A post on Facebook has made a number of claims about changes to lockdown rules. At the time of writing, on 31 July 2020, the post correctly reflected changes to lockdown in certain areas in Northern England. But the post incorrectly states you can go to pubs and restaurants with people outside your households in these areas—you cannot.
The post says:
“What has changed:
🏘 Households can no longer mix inside a residential property or garden. That means families should not visit another family at their home.”
This is correct for certain parts of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire due to outbreaks of Covid-19 in these areas. You can see a list of the specific areas that must follow these new rules here.
It’s true that in these areas you can no longer meet people you don’t live with inside a private home or garden, except if you have formed a support bubble with them (if they are a single adult household), or for “other limited exemptions to be specified in law.”
Other rules have also been introduced in these areas as of the 31 July.
If you live inside the affected areas, you also cannot visit someone else’s home or garden if they live outside of the affected areas. This is despite the Health Secretary Matt Hancock implying this was allowed during his appearance on BBC Breakfast on 31 July.
The post claims that “households can continue to meet with one other household in a pub, bar or restaurant, as they currently can.”
This is incorrect. You cannot socialise with people you don’t live with in other indoor public venues, like 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 post also claims that gyms can remain open. This is not the case in Bradford, where indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools and other indoor sports facilities must now be closed.
You also can’t visit friends or family in care homes other than in exceptional circumstances.
The post also correctly lists a number of things that households in the affected areas (and the rest of England) can still do.
Multiple households are allowed to meet outdoors in public in groups of six or fewer. Social distancing should be maintained with people outside of your household.Since the Facebook post was published, Boris Johnson announced on 31 July that leisure and entertainment venues such as casinos and bowling alleys that were due to be able to reopen on 1 August, will remain closed.