.
Affected local areas
- Birmingham (city council area)
- Sandwell (metropolitan borough council area)
- Solihull (metropolitan borough council area)
Social contact restrictions
If you live in the affected areas, 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 (on an exclusive basis).
Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight and visit public places together.
People must only come inside your home or garden for specific purposes set out in law:
- where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble
- to attend a birth at the mother’s request
- to visit a person who is dying (the visitor can be someone the dying person lives with, a close family member, friend or, if none of those is visiting, anyone else)
- to fulfil a legal obligation
- for work purposes (see guidance on working safely in other people’s homes), or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services
- for the purposes of education or training
- for the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider
- to provide emergency assistance
- to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
- to facilitate a house move
- to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
- to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents
The police will be able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices starting at £100 for those who participate in illegal gatherings.
People aged 18 or over will be able to 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
The government has already introduced fines for those who hold illegal gatherings of over 30 people. Holding or being involved in the holding of an illegal gathering of more than 30 people is an offence, and police may issue fines of £10,000 to those who break the law.
As of Monday 14 September, while you should continue to follow the rules in this guidance within private homes and gardens, you will also need to comply with the new national restrictions that prohibit meeting up in a group of more than 6 people in other locations (apart from specific exemptions listed in the national guidance).
You should follow all relevant transport guidance when making a journey into, within or out of the affected areas.
You must wear a face covering on public transport and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs in England (as well as in a range of other indoor premises). You will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined. Some people don’t have to wear a face covering, including for age, health, or disability reasons.
You should try not to share a car with those outside your household or support bubble. If you need to, try to:
- share the car 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
- 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
See more guidance on car sharing and travelling with people outside your household group.
If you live in one of the affected areas, you can travel outside them. However, you must not 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.
You can still go on holiday outside of the affected areas, but you should only do this with people you live with (or have formed a support bubble with).
There is separate guidance on what to do if you have booked holiday accommodation in an area with local restrictions.
Team sport and physical activity
You can play a team sport only where this is formally organised by a sports club or similar organisation, and sports-governing body guidance has been issued. See a list of governing bodies that have had guidance reviewed.
You can play individual sports but should follow guidance on outdoor sport and recreation. We advise that all other sports activities should not take place with people who you do not live with at indoor and outdoor public venues.
Weddings and funerals
From Monday 14 September, in line with the new rules across the whole of England, you must not meet in a group of more than 6 people in any location. Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and receptions, funerals (including ceremonies at crematoria) and other religious life-cycle ceremonies are exempt. Up to 30 people are allowed to attend these events, including in the affected areas.
These events should comply with the COVID-19 secure guidance and venue capacity. See detailed guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships.
People living outside of the affected areas can travel to those areas in order to attend a wedding, civil partnership ceremony or funeral, but must not meet with another household in a private home or garden.
Religious ceremonies and places 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. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with extra precautions (such as wearing face coverings).
If possible, prayer or religious services should take place outdoors.
Going to work
People living inside and outside of the affected areas can continue to travel in and out for work. Workplaces should implement COVID-19 secure guidance.
You can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders and providers offering before- or after-school clubs or other out-of-school settings for children. You can also continue to employ nannies – see guidance on working safely in other people’s homes.
Friends or family who you do not live with should not visit your home to help with childcare unless they are part of your support bubble. The only people who should help you with childcare in your home are people you live with, people in your support bubble or registered childcare providers, including nannies.
Children of parents who are separated can continue to move between households.
Schools (face coverings)
In education settings where pupils and students in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by staff, visitors and pupils/students when moving around in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain. It is not necessary to wear face coverings in the classroom, where protective measures already mean the risks are lower and they may inhibit teaching and learning.