What you can and can't do in this lockdown

Reporter: Grace Marner
Date published: 05 November 2020

Another coronavirus lockdown has begun in England today (5th November).

It'll last 4 weeks until the 2nd of December, although there are concerns it may be extended.

But what does it mean we can and can't do in Greater Manchester? Well, Tier 3 restrictions that were previously in place have now been replaced. 

People can only leave home for limited reasons and non-essential businesses have, once again, been forced to close their doors.

When can you leave your home?

Like the first lockdown, there are limited reasons why you can leave your homes. They incldude:

  • To buy essentials like food or medicine
  • Medical appointments
  • To exercise outside as much as you like either alone, with members of your household or with one member of another household socially distanced and in a public space (children under 5 don't count towards the limit)
  • To go to work if you can't work from home
  • To go to school or education
  • To visit a place of worship for individual prayers
  • To attend house viewings or move home
  • To visit recycling centres if absolutely necessary
  • To provide care to vulnerable people
  • To visit a deathbed of a close family member or friend

Can I meet up with anyone?

Most of the time, no. You can no longer meet with anyone in your home or garden. There are some exemptions though:

  • If you are in a support bubble, you can continue to meet as usual. Support bubbles are there for people who live on their own or for single parents living with children under the age of 18.
  • You can meet with one person not within your household outside in a public space socially distanced (children under 5 are not counted in the limit)
  • Support groups of up to 15 people are allowed in public places (eg. for victims of crime, new parents, LGBT+ support groups etc.)
  • To volunteer for charitable causes or to provide help to those most vulnerable if you cannot do this from home
  • Parents can still access childcare arrangements
  • Funerals can be attended by up to 30 people. Other events like ash scattering can take place with up to 15 people
  • Only 'deathbed' weddings are allowed, and only 6 people may attend those

Which businesses are allowed to stay open?

Non-essential businesses have been forced to close but these places can stay open:

  • Food shops, newsagents, off-licences and garden centres
  • Pharmacies and other health services like the dentist, opticians, osteopaths and mental health services
  • Hardware stores and agriculture shops
  • Petrol stations, garages and bike shops
  • Vehicle hire services
  • Banks and post offices
  • Vets and pets shops
  • Storage facilities
  • Public toilets
  • Restaurants and cafe's can remain open for take-away services only 

The main things you cannot do

There are a few key things worth noting that you're not permitted to do. These include:

  • You must limit your travel as much as possible and only go out for essential reasons
  • Go to a gym or leisure centre as these have been forced to close. It includes outdoor facilities
  • Holidays abroad are banned as well as within England - even if it's to a second home
  • Overnight stays away are also banned unless essential for education or work purposes
  • Although you can visit care homes, this must be through windows, behind screens or outdoors
  • You cannot attend protests although officials say fines wouldn't be imposed immediately on these groups

What happens if I break the rules?

If you are caught flouting the new restrictions you could face a fine. This can be as much as £10,000.

Fines start from £100 if they're paid within 14 days. If not, it's £200 and it doubles each time for repeat offenders.

Businesses face a harsher fine from the get-go. Theirs start at £1,000 with the first offence and rise with more. 

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