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Coronavirus: Can My Granddaughters Still Visit? And Other Local Lockdown Questions

Different households will be banned from meeting in parts of northern England after a spike in Covid-19 cases. The new rules affect people in Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire.

Here are some of your questions about these latest restrictions.

I live in Calderdale and haven’t created a support bubble, but my son and granddaughters are planning to visit from Wales. Can they still come?

From Jason Webster

Calderdale is one of the areas affected by the new rules. That means no two households can mix in any setting – including your home.

Support bubbles are an exception to the rule, as everyone in a bubble counts as one household. However, in order to form one, there are a number of requirements.

For example, in England only single adults living alone or with children under 18 are allowed to form a bubble with one other family. Also, once a bubble is formed you cannot switch and start another one.

The Welsh government says there are no cross-border restrictions, so a household in Wales could form a bubble with a household in England. However, Wales has different requirements – so you need to carefully check both countries’ rules before you form a bubble.

My four daughters live in London and they have come up for Eid. Do they have to go back or can they stay?

From Parvis in Stockport

If you live in the affected area, you cannot host people from outside your immediate household – this includes members of your family, such as your daughters. The only exception to this would be if your household is already in a support bubble with one of them.

You could still meet your daughters outdoors. Gatherings of up to six people are allowed outdoors, where there is a lower risk of infection (but not in your garden). You still have to socially distance – this means maintaining a distance of 2m (6ft), or 1m with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings).

The two main ways of catching coronavirus are through breathing in droplets of fluid expelled by an infected person, or touching a surface the droplets land on and touching your face.

Outside, better ventilation means droplets will disperse in the air faster. And the droplets that fall to the ground are less likely to fall on to surfaces that people will touch.

The virus also dies faster in direct sunlight.

You may also attend a mosque with your daughters, but here too you must also socially distance.

I live in Greater Manchester and my daughter lives in Cumbria. Can we still go on our planned holiday together in France?

From Diane Sellers

The guidance from the government is that if you live in one of the affected areas you should not visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside the affected areas.

So your daughter would not be able to visit your home and you would not be able to visit her home in Cumbria, unless you are part of a support bubble.

Going to France is somewhat less clear. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on BBC radio this morning “there are no restrictions on travel”, so you should be fine to get there.

Once you are in France, you need to be following French law, which does not currently discriminate between people from Greater Manchester and those from Cumbria, although you would have to follow local rules on things like face coverings.

I live in Northumberland and my grandchildren from Bolton are staying for a few days. Their parents will come to bring them back home. How does that affect us?

From Christine Greenall

You are allowed to travel to and from the affected areas but you cannot visit people’s private homes and gardens unless you are part of a support bubble.

So your grandchildren’s parents will be able to come to Northumberland to pick up their children, but they should not enter your home or garden unless they are in your support bubble.

Why are they treating every Greater Manchester area the same? In Wigan we have the lowest infection rate?

From Anne Upton

Wigan does indeed have the lowest level of cases among the boroughs in Greater Manchester in the last week, with eight per 100,000 people. The worst-hit borough was Oldham, with 57 cases per 100,000.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, told BBC Breakfast that what had concerned him was the way the cases were rising.

“This time last week we had a falling rate of cases in nine out of our 10 boroughs,” he said.

“This week the picture has changed completely, where we have a rising rate in nine out of 10.”

While Wigan’s rate is relatively low, it has doubled from four per 100,000 last week.


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