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Covid-19 Update - Restrictions in the West Midlands

Coronavirus restrictions in the West Midlands – what are they and how do they affect you?

No matter where you live in the West Midlands new rules preventing social gatherings of more than six people are now in place.

This ‘rule of six’ is set out in law, and the police and other enforcement officers can issue penalties to those that don’t comply.

Everyone in the West Midlands is also advised to take three simple actions to keep on protecting each other:

  • Wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly
  • Cover face - wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
  • Make space - stay at least 2 metres apart - or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions

Detailed guidance for people living in Coventry, Dudley, and Walsall on how to meet people safely, including the latest changes to gatherings rules, can be found here.

 

What are the additional local lockdown restrictions on households in Wolverhampton?

From Tuesday 22 September 2020, residents in Wolverhampton cannot mix with people they don't live with or are in the same support bubble with in their homes and gardens.

 

What are the additional local lockdown restrictions on households in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull?

From Tuesday 15 September 2020, residents in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull cannot mix with people they don’t live with in their homes or gardens.

These new restrictions have come into effect to reduce the coronavirus rate of infection which has been rising fast in these areas.

If you live in Birmingham, Sandwell or Solihull you should not:

  • Meet up with 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 their home is inside or outside of Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull, unless they’re in your support bubble

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 (on an exclusive basis).

More details on what you can and cannot do if you live, work or travel in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull can be found here.

 

FAQs about the additional lockdown restrictions in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull

Can I still go to a hospitality venue like a pub or a restaurant and meet up with family or friends that don’t live with me?

Yes, pubs and restaurants have to have Covid-safety risk assessments in place and must be managing the space to keep you safe. From Monday 14 September, the rule of six applies for meeting up OUTSIDE private homes and gardens in the West Midlands, this is the same as the rest of the country.

Why can I go to the workplace, school, or hospitality venues, but I can’t visit other households?

We understand that it can be frustrating to be able to go to these certain places but not visit your family and friends within their household.

However, the reason that these restrictions have come in place is that the data shows that the infection rate has risen mainly due to household mixing in private homes.

In places such as shops, cafes and restaurants, schools and offices there are strict measures in place to ensure safety.

Can I still meet other households in outdoor public spaces e.g. local parks?

Yes, these rules only apply to households, including indoors and gardens. However, you must still be in line with the maximum numbers stated in the national guidelines. That means following the rule of six.

Can I go to meet a friend or relative in their home in an area not subject to these restrictions, such as somewhere else in the West Midlands or elsewhere in the country?

No – and they cannot come to your home either.

Can I still travel to work or school?  

People living inside and outside of these areas can continue to travel for work or school. Workplaces and schools themselves should also be implementing secure measures. 

How are community activities like support groups, clubs and classes affected?

Activities organised by community and voluntary organisations, including physical activity, education, providing support to vulnerable people, youth groups, charitable and voluntary work, are allowed to exceed the limit of 6 people based on their individual Covid risk assessment.  However, particular care must be taken to stringently follow guidance on social distancing, handwashing and the taking of attendees’ details for purposes of contact tracing.  

Can I have someone in my house (or go into someone’s house) to do repairs or other work?

You can go to other people’s homes for work purposes as long as you follow national guidance on how to work safely there. This includes limiting contact with customers, explaining your safety measures to them, making sure your staff are properly trained and understand what they need to do and avoiding crowded areas. Check before you go if anyone in your customers’ house has symptoms.

Can I go to a wedding or a funeral?  

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, and funerals (including ceremonies at crematoriums) can still go ahead if they comply with the guidance and venue capacity, these are limited to a maximum number of 30 people current in national guidelines.

People living in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull can travel to attend a wedding, civil partnership ceremony, or funeral, but they must not meet with another household in a private home or garden.

Can I go to a place of worship?  

You may attend a Mosque, Church, Synagogue, Temple, and other place of worship, but you should socially distance from people outside of your household. Please also follow guidance that these establishments have set out.

Can businesses that visit other households continue?

Businesses can continue as normal as per national current guidance if they are Covid safe.

Does this affect education?

All schools, colleges and other educational establishments should remain open and continue to allow all their students to attend.

Do pupils now need to wear face coverings in schools?

The only difference in education settings as a result of the updated rules is that where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

Does this affect childcare?

All nurseries, childminders and breakfast/after-school clubs should remain open and continue to allow all their children and young people to attend.

What about if a relative provides childcare for me?

Friends or family who you do not live with should not visit your home to help with childcare unless they are part of your support bubble. The only people who should help you with childcare in your home are people you live with, people in your support bubble or registered childcare providers, including nannies.

Is this a local lockdown?

No, these restrictions only apply to the mixing of households in private households and gardens.

Is shielding being reintroduced for the vulnerable in the city?

No. These new restrictions only apply to the mixing of households in private households and gardens.

What do I do if I see people breaking the rules?

If you encounter individuals breaching the restrictions, you can fill out a reporting breach of restrictions form with West Midlands Police.

If you are concerned that a business or venue is not following the Government's regulations, you can anonymously report them to your local council.

How long can we expect these restrictions to go on for?

These restrictions will go on for as long as is needed to bring down the coronavirus rates of infection. They will be reviewed regularly by Government.