Restrictions on household gatherings to continue for local residents

Date published: 14 August 2020

The government has announced today (Friday 14 August) that the current restrictions will continue in parts of the North West, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire, and Leicester following consideration of all local restrictions yesterday by government and local authorities. The measures were announced 2 weeks ago to urgently tackle an increase in Covid-19 cases in these areas.

Since 31 July, people in Heywood, Middleton, Rochdale (including Milnrow and Littleborough) and Whitworth have not been permitted to mix with other households (apart from those in their support bubbles) in private homes or gardens, pubs, cafes, restaurants and other leisure or entertainment settings.

To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, residents of Greater Manchester, neighbouring Rossendale and Calderdale and other specified areas 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 latest evidence does not show a decrease in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area, and the Health Secretary, in collaboration with local leaders, has agreed that the rules must remain in place at present.

The number of cases in Rochdale borough for the week ending 8 August stands at 43.2 per 100,000 people, the second highest number in Greater Manchester after Oldham with 108.8 cases per 100,000.

The current number of cases in Rochdale is about the same as it was three weeks ago (46.8 cases per 100,000 for the 7 days ending 18 July) although the number had dropped to 29.7 for the week ending 1 August.


Coronavirus infection rates for Greater Manchester


Minister for Health, Edward Argar, said: "I’d like to thank everyone in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester for your continued patience in following these vital rules – I know it hasn’t been easy.

"We will review the measures again next week as part of our ongoing surveillance and monitoring of the latest data.

"We will keep all local restrictions under constant consideration, including ahead of any formal reviews. As part of ensuring a proportionate yet robust response to the virus, where possible, the government will remove individual areas from these measures while maintaining or even strengthening measures in others as necessary - just as has been done in other areas where local measures have been brought in, such as Leicestershire."

A Greater Manchester Combined Authority spokesperson said: “The Mayor of Greater Manchester and leaders once again agreed on Wednesday that increased restrictions should continue across the city-region for another week.

“The situation in Greater Manchester remains challenging. It is clear that while the current restrictions appear to be having a positive effect in some places, we urgently need to bring the number of cases down in several boroughs. Everyone in Greater Manchester must do all they can to reduce the number of cases. That means individuals, pubs, restaurants and supermarkets all taking this seriously and following all the regulations.

“We will continue to work as one Greater Manchester system with a particular focus on providing support to Oldham as they strengthen further their intensive test and trace operation.

“We understand that this is a frustrating time for business owners, particularly in the areas affected, and it is important that these restrictions are reviewed on a weekly basis. We do not want any part of Greater Manchester to go in lockdown. But this requires us all to pull together right now. It’s a moment in which we all need to be aware of what is happening, follow the guidance and protect the health of everyone in Greater Manchester.”

The full list of areas that these restrictions apply to are:

Greater Manchester:

  • Bolton
  • Bury
  • City of Manchester
  • Oldham
  • Rochdale
  • Salford
  • Stockport
  • Tameside
  • Trafford
  • Wigan


  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Burnley
  • Hyndburn
  • Pendle
  • Preston
  • Rossendale

West Yorkshire:

  • Bradford
  • Calderdale
  • Kirklees

This means that people in these areas will continue to not be permitted to mix with other households (apart from those in their support bubble) within private homes or gardens. People are still able to meet others in groups up to 6 individuals, or 2 households, in outdoor public places.

The government has passed new laws to enforce the changes to meeting people in private homes and gardens. The police are 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).

Support Bubbles

Your household is only the people you live with. If you have formed a support bubble these can be treated as if they are members of your household.

In England, if you live by yourself or are a single parent with dependant children aged under 18 - in other words, if there is only one adult in your home - you have been able to expand your close support network so that it includes one other household of any size. This is called making a ‘support bubble’ and means you are able to have close contact with them as you could if they were members of your own household. You should not change or add to your support bubble once formed.

The national easing of restrictions planned tomorrow around the reopening of venues including indoor and soft play areas, bowling alleys, skating rinks, indoor theatres, concerts and casinos will not apply to Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire or East Lancashire.

Close contact services offered by beauty salons involving touching another person’s face - such as eyelash treatments, facials and eyebrow threading - will also remain off limits.

There are two walk-through testing centres at Rochdale Town Hall, Heywood Civic Centre and Market Place car park in Middleton.

Residents can book a coronavirus test by calling the free phone number 0808 1964 100 to book an appointment or by visiting the NHS website.

Local information about coronavirus can be found at: 

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