North West lockdown restrictions: What you can and can't do

A Resident in Oldham stands in his doorway with the Manchester skyline behind, the town in Greater Manchester has seen cases of coronavirus rise in the area.
Separate households are banned from meeting in parts of northern England Credit: PA

People from different households in Greater Manchester and parts of East Lancashire are banned from meeting each other indoors and in private gardens, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced last night.

In northern parts of England, an "increasing transmission" of Covid-19 had been identified and the government took "immediate action" to keep people safe.

  • Some of the key parts of the new rules in Greater Manchester and East Lancashire.

What are the affected areas?

Greater Manchester:

  • City of Manchester

  • Trafford

  • Stockport

  • Oldham

  • Bury

  • Wigan

  • Bolton

  • Tameside

  • Rochdale

  • Salford


  • Blackburn with Darwen

  • Burnley

  • Hyndburn

  • Pendle

  • Rossendale

Andy Burnham said the restrictions will be reviewed on a weekly basis Credit: PA

Social contact:

Government guidance states if you live in one of the affected areas, in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, you should not:

  • Meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law).

  • Visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas.

  • Socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with others.

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

Restrictions are being introduced in Oldham and the whole of Greater Manchester Credit: PA

Business closures:

In Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford, the following premises must remain closed by law:

  • Indoor gyms

  • Indoor fitness and dance studios

  • Indoor sports courts and facilities

  • Indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks.

What will be illegal?

According to the government guidance, It will be illegal for people who do not live together to meet in a private home or garden, except for limited exceptions to be set out in law.

You should not host or visit people you do not live with, unless they are in your support bubble. If you live in the affected areas, you should not visit someone’s home or garden regardless of whether this is in or outside of the restricted area.

Click here for much more information on what you can and cannot do if you live, work or travel in the North West area.