What do the new localised lockdown rules mean for you?

If you’re in certain areas of Lancashire, Greater Manchester or West Yorkshire, you’ll know by now that a new localised lockdown is in place – as of earlier this weekend.

The lockdown, reports the Spenborough Guardian: ‘came after Health Secretary Matt Hancock said an “increasing rate of transmission” had been identified in the area. It means separate households will not be allowed to meet indoors across the borough as of midnight, the government has announced.’

The new rules mean separate households will not be allowed to meet indoors, as of midnight on Friday, July 31. Areas with tighter restrictions are Kirklees, Calderdale, Greater Manchester, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, as well as neighbouring Bradford and Calderdale.

These areas have specifically been placed under lockdown as there has been a rise in confirmed Covid-19 cases.

The government said: “This is in response to an increasing trend in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area, and data from PHE and the JBC which suggests transmission among households is a key infection pathway in the area.”

So, what can you now do – or not do?

If you live in any of the above areas, you’re probably wondering how exactly the lockdown will affect you. Well, for the foreseeable, you’ll no longer be able to meet with friends and family in their garden or indoors. Where once you could have a barbecue in your garden with up to 30 people, now you can’t – just until the localised lockdown restrictions are lifted.

If, however, you’ve formed a support bubble with someone else, you can continue to visit one other household. This includes people who live alone. Meanwhile, single parents with dependent children aged under 18 can continue to visit one other household and stay overnight.

People in the affected areas can still go to pubs and restaurants, but two households will not be allowed to go together.

So, what can you do? You can wait it out until restrictions are lifted, or you can enjoy the last of the summer in your own garden (if you’re fortunate enough to have one) with the people in your household, or at your local park.

You can still catch up for a socially distanced walk with a friend, of course.

When the restrictions are lifted, follow our tips for a safe and fun social distanced barbecue with family and friends (the article talks about a barbecue for six, but when restrictions are lifted, bear in mind that you may be able to host more people). The piece includes advice on setting up hand sanitising stations, and asking people to bring their own crockery. You could even supply disposable crockery to keep the risk to a minimum.

How long will the localised lockdown last?

There is no indication as to how long the local lockdowns will last, but the aim is to keep the spread of infection down, which may mean we’re in lockdown for at least a couple of weeks.

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Until next time…