Wakefield in Tier 2 lockdown: Your questions answered about childcare, eating out, visiting friends and more as new restrictions introduced in West Yorkshire
As new restrictions come into effect in Wakefield this morning, we're taking a look at some of your questions about the new rules.
It was confirmed on Monday that the district, along with the rest of West and South Yorkshire, would be classified as Covid alert level High under the new system.
As the new rules and regulations come into effect, we're taking a look at some of our readers' questions, and helping to explain the new guidelines.
Sam: What about people who don't live with their partners but are in established relationships, have they got to meet outside?
Under current guidelines, people can only socialise inside with those who are in their household or social bubble. This includes private settings, such as homes, and public areas, including restaurants, gyms and shops.
If one person in a relationship lives on their own, they may be able to form a social bubble with their partner's household, providing neither party is part of another bubble.
Unfortunately, for those who are not able to form a bubble, the rules make clear that you can only meet outside, and should abide by social distancing guidelines.
When meeting outdoors, the rule of six applies, meaning no more than six people of any age should be in a group, unless they all live together.
Russ: If you cannot meet people outside your household or bubble in a pub, then small pubs could only allow up to six people, is this correct?
Kathleen: I have a cafe. Does this mean only people from the same household can sit in our shop, not from different households?
Pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues in Wakefield are currently allowed to remain open to customers, but people should only visit with those they live with.
All businesses should abide by Covid-19 secure guidelines, which include risk assessments, enhanced cleaning routines, increased ventilation and table service.
But government guidance specifies that venues "can host more than 6 people in total, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than 6."
People should remain socially distanced from those who are not part of their household or bubble, and businesses have been warned that they should lower their capacity to account for this, ensuring that a space of two metres, or one metres with additional risk mitigation, is left between each group.
It is possible that a pub or cafe with a very small seating area may only be able to host one group, but with appropriate measures, such as plastic screens between tables, many businesses are able to minimise the risk.
Geraldine: As a grandparent, I take my grandson to school and pick up so my daughter can work, is this still allowed?
Though there are limitations on seeing friends and family in indoor settings, government guidance makes clear that there are exceptions for childcare reasons.
As well as registered childcare providers such as nannies, childminders and after school clubs, people are able to form a "childcare bubble", where someone in one household provides informal childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household.
This means that a grandparent, for example, is able to care for their grandchild while a parent is at work, or pick up a child from school.
This bubble must always be between the same two households, and should not be used for the purpose of other households mixing where they are otherwise not allowed to.
Neil: I work in a pool/snooker club in Wakefield. Can we continue to open, as people would not be able to play pool together?
Leisure and hospitality venues in Wakefield are currently allowed to stay open, provided they follow set rules designed to keep staff and customers safe, including wearing face masks and using track and trace.
However, new rules also mean people are unable to socialise with those outside their household or social bubble.
Full guidance on leisure and recreation venues is available on the government website, but at present, pool and snooker clubs are allowed to remain open, provided that people only play with those they live with.
Additionally, all food or drink should be ordered from, served to and consumed at a table, and customers should wear face masks when not sitting at a table.
Helen: Are children still able to use park slides and swings?
All parks and play areas in Wakefield are currently open to the public, as well as some on-site cafes. Free parking is also in place until further notice.
But visitors are asked to abide by social distancing guidelines at all times, meaning people should stay at least two metres away from those they do not live with.
Wakefield Council has issued advice to anyone planning to visit an outside play area, warning that people should judge the potential risks of Covid-19 to their family before entering the play area.
Families are asked to wash or sanitise their hands before and after entering and avoid touching their faces where possible, as well as distancing from those who are not in their bubble.
Parents should supervise children carefully, and refrain from eating and drinking in the play area.
If anyone in the household is showing symptoms of Covid-19, you should not visit a play area or any other public space.
Michaela: What rule is different?
In short, the new rules mean you cannot meet anyone you do not live with in an indoor space. Similar rules have been in place across other areas of West Yorkshire for several weeks, but these had not previously been extended to Wakefield.
Exceptions apply for childcare, emergencies and those in your social bubble, as well as some organised events. You can view the full guidance here.
You can still meet people outside your household or social bubble in outdoor spaces, including private gardens, providing that no more than six people meet at any time.
Oliver: Can someone from tier 1 visit someone from tier 2? And can someone from tier 2 visit someone from tier 1?
While the Tier 2 lockdown is in place, people are allowed to travel to amenities which remain open, but are advised to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.
If travel is essential, people are encouraged to walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead to avoid peak times on public transport.
You can still visit hotels both in and outside the high alert level areas, but should do so only with those in your household or support bubble.
People in Tier 2 areas, such as Wakefield, are not allowed to socialise with anyone in a private or public indoor setting, including outside of their area.
So it may be possible to visit someone from another area if you meet outside, but you should ensure that all those involved follow social distancing guidelines, and no more than six people are involved.
Katie: My boy's dad lives in Wakefield. He normally goes each fortnight, but not sure if he still allowed to go under the new rules.
The government guidelines provide a specific exception for children visiting a parent or guardian who lives in another household.
This means that if a child's parent lives in another house, or even another alert area, they are still allowed to travel between households as normal.
Similar rules apply for prospective adoptive parents meeting a child who may be placed with them.
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