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, Preston, and West Yorkshire. The government and relevant local authorities are acting together to control the spread of the virus.

If you live in these parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, Preston and West Yorkshire, you should follow these rules when meeting people who you do not live with. There is separate guidance to cover Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle, and Bolton (where additional restrictions apply to some parts) and Leicester.

The local business and venue closures no longer apply to the affected areas.

Affected local areas

  • Greater Manchester:
  • Lancashire:
  • West Yorkshire:
    • Bradford in the following wards:
      • Bolton and Undercliffe
      • Bowling and Barkerend
      • Bradford Moor
      • Eccleshill
      • Idle and Thackley
      • Little Horton
      • Great Horton
      • Queensbury
      • Royds
      • Tong
      • Wibsey
      • Wyke
      • City
      • Clayton and Fairweather Green
      • Heaton
      • Manningham
      • Thornton and Allerton
      • Toller
      • Keighley Central
      • Keighley East
      • Keighley West
    • Calderdale in the following wards:
      • Park
      • Warley
      • Northowram and Shelf
      • Town
      • Ovenden
      • Illingworth and Mixenden
      • Skircoat
      • Sowerby Bridge
    • Kirklees in the following wards:
      • Dewsbury East
      • Dewsbury West
      • Dewsbury South
      • Batley East
      • Batley West

Local areas no longer affected

On 2 September local restrictions were lifted in the following areas. The restrictions outlined on this page no longer apply in these areas and they align with the rest of the country:

  • Greater Manchester:
    • Stockport
    • Wigan (restrictions were removed on 26 August)
  • Lancashire:
    • Burnley
    • Hyndburn
    • Rossendale (restrictions were removed on 26 August)
  • West Yorkshire:
    • Bradford in the following wards:
      • Worth Valley
      • Craven
      • Ilkley
      • Baildon
      • Bingley
      • Bingley Rural
      • Shipley
      • Wharfedale
      • Windhill and Wrose (restrictions were removed on 3 September)
    • Calderdale in the following wards:
      • Brighouse
      • Calder
      • Elland
      • Greetland and Stainland
      • Hipperholme and Lightcliffe
      • Luddendenfoot
      • Rastrick
      • Ryburn
      • Todmorden
    • In Kirklees in the following wards:
      • Heckmondwike
      • Greenhead
      • Denby Dale
      • Golcar
      • Holme Valley North
      • Almondbury
      • Crosland Moor and Netherton
      • Mirfield
      • Ashbrow
      • Birstall and Birkenshaw
      • Dalton
      • Liversedge and Gomersal
      • Lindley
      • Newsome
      • Cleckheaton
      • Colne Valley
      • Holme Valley South
      • Kirkburton

Local restrictions

Business and venue closures

The following business and venues can now open or restart in all the affected areas:

  • casinos
  • skating rinks
  • bowling alleys
  • indoor play areas, including soft play areas
  • indoor performances
  • close contact services, which are any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application
  • wedding receptions and celebrations, including for up to 30 people in the form of a sit-down meal

In Bradford (within the areas outlined above), the following businesses and venues can now open:

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

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 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 only 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.

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 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

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.

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
  • 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.

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 (other than specific exemptions, set out in the national guidance). However, for people who live in the affected areas, we continue to 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 areas affected.

You must wear a face covering on public transport and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs in England. 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
  • 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.

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.


Clinically extremely vulnerable people are no longer being advised to shield from 1 August for the areas covered by this guidance.

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. A list of governing bodies which have had guidance reviewed can be found in the return to recreational team sport framework. You can play individual sports in alignment with guidance for the public on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England. 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) or other religious life-cycle ceremonies are exempt (but not celebratory receptions following these ceremonies). Up to 30 people will to be allowed to attend these events, including in the affected areas.

These events must comply with COVID-19 secure guidance and venue capacity. See detailed guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships.

People living outside of these areas can travel to these areas to attend a wedding, civil partnership ceremony or funeral, but they must not meet with another household in a private home or garden.

Wedding celebrations should not currently take place in these areas – unless they are limited to people who live together (or are in the same support bubble), or a group of up to 6 people outdoors.

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 mitigations (such as wearing face coverings).

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

Going to work

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


You can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders and providers offering before and 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 do not live with you cannot visit your home to help with childcare unless they are part of your support bubble. The only people who can 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 are allowed to move between households. The law includes an exemption to allow parents and children who are not part of the same household to continue an arrangement for access or contact to each other.

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.

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 11 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated with information on the restrictions that will come into force on 14 September.

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

  3. Updated in line with 8 September guidance.

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

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

  6. Updated with the latest guidance

  7. 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.

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

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

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

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

  12. 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.

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

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

  15. 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.

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

  17. First published.