Coronavirus Q&A: 16 questions on flying planes and tradespeople coming to your home

We know you have many questions about Covid-19 and how it's impacting your life - so ITV News is putting your questions to the experts in a special weekly programme, called Coronavirus: Q&A.

The programme is broadcast every Monday at 8pm on ITV.

In this week's programme, Consumer Editor Chris Choi answered some of the many questions ITV News viewers and readers sent in about travel, nurseries and meeting friends.

These are the answers to the questions Chris answered on the programme, plus other questions we didn't have time to include on air.

Meeting up with one friend is now fine. Credit: PA

You can only meet one person outdoors observing social distancing, but what if that person has a baby/child/children that can't be left at home? Can one parent with a baby/child/children meet another parent friend with a baby/child/children? Equally, can a friend without children meet the friend with a baby/child/children whom aren't old enough to be left at home? Anonymous

In England you can meet up with “one other person” who is not in your household - outside and two metres apart.

Gatherings of more than two people from different households are prohibited, and I’m afraid this includes a baby or young child – so they can’t be brought along.

What will happen with prison visits – will they be going ahead with PPE – if everyone stays a two-metre distance away from one another? Macie Whitley

Prison visits are suspended - but so that people can keep up contact, secure phone handsets have been given to many prisoners who are assessed as low risk.

This enables them to call pre-authorised contacts.

The prison service is also piloting video calls - at 10 sites so far.

There is a Prisoners’ Families Helpline offering support and updating information.

Can tradespeople now enter homes to carry out their trades? Paul

Across the UK, tradespeople can work in people's homes - as long as neither they nor anyone living in the household is shielding or showing symptoms of Covid-19.

Of course, they must follow strict social distancing and hygiene measures whilst they're there.

Gardeners are not permitted at the homes of those who are isolating. Credit: PA

Is it safe to have a regular gardener to tend to our garden? We are aged 80 and 90 and are both isolated. Lesley Glasbey

The general rules state that "no work should be carried out in any household which is isolating... or when an individual has been advised to shield".

Although here we are talking about the garden, the same guidelines apply, and this 80 and 90-year-old are isolating.

There could be a chance of the gardener touching a surface which is later touched by the householders, so this could be a risk.

Where do you buy masks from and how do we know they're genuine and not from a fraudulent company? David

The government is advising the use of face coverings where social distancing is not possible, especially in enclosed spaces like on public transport or in shops.

These are not to be confused with a medical grade mask used by health workers.

Some major reputable retailers are selling them – it’s best to opt for a re-usable cloth one.

You can also make face coverings yourself - online you’ll find tips for making DIY masks using everything from sports socks to tea towels.

When will people in relationships that don't live together be able to start seeing or staying with each other? Daniel

In England - though not in other parts of the UK - you can see that special person outdoors at a two-metre distance.

However, you can’t stay with them and you can’t go into each other’s homes.

There’s no way to know yet when that may change.

Flying your own plane is permitted within England. Credit: PA

Am I permitted to fly my private plane and helicopter around the British Isles? I appreciate that landing an aircraft outside of England is probably still out of the question. Ian

As of last week, recreational flying has been allowed, but as you said, only from English airfields or flying sites.

Recreational flying is still not allowed in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

In England, you must follow social distancing guidelines when flying, meaning that because distancing isn’t possible inside most private planes or helicopters, generally only solo flights or flights with other people from your own household are allowed.

Of course, you must also still follow all the usual rules for pre-flight planning.

Be aware too that airfields may need a little time to implement measures so that they are 'Covid-secure', which may cause some delays to their opening.

Aerodromes in England are also allowed to open, provided that they are sure they can comply with social distancing guidelines for staff and users.

I have paid for my package holiday to Greece in full. I am due to go at the end of August 2020. If TUI do not cancel the holiday but I’m unable to go because work will not allow me an extra two weeks off to self-isolate on return, will I be able to claim from my holiday insurance? Anonymous

The government has said that people returning from holidays overseas will need to quarantine, but they have not yet published full details or any exemptions.

In effect, it means you could end up needing a month off work for a two-week holiday.

Of course, if you’re lucky it may be that you could work from home during that quarantine.

TUI has cancelled holidays up to June 11 so far.

If and when more dates are cancelled, people will qualify for refunds.

If Foreign Office advice changes before the end of August to allow overseas leisure travel - and therefore the holiday to Greece isn’t cancelled - you wouldn’t usually be covered by insurance (this is called ‘disinclination to travel’).

You’ll need to get out the magnifying glass and study the terms and conditions of your particular policy.

TUI holidays are cancelled up to 11 June. Credit: PA

When will the hundreds of tourists stranded in Florida be allowed to return home to the UK? My husband's flight has been cancelled three occasions. Melanie

One of the main reasons that UK airports and airlines are still open is for UK citizens coming home.

The Foreign Office has said that Brits abroad should return home wherever possible. However, flights have been drastically reduced - and in many cases have rocketed in price.

If you have a ticket, the airline has a legal responsibility to get you home – on its own planes or using another airline.

Where people are in difficulty, consular teams overseas can offer advice.

Is there a legal obligation or law that states I have to allow a possible buyer into my house or garden? Chris

In England, property viewings are now permitted.

However, the advice is clear that anyone viewing a property should first do so virtually, and should only go to view it in person if they are seriously considering moving there.

As a homeowner, you don’t legally have to allow anyone into your home, but potential buyers can now ask to view a property in person, so they may want to do so before they make a final decision.

Remember that nobody should be entering your home if you or anyone you live with is shielding – or if any of either party has symptoms.

Potential buyers are asked to keep the numbers of people who view a property to a minimum, and not to touch anything while they are there.

Estate agents should accompany clients to property viewings to ensure that safety measures are observed, but homeowners are advised to leave the property whilst viewings take place.

If you’re worried about potential buyers viewing your home, talk to your estate agent about whether extra safety measures can be put in place.

You could also delay your move until a point where the risks may have reduced – although of course we don’t know when that will be – and whether or not you can postpone depends on the circumstances of your move.

Property viewings are still not allowed in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

House sales are back on. Credit: PA

What is the Government rule on when people can move house - when can removal company staff start back to work? Paul

In England, removal companies can get back to work now, but companies, removers and customers must take steps to make sure that they can work safely.

Removers must stay two metres away from everyone in the household, wash their hands on entering the property, and absolutely not go in if they or anyone in the household is showing symptoms of coronavirus or is shielding.

Removers should contact customers to check this in advance.

The advice for people moving house is to do as much of the packing yourself as possible, and to make sure that all surfaces and possessions have been cleaned with household cleaners before removers arrive.

It’s also advised that you keep all internal doors open while removers are in the house.

Customers should also ensure that removers have access to hand washing facilities – including separate towels or paper towels.

Removers are advised to bring their own refreshments – so sadly, tea and biscuits may be off the cards for now!

In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the advice is that you should only move house if you have a pre-existing moving date that you absolutely can’t postpone.

Our children’s nursery is planning to reopen on the 1 June, but we feel we need more information before we are happy to send the children back, We have been paying 15% of fees while the nursery has been closed, but we’re worried that the nursery could charge full fees after they reopen, even if we don’t send them.

Does the nursery have the right to charge fees to keep the children’s places? Fiona

The government has said that schools and nurseries in England can re-open on the June 1.

For schools this will only be for certain age groups.

During the time that nurseries have been closed, the Government has asked providers "to be reasonable and balanced in their dealings with parents" when it comes to fees.

Ultimately, though, whether a nursery continues to charge fees – or a proportion of fees – has been up to the individual nursery.

There are financial support packages in place for nurseries, but many are still very worried about how much of their income they have lost over this period, so a lot of parents have been asked to continue to pay at least part of their usual fees.

It’s worth having a conversation with the nursery now about the fees they’re planning to charge when they reopen – so that you can make a decision about what you’d like to do.

Companies breaking furlough rules can be reported to HMRC. Credit: PA

I worked on a make-up counter but have been furloughed. My employer wants me to go back to work, but they are suggesting that I will be going back to work as a warehouse operative in a new distribution centre to fulfil online orders.

Is this something an employer can do? Susan

We spoke to ACAS about this: their advice is that if you’re in this situation, you should check your original employment contract.

A lot of contracts include an agreement that your employer can ask you to perform any role that’s required of you – above the one that you’ve been specifically hired to do.

If that’s the case, your employer may be within their rights to ask you to do a different job, as long as you’re physically able to perform the tasks required.

If for any reason you’re not, that could be a separate discrimination issue.

If your original contract is specific to your usual role – and specifies that you will be required to carry out only the tasks required for that particular job - you may be able to refuse to return in a different role.

However, your employer could then say that your usual role doesn’t exist any more – which sadly may not leave you many options for going back to work.

This would apply whether the change were temporary or permanent – for example, whether the make-up counter where you usually work is likely to be opened again when the government allows it, meaning that you can eventually return to that role or whether it has been closed permanently and sales will now only be made online.

How do I report an employer for asking their employees to work while on furlough? Anonymous

You can’t presently work for your employer while on furlough – HMRC can check on employers and demand money back if they are found to have been breaking the rules.

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your employer about it – or if you’ve already tried that - you can report your employer to HMRC by using their online reporting form.

You can act as whistleblower when making a report to HMRC, meaning that you won’t have to give your name, but your report will still be investigated.

There will be changes to the scheme from August when furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers, but in that case your employer would need to contribute to your wages.

Churches will not open before 4 July. Credit: PA

How soon can church services for burial be resumed? My father passed away two weeks ago and I would dearly like him to have a church service. Carol

The Government said last week that they will consider opening places of worship in England from July 4.

That would include opening for funeral services.

That timetable doesn’t apply in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Most cemeteries are allowing a small group to attend graveside services and most crematoria are allowing small numbers inside their chapels – as long as they keep to social distancing.

The precise numbers of mourners allowed to attend will vary from local authority to local authority.

Some people are planning to hold memorial services in churches when they reopen, if burials and cremations need to be held before then.

I am shielding - do I have to allow a gas safety engineer access to my property? Sheila

No, although gas safety checks are still going on, you do not have to allow anyone into your property for a routine check if you are shielding.

If you have a gas safety check scheduled and you’re shielding or showing any symptoms of Covid-19, explain to your landlord that you are shielding following medical advice.

They should then reschedule the appointment for a time when you have been advised that you can stop self-isolating and you are happy to let an engineer into your home.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know: