Guidance

North of England: local restrictions

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

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

From 31 July 2020, if you live in these parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire, you should follow these rules when meeting people who you do not live with. Separate guidance advises on the similar rules imposed in Leicester.

Affected local areas

  • Greater Manchester:
    • City of Manchester
    • Trafford
    • Stockport
    • Oldham
    • Bury
    • Wigan
    • Bolton
    • Tameside
    • Rochdale
    • Salford
  • Lancashire:
    • Blackburn with Darwen
    • Burnley
    • Hyndburn
    • Pendle
    • Rossendale
  • West Yorkshire:
    • Bradford
    • Calderdale
    • Kirklees

Local restrictions

Social contact

If you live in one of the affected areas, in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, you should 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
  • 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 organisation, 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 government will pass new laws to enforce the changes to meeting people in private homes and gardens. 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 – halving to £50 if paid in the first 14 days – and doubling for subsequent offences).

Business closures

All businesses and venues which were required to remain closed before 31 July in both Blackburn with Darwen and in Bradford must continue to remain closed to members of the public.

From 1 August, in Bradford the following premises which were previously permitted to be open must now be closed by law:

  • indoor gyms
  • indoor fitness and dance studios
  • indoor sports courts and facilities
  • indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks

‘Bradford’ refers to the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

‘Blackburn with Darwen’ refers to Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Changes in restrictions

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’re members of your household.

What will be illegal?

It will be illegal for people who do not live together to meet in a private home or garden, except for limited exceptions to be set out in law. You should not host or visit people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble. If you live in the affected areas, you should not visit someone’s home or garden regardless of whether this is in or outside of the restricted area.

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

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

Can I still meet people outdoors?

In line with the national guidance, you can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than 6 people, unless the group includes only people from 2 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.

I live in this area. Can I meet friends and family outside of the area in their homes?

You should not travel outside of this area to meet people in their homes or garden.

Can I still visit friends and family in their homes for childcare?

You should not meet with people you don’t live with in their homes or gardens. Two households, or up to 6 people from multiple households, can still meet in outdoor public places (like parks) for 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 (please see our guidance on working safely in other people’s homes.)

Can my friends or family still visit to provide childcare?

You should not meet with people you don’t live with in their homes or gardens. Two households, or up to 6 people from multiple households, can still meet in outdoor public places (like parks) for 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 (please see our guidance on working safely in other people’s homes.)

Are early years childcare providers (including childminders) allowed to remain open?

Yes, early years and childcare settings may continue to provide education and childcare to all children. They should continue to follow our guidance for early years and childcare settings. Providers can continue to operate with their normal groups sizes in line with the policy in place since 20 July.

Are holiday childcare providers allowed to remain open?

Yes, providers offering holiday clubs, tuition or other activities to children may also remain open as usual and should continue to follow the national guidance on protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings.

I live in this area. Can I still meet with my family and friends to celebrate Eid?

Due to higher rates of infection, if you live in this area you should not host or visit friends and family in each other’s homes or gardens. It will shortly be illegal to do so, unless specific exemptions apply. You also should not meet friends and family in other venues – including restaurants or cafes.

Up to 2 households, or 6 people from any number of households may meet outdoors (excluding people’s gardens) where there’s a lower risk of infection. If you do so, you should still socially distance from those you do not live with, and avoid physical contact.

You may attend a mosque or other place or worship, where COVID-19 secure guidance applies, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings). We recommend at this time that, if possible, prayer/religious services take place outdoors.

Can I still go to work in this area?

Yes. People living inside and outside of this area can continue to travel in and out for work. Workplaces must implement COVID-19 secure guidance.

Can people still come into my house if it’s part of their job?

Yes. People can still come inside your home when they’re doing so as part of their work, including cleaners, nannies, and repair workers.

See guidance on working safely in other people’s homes.

I live in this area. 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 if indoors – even if you are going outside of the restricted area.

Can I still meet people in the outdoor areas of cafes, restaurants or pubs, for example outdoor seating or a beer garden?

You can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces including outdoor seating or beer gardens in groups of no more than 6 people, unless the group includes only people from 2 households. You cannot meet people you do not live with in a private garden.

At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble.

I live in the area. Can people from outside of the restriction area visit me at my house?

No. This will be illegal.

Do I still have to shield if I live in this area?

Clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer have to follow the shielding guidance from the 1 August, unless they live in Blackburn with Darwen in the north-west and other local affected areas across England where shielding continues.

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 this 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 2 households in any location or, if outdoors, up to 6 people from different households.

Can I travel outside of the area to attend a wedding ceremony?

Yes.

Can I travel into the area to attend a wedding ceremony?

Yes. Weddings should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 secure guidelines.

People living outside this area may travel into the areas to attend a wedding, but should not go into a private home or garden.

Can I still visit a place of worship in this area?

Yes, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (for example face coverings). We recommend at this time that if possible prayer/religious services take place outdoors.

Can funerals still take place in this area?

Yes. Funerals should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 secure guidelines.

People living outside this area may travel into the area to attend a funeral.

Can I holiday in this area, or visit shops, leisure facilities, or cafes in it?

Yes. However, you must avoid socialising with people indoors when doing so.

I live in the area. Can I leave the area to go on holiday?

You should not travel outside of this 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 people continue to move home?

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.

See guidance on moving home during coronavirus.

Can I travel in a car with someone I do not 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 Department for Transport has provided specific guidance on using private vehicles. Please see their guidance on private cars and other vehicles for more information on car sharing and traveling with people outside your household group.

Published 31 July 2020
Last updated 1 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. 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.

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

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

  4. 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.

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

  6. First published.