New restrictions come into force in parts of the West Midlands

People living in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull are now banned from meeting others who are not part of their household or support bubble Credit: BPM

New lockdown measures have come into force in parts the West Midlands from today following a sudden increase in the number of local Coronavirus cases.

People living in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull are now banned from meeting others who are not part of their household or support bubble, in both homes and gardens.

Here's the full list what you can and can't do if you're living in the affected areas:

  • You must not host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble

  • You must not meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble

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

People should only come inside your home or garden for the following specific purposes:

  • where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble

  • to attend a birth at the mother’s request

  • to visit a person who is dying (the visitor can be someone the dying person lives with, a close family member, friend or, if none of those is visiting, anyone else)

  • to fulfil a legal obligation

  • for work purposes or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services

  • for the purposes of education or training

  • for the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider

  • to provide emergency assistance

  • to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm

  • to facilitate a house move

  • to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person

  • to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents

The restrictions affect around 1.6 million people and the postcode criteria for the new rules means that some streets have been split - with the new rules only applying to residents on one side of the road.

The A4041 Queslett Road in Great Barr has one of the new 'split streets'. Those living Queslett Road towards Great Barr will be affected by the new rules but neighbours living opposite on the Doe Bank Lane side of the road pay their council tax to Walsall so they won't be affected.

Carol and Allan Denny live on the Walsall side of the A4041 Queslett Road that will not be in local lockdown. Credit: BPM

Speaking on the Doe Lane side of Queslett Road, retired floor fitter Allan said: "We realise Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell are coming under lockdown. But we are not sure if we are included in it or not as we come under Walsall, but have a Birmingham postcode! Until they get a vaccine, it's not going to end, really. That's all you can say."

Wife Carol said: "Because we pay our council tax to Walsall, although we have a B postcode, I don't know whether we come under Walsall or Birmingham for the lockdown. So really I don't know where we stand."

"We just isolate just to be safe because we really don't know what the rules are. There's so many different areas around here. You go over the road and you are in Birmingham. We don't have anybody round because you don't know if you are doing right or wrong so we think that if we just follow the rules, we're safe. We hope!"

Craig Nealis with friend Natalie says he would rather live on Walsall's non-lockdown side of the A4041 Queslett Road Credit: BPM

Meanwhile, JLR worker Craig lives on the other side of the Queslett Road and closer towards the heart of Great Barr. Craig said he knew that from Tuesday, September 15 he would not be able to have anyone round his house.

"The opposite side of the road is Walsall Council so they can do kind of what they want, still... But they're probably going to be mingling towards our side of the road so that's going to cause a lot of controversy."

Local businesses are also subject to new rules from today (September 15). The changes give local authorities the power to restrict access to, or close bars or restaurants if they are deemed to be creating a risk.

The Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Ann Jaron, says she believes the new restrictions could have been avoided if local authorities had been given more powers earlier on to deal with the local outbreak.

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