Oldham Council information on the new rules

by samalhamdani on 3 August, 2020

Oldham Council has provided the following information to councillors as a guide to the new coronavirus restrictions.

On 31 July, Covid-19 restrictions were reintroduced for Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire.

People from separate households in these areas are not allowed to mix with each other in their homes or gardens, or in pubs and restaurants.

The further easing of lockdown restrictions in England has been postponed for at least two weeks, after an increase in coronavirus cases.[1]

This briefing summarises the new restrictions, answering some of the common questions that are being asked by our residents.  

Who can I meet with? 

You must not meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble.[2] You must not visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas and should not socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues. 

Can I still go to public venues like a café or pub?

You are still allowed to attend public venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with) but you should avoid interaction with individuals or groups from other households. 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. 

What happens if people break the rules?

The government will pass new laws to enforce the changes to meeting people in private homes and gardens. The police will be able to act 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).

Can I still visit my relatives in a care home? 

No. Care homes will be restricting visits to protect all their residents, other than in exceptional circumstances. 

What happens if I have been shielding? 

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.

This means you can go to work as long as the workplace is Covid-19 secure but should carry on working from home wherever possible.

Will I still receive food parcels from the Government? 

People will no longer receive free food parcels, medicine deliveries and basic care from the National Shielding Service.

I have a clinically extremely vulnerable child. Should they attend school?

Clinically extremely vulnerable children should attend education settings in line with the wider guidance on reopening of schools and guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings.

Can early years and childcare settings stay open?

Early years and childcare settings may continue to provide education and childcare to all children. Providers can continue to operate with their normal groups sizes in line with the policy in place since 20 July. Providers offering holiday clubs, tuition or other activities to children can also remain open as usual.

Can I continue to travel out of Oldham for work? 

You can continue to travel in and out for work. Workplaces must implement COVID-19 secure guidance. People can still come inside residential property when they’re doing so as part of their work, including cleaners, nannies, and repair workers.

Can my wedding still go ahead?

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies 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. People living outside the area may travel into the areas to attend a wedding but should not go into a private home or garden.

Can I still attend a place of worship?

Places of worship can remain open, but people must socially distance. This means maintaining a 2-metre distance, or 1-metre with mitigations (for example face coverings). 

Can I still arrange a funeral for a loved one? 

Funerals and cremations can still go ahead. 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 still go on holiday?

People can still go on holiday, but you should only do this with people they live with (or have formed a support bubble with).


National Restrictions

Some measures to ease restrictions in England, which were supposed to come into force on 1 August, have now been put back until 15 August at the earliest: 

  • Indoor venues such as casinos, ice rinks and bowling alleys, which were due to reopen, will remain closed
  • Live indoor theatre and concerts, which were due to resume with socially distanced audiences, will not take place
  • Pilot sporting events allowing limited numbers of spectators at Goodwood, the Crucible and The Oval, will not go ahead
  • Wedding receptions with up to 30 guests cannot yet happen
  • Beauty treatments that involve the face, such as eyelash, eyebrow and threading treatments will also remain closed

Separately, face coverings will be compulsory in more indoor settings where people are likely to meet people they do not know, such as museums and places of worship, from next weekend. They are already required in shops, banks, airports and other indoor transport hubs. The prime minister said the rules for face coverings would be enforceable in law from 8 August.

[1] Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday (31.08.2020) suggest infection rates in England are rising, with around 4,200 new infections a day – compared with 3,200 a week ago. 

[2] 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.

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