Guidance

Greater Manchester: local restrictions

Find out what you can and cannot do if you live, work or travel in the affected areas.

An outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in parts of Greater Manchester. The government and relevant local authorities are acting together to control the spread of the virus.

Affected local areas

  • Greater Manchester:
    • City of Manchester
    • Trafford
    • Bury
    • Tameside
    • Rochdale
    • Salford
    • Oldham
    • Stockport (from 26 September)
    • Wigan (from 26 September)

There is separate guidance to cover Bolton, where additional restrictions apply.

Local restrictions

Business and venue closures and restrictions

The following businesses and venues must remain closed nationally, including in the affected areas:

  • nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques
  • sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars

For England, including the areas affected in this guidance, hospitality venues must take reasonable steps to ensure that customers only consume food and drink while seated and, if the business serves alcohol for consumption on the premises, it must also only take orders for food and drink from customers who are seated. Take-away orders can be made at a counter or bar.

Hospitality venues subject to these restrictions include:

  • restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members’ clubs.
  • cafes, including workplace canteens, but not including:
    • cafes or canteens at a hospital, care home or school
    • canteens at a prison or an establishment intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes or for the purposes of the Department of the Secretary of State responsible for defence
  • services providing food or drink to the homeless
  • bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs
  • public houses
  • social clubs
  • casinos

In all areas affected, hospitality venues should also take steps to ensure that people do not socialise outside of their households inside and outside your premises.

Across England, the following businesses and venues must close from 22:00 to 05:00 each day except to deliver food, or provide drive-thrus, but take-away is not permitted:

  • All hospitality businesses and venues listed above (save that workplace canteens can remain open if there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food)
  • Bowling alleys
  • Amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities (excluding indoor gyms and fitness studios)
  • Funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • Bingo halls
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Concert halls

Cinemas, theatres or concert halls can stay open beyond 22:00 to conclude a performance that has begun before 22:00, but they must close once the performance has concluded.

Local authorities or the police can take action against businesses and venues who commit such offences.

Businesses and venues can be fined:

  • £1,000 for the first offence
  • £2,000 for the second offence,
  • £3,000 for the third offence
  • and then £10,000 for the fourth and all subsequent offences.

Across England, unless you have an exemption, you must wear a face covering in a range of indoor premises. This now includes hospitality venues (bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes), except when eating or drinking.

Social contact restrictions

If you live in one of the affected areas, in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus you must not:

  • host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support or childcare bubble
  • meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside the affected local areas, unless they’re in your support or childcare bubble

Your household is defined as the people you live with and any support or childcare 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.

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household can provide informal (i.e. unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. This must occur on an exclusive basis - always the same two households.

People can still 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 and informal childcare as part of a childcare bubble
  • 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 £200 for those who participate in illegal gatherings.

People aged 18 or over can be fined:

  • £200 for the first offence, lowered to £100 if paid within 14 days
  • £400 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £6,400

The government has also 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 14 September, when meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than 6. Further detail can be found in the guidance for meeting others safely, including associated exemptions.

If you live in the affected local area, you must not meet or host people you do not live with in private homes or gardens unless they are in your support bubble. In addition to these restrictions, we advise that you should not:

  • socialise with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue. This applies to inside and outside of the affected areas. Examples of public venues include pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions and parks
  • visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances

If you operate a business or organise events within the affected areas you should take steps to ensure people do not socialise with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 secure guidance.

Travel restrictions

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, taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs in England (as well as other indoor premises).

You will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined. Some people do not 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
  • 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

See more guidance on car sharing and travelling with people outside your household group.

In the affected local area in Oldham, we advise that you should only use public transport for essential reasons. We encourage you to walk or cycle where possible and to plan your journey in advance, avoiding busy times and routes if possible. Examples of essential reasons include:

  • to get to and from work
  • to get essential food or medical supplies including click and collect services
  • to support someone who is vulnerable, if no one else can do so
  • to travel to and from the homes of others in your support bubble
  • to attend an early years setting, school or college, or to accompany a child who is attending an early years setting, school or college, where necessary
  • to fulfil legal obligations
  • to seek medical care, or avoid illness, injury or harm

You can travel outside your area. However, you must not meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of your area, unless they’re in your support bubble.

You can still go on holiday outside of your area, 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.

Shielding

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable we are not currently advising that you need to shield, however it is important that you continue to take precautions. Find out more from the general guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people.

Team sport and physical activity

You can continue to take part in organised sporting or licensed physical activity in groups of more than 6 outdoors and up to 6 people indoors (for over 18s). There is an exemption for indoor sports if it is organised for the purposes of someone who has a disability taking part and for children’s activities.

These activities either need to be organised by a national governing body, club, registered instructor/coach, business or charity, and/or involve someone who has received an official licence to use equipment relevant to the activity. In all cases, the organiser must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with COVID-19 secure guidance.

You should only be playing team sports where the relevant governing body has published guidance on how to do so safely. See a list of team sports governing bodies which have developed guidance. For all other sports, guidance is available from your governing body and details on how to safely undertake this activity within an organised environment.

Organised dance and exercise classes can take place in groups of more than 6, where a risk assessment has been carried out, but you must not mix with more than five other participants. The relevant indoor sport facilities guidance or outdoor guidance must be followed for these activities. Organised sport and physical activity events are allowed provided they follow guidance for the public on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England.

Weddings and funerals

In line with the 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) are exempt.

In all affected areas the following applies:

  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are limited to 15 people from 28 September (the limit is 30 people until then)
  • Wedding receptions and celebrations can continue for up to 15 people in the form of a sit-down meal and in a Covid Secure setting from 28 September (the limit is 30 people until then)
  • Funerals (including ceremonies at crematoria) are limited to 30 people
  • All other religious or belief-based standalone life cycle ceremonies or celebrations are limited to 6 people from 28 September (the limit is 30 people until then)

Anyone working at these ceremonies or events is not included as part of the 30-person limit.

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. However, to help contain the virus, office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so. Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary. Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work. The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

NHS Test and Trace self-isolation payments

A new pilot scheme, the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation payment scheme, has been launched for people on low incomes who have been asked to self-isolate in some affected local areas, including Oldham in Greater Manchester. If you live in one of these areas and have been asked to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you may be eligible to receive payments of up to £182.

Eligibility

These payments are for people who have been asked to self-isolate either because:

  • they or another member of their household has tested positive for COVID-19
  • they have been identified as the close contact of someone who has tested positive

The payments are to help people who will lose income because they cannot work from home while they self-isolate

You will be eligible if you meet the following criteria:

  • you live in Oldham
  • you have received a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to stay at home and self-isolate
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • you are currently receiving at least one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credits
    • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Pension Credit
    • Housing Benefit

To confirm you are eligible, your local authority will ask you to provide a bank statement and a notification from NHS Test and Trace showing that you have been asked to self-isolate.

Payments

Once your local authority has confirmed you are eligible, you will receive:

  • £130 if you have tested positive for coronavirus and must stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days (from the point you first developed symptoms)
  • £182 if a member of your household has tested positive for coronavirus and you must stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days (from the point they first developed symptoms or, if they did not have any symptoms, from the point they took the test)
  • £13 per day (up to a maximum of £182) if you are identified as a non-household contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. This will be for up to 14 days, and the communication from NHS Test and Trace will set out how long you must stay at home and self-isolate

Your local authority will have the right to recoup any money you have been paid if you do not stay at home and self-isolate for the full period you have been told to by NHS Test and Trace.

Childcare

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.

The following people can provide childcare support in private homes and gardens:

  • Registered childcare providers, including nannies
  • People who are in your support bubble
  • People who are in your childcare support bubble

Friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of a support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare.

A support bubble is where a lone adult household with one adult joins with another household (on an exclusive basis).

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household can provide informal (i.e. unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. This must occur on an exclusive basis - always the same two households.

We recommend that you form a support bubble or childcare support bubble with a household that lives locally wherever possible. This will help to prevent the virus spreading from an area where there might be a higher rate of infection.

Children of parents who are separated can continue to move between households.

Testing (for schools and further education colleagues)

The local authority for Oldham will be undertaking enhanced testing for schools and further education colleges across areas with a high prevalence of COVID-19.

Schools and colleges (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.

Universities and higher education

You can move home and travel in order to attend or work at a university or higher educational establishment. This applies to the whole country, including the areas affected in this guidance.

You should follow all relevant university and higher educational guidance if you attend, work at or manage higher education establishments, including universities and associated accommodation. The guidance also covers what to do in the event of an outbreak at these establishments. It is important to understand how to minimise risk during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and ensure that the experience of attending or working at these establishments is enjoyable and as safe as possible.

We recognise the pressure of attending or working at these establishments during these uncertain times. There are support services within your university or higher education establishment to help you should you need advice or support. In addition, we have worked with the Office for Students to provide the Student Space platform, which seeks to bridge gaps in mental support for students arising from this unprecedented situation. It provides a range of information, access to dedicated support services, details of the support available at each university, and tools to help students manage the challenges of their student life.

Students are expected to follow the latest guidance on social contact and meeting with others safely in their local area whilst attending university, and should not leave their university accommodation to go home in the event of an outbreak or restrictions being applied in a local area.

As of Monday 14 September, when meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than 6. Further detail can be found in the guidance for meeting others safely, including certain exemptions that may apply.

If you live in the affected local areas, you must not meet or host people you do not live with in private homes or gardens unless they are in your support bubble, please see below to understand how this may affect you.

You are living or plan to live in student halls or official accommodation in one of the affected areas:

  • you must not meet people in a group of more than 6.
  • 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 should not host people you do not live with in your student halls, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • you should not meet people you do not live with in their student halls, whether inside or outside of the affected areas unless they’re in your support bubble

To note - if you plan to live in an affected area, restrictions on hosting people you do not live with only apply to you once you move to said area. However, even before you do so, you should not meet with people you don’t live with in an affected area.

You are living or plan to live in private rented accommodation in one of the affected areas:

  • you must not meet people in a group of more than 6.
  • you must not host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • 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 should not meet people you do not live with in their student halls, whether inside or outside of the affected areas unless they’re in your support bubble

You relocate or currently live in an area outside of one of the affected areas:

  • you must not meet people in a group of more than 6.
  • you must not host people you do not live with in your home or garden, if they live in one of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • you should not host people you do not live with in your student halls, if they live in an affected area, unless they’re in your support bubble

You commute into an affected area to attend or work at a university:

  • you must not meet people in a group of more than 6.
  • you must not meet people you do not live with in their home or garden inside one of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • you must not host people you do not live with in your home or garden, if they live in one of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • you should not meet people you do not live with in their student halls, whether inside or outside of one of the affected areas unless they’re in your support bubble

Please see the social contact restriction section of this guidance to understand the specific purposes people can enter your home or garden and broader guidance on exemptions to the rule of six outside of people’s homes and gardens.

This means certain activities, like organised outdoor sports can still proceed, as can specified support groups (up to 15) and other specified activities.

Moving home

People can move home. Estate and letting agents as well as removals firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings.

Published 31 July 2020
Last updated 26 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added guidance for university students moving to or relocating within an area of local restrictions, updated guidance on going to work and on childcare bubbles. Guidance updated to reflect regulations affecting businesses selling food and drink

  2. Oldham has been added to this area of restrictions, and the page now includes all guidance relevant to Oldham. The following guidance has been updated: shielding; restrictions on sport and physical activity; weddings, funerals and other life-cycle events; and education settings. The page title has been changed to reflect the areas it now applies to.

  3. Updated with information on the restrictions that will come into force on 14 September.

  4. Updated page to link to the 'Bolton local restrictions' guidance, published on 9 September.

  5. Updated in line with 8 September guidance.

  6. Updated with information on the restrictions that will lift from 8 September.

  7. Updated with more detailed information on affected local areas and following decision that Bolton and Trafford will not have restrictions lifted from 2 September.

  8. Updated with the latest guidance

  9. Added information that police can issue fixed penalty notices up to a maximum of £3,200 for people who break the law on meeting in private homes and gardens and for gatherings over 30 people in outdoor public spaces. Also makes clear that the national easements for 15 August will not apply to the affected local areas listed on this page.

  10. Updated to reflect that people in the borough of Oadby and Wigston can stop following the shielding guidance.

  11. Updated to include Preston in the areas covered by these local restrictions.

  12. Changes made to the section 'Changes to restrictions'

  13. Added that children of parents who are separated can move between households while the restrictions are in place.

  14. Added sections to confirm that early years childcare providers (including childminders) and holiday childcare providers can remain open. Small changes made to the 'Local restrictions' section under 'Social contact' to make it clearer.

  15. Added section confirming that people in the affected areas can continue to move home.

  16. Added information about the rules for meeting people in the outdoor areas of cafes, restaurants or pubs.

  17. Name of guide changed to more accurately describe the area of England it applies to. Also changed to reflect that from 1 August 2020 some premises in Bradford that were previously permitted to be open must now be closed by law.

  18. Additional guidance added around meeting friends, holidaying and people entering your home for work purposes.

  19. First published.