United Kingdom

New local lockdown rules as household mixing ban is reintroduced for North East England

Local lockdowns are being put into place across England in a bid to stop a second wave of coronavirus, on top of the "rule of six" that applies nationwide and new national restrictions.

Households in parts of the North East of England are to be legally banned from meeting each other indoors in any setting, Matt Hancock has announced. 

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Health Secretary said the existing measures - for Northumberland, Newcastle, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham - were being tightened at the request of the local councils because the virus was still spreading.

Leeds entered a local lockdown at midnight on September 26, while London has been added to the Public Health England watch list.

Restrictions were also introduced in areas of Wales, with Llanelli affected from September 26 and lockdown measures coming into force in Cardiff and Swansea from September 27.

The Government imposed new restrictions on the areas of Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire on September 18. 

Similar restrictions were also announced for Wolverhampton and Oadby & Wigston in the Midlands, along with the areas of Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale in West Yorkshire. 

Since September 22, residents in these areas have no longer been allowed to socialise with other people outside of their own households or their support bubble in private homes and gardens. 

Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only and restaurants, pubs, and cinemas are required to close between 10pm and 5am.  

Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Bolton and parts of Wales are also among the areas under local lockdown. 

Here's everything we know about the local lockdown restrictions. 

What is the 'traffic light' system?

Local lockdowns are set to be automatically triggered by a three-tier "traffic light" system, with alerts sent directly to people's mobile phones. The planned new approach divides the country into different areas based on local infection rates, which will dictate the severity of local lockdowns.

It will work alongside the new NHS Test and Trace app, which sees people scanning a special QR code to enter and exit pubs, restaurants and bars. The app will then send a message to the user about lockdown conditions when the coronavirus risk profile changes.

In England, there are currently zero areas in the UK that are considered 'low-risk' by the new app.

Which areas are in local lockdown and what are the rules?

Leeds

Leeds is set to enter a local lockdown from midnight on September 26.

Individuals will be banned from socialising with people indoors or outdoors at each other's homes. This is to be made law and a fine will apply if this is breached. Exemptions will apply for children with parents living apart, existing social bubbles, and tradespeople including builders.

Leeds Council has said that the local lockdown measures will be in place for "as long as it takes" to stem the rate of infection, a spokesman has told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

All existing national restrictions on the 'rule of six', social distancing and 10pm hospitality curfews will apply.

Cardiff, Swansea and Llanelli

Cardiff, Swansea and Llanelli will all go into local lockdown from this weekend, the Welsh Government has announced.

The restrictions mean people in the affected cities and towns should not meet indoors, aside from extended households, and nor should they enter or leave their regions without a "reasonable" excuse.

People must also work from home whenever possible, the Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething said.

The Cardiff and Swansea lockdowns will begin at 6pm on September 27, while the town of Llanelli will have its restrictions imposed from 6pm on September 26.

London

London has not yet confirmed any local lockdown measures, but it has been added to the Public Health England's watch list which sets out areas of concern following a rise in infections.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has not ruled out introducing new lockdown measures specific to London amid a rising tide in infections, and had what was described as a "constructive" conversation about potential measures with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on September 22.

North West

Households in Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire (excluding Blackpool and Greater Manchester), are banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble. 

From September 22, the following additional restrictions also apply to these areas:

Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said on September 18:  “We are seeing cases of coronavirus rise fast in Lancashire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Warrington, Halton and Wolverhampton.

"Local leaders in these areas have asked for stronger restrictions to be put in place to protect local people, and we are acting decisively to support them."

Midlands

In Wolverhampton and Oadby & Wigston residents will be banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens from September 22.

West Yorkshire

All parts of Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, will now be banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens, from September 22.

Some wards in these areas had been exempt from restrictions on gatherings introduced at the start of August, but these wards will now also be subject to the ban.

North East

Households in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham should not socialise with other people outside of their household or support bubbles – and households are banned from meeting each other indoors

From September 18, the following additional restrictions also apply to these areas:

All of these areas have seen a significant increase in cases, with Sunderland now having an incidence rate of 103 per 100,000 of population. In South Tyneside, Gateshead and Newcastle, this rate is above 70.

Announcing the restrictions, Mr Hancock said: "I know that these decisions have a real impact on families, on businesses and local communities. And I can tell everyone effected that we do not take these decisions lightly.

"We agree with the local councils that we must follow the data and act. And the data says we must act now so we can control the virus and keep people safe.

"I know that the people of the North East will come together to defeat this virus, as defeat it we must."

local lockdown rules north east England wales newcastle  Caerphilly preston kirklees Greater Manchester scotland glasgow northern irleand scotland
These are the latest rules for areas in local lockdown across the UK

Birmingham

Includes: Solihull and Sandwell boroughs

Households in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull have been banned from meeting each other since September 15.

From September 15 you must not:

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. Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight and visit public places together.

It comes as cases in Birmingham increased rapidly.

According to NHS Digital data, the latest seven-day rate for Birmingham to September 8 showed 78.2 cases per 100,000 with 892 cases over the period - among the highest in the city since April.

Greater Manchester

Includes: City of Manchester, Trafford, Oldham, Bury, Bolton, Tameside, Rochdale, Wigan and Salford.

In Stockport, restrictions have now been eased to align with the rest of the country, but restrictions have been reimposed in Wigan after a renewed increase in infections.

The following restrictions - in addition to all of those below - apply to Bolton:

You must not:

You should not:

  • Socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants and cafes (all of which are now takeaway-only in Bolton), 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 organise events on their premises, 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 make sure that they restrict visits to these circumstances. Restrictions are tightest in this regard in Bolton

The following cannot reopen or resume:

Trafford will remain under its existing coronavirus restrictions “following a significant change in the level of infection rates over the last few days”, Mr Hancock said on September 2 following an about-turn by the Government.

Lancashire

Includes: Blackburn, Pendle and Preston,

In Rossendale, Hyndburn, Burnley and South Ribble, West Lancashire, Chorley, Wyre, Fylde, Lancaster, Ribble Valley new restrictions were imposed on September 18. 

You must not:

You should not:

  • 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 organise events on their premises, 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 following cannot reopen or resume:

In Blackburn the following must also remain closed:

Many indoor activities in Blackburn are still not permitted
Many indoor activities in Blackburn are still not permitted Credit: REUTERS

Leicester

Includes: Leicester City, and from September 22 Oadby and Wigston  (borough council area) 

You must not:

Some business were able to reopen in Leicester from September 15 and will now be subject to the same business restrictions as the majority of England.

They were: 

Leisure centres, gyms and pools must remain closed within the area.

Guidance will be updated and socially distanced indoor performances will be able to resume, and remaining restrictions on certain close contact services (treatments on the face, such as eyebrow threading or make-up application) will be lifted.

The next review of Leicester's lockdown rules is expected on September 24.

Markets are open in Leicester but there are restrictions on social gatherings
Markets are open in Leicester but there are restrictions on social gatherings Credit: REUTERS

Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire

The rules: People in the Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire local authority areas should not meet with people from other households in indoor household settings, whether in these areas or elsewhere. Members of different households can continue to meet outdoors, including in gardens, and in hospitality settings.

Anyone living in this area who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 should isolate for 14 days. This quarantine extends to everyone in their household group.

Indoor visits to hospitals and care homes are limited to essential visits only. Outdoor visits to care homes are permitted by up to three individuals at a time from no more than two households.

On Monday, September 22, the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that additional restrictions aimed at tackling the growing spread of the Covid-19 outbreak will almost certainly be imposed within days. Speaking at a press conference, she said urgent action was needed but she hoped to avoid a full-scale lockdown along the lines of the one imposed in March.

Northern Ireland

The rules: Restrictions on social gatherings are now imposed across the entirety of Northern Ireland, First Minister Arlene Foster has announced.

There will be no mixing of two households indoors except for single-person household bubbles and certain other exemptions.

No more than six people from two households can meet in private gardens, the DUP leader said.

Wales

Large parts of Wales are in lockdown as of 6pm on Tuesday September 22.

Restrictions are being tightened in four Welsh authorities – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport – following a sharp rise in cases, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said.

People will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education, and people will only be able to meet others they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. 

Restrictions have also been reimposed in Caerphilly, Wales, following a spike in Covid-19 cases. Measures were extended to Rhondda Cynon Taf.

In those areas, people will not be allowed to leave or enter the county area without a "reasonable excuse", people over 11 must wear face coverings in shops and people will only be allowed to meet outdoors.

Extended households will also be temporarily suspended.

How are the restrictions enforced?

The police will be able to take action against those who break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing £100 fixed penalty notices. For repeat offenders, these fines can increase up to £3,200

People aged 18 or over can be fined:

Read more: Will London go into local lockdown?

Should I shield?

The Government advice for vulnerable people to shield ended on August 1, but clinically extremely vulnerable people in Leicester and Blackburn are still being advised to shield.

But if cases of the virus return to dangerous levels up to 4.5 million people deemed to be at risk of serious illness from Covid-19 will be asked to stay at home or given tailored advice on protecting themselves.

Read more: When will pub curfews start?

Can I travel in the lockdown areas?

You should try not to share a car with those outside your household or social bubble. If you need to, the Government advises you to:

Read more: Can I travel with friends, and stay overnight with family?

Can I visit my family in one of the lockdown areas?

No. Two households are no longer permitted to meet at home or in a private garden, except where they have formed a support bubble.

You should not travel outside of your area to meet people other than those in your support bubble, in their homes or gardens, or indoor public places.

You can only go on holiday outside of your area with people you live with (or have formed a support bubble with).

What if they want to visit me?

The same rule applies. Even if you live outside the lockdown zone, they are not allowed to come to your home. 

I live in one of these areas. Can I see my family and friends? 

People living in the lockdown zones can meet in outdoor public spaces in groups of up to six people. They will still be required to socially distance. 

Can I go to work? 

There is no restriction on travelling to and from the office. 

Should I cancel my wedding? 

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are still permitted, with up to 15 people able to attend. However, large receptions or parties afterwards should not go ahead. People can also travel in and out of lockdown zones to attend weddings. 

Funerals with up to 30 attendees can also take place. 

Read more: The latest wedding rules

Can I go to a place 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. Maintain a distance of two metre, or one metre if you are wearing a mask.

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

Football news:

Coach Salzburg had a problem with being an American. And I came up with a game style while watching the Princeton rowers
Ozil on not being included in Arsenal's Premier League bid: Very disappointed. Loyalty is rare today
Ronaldo has a bald haircut: Success is measured by the obstacles you overcome 😉 💪 🏽
UEFA on the European Premier League: She's bound to get bored. The Champions League is the best tournament in the world
Salzburg sold Holand and Minamino - and has already gathered new potential stars. The season started with 35 goals in 8 games
Sulscher twice outplayed Tuchel: first he mirrored the scheme (helped to contain), and then released Pogba in time (helped to add to the attack)
Barcelona - the first team to score for two 17-year-old players in a Champions League match