Wolverhampton is now in Tier 2 'High Alert' restrictions under the new local Covid alert system for England.

This is for areas with a higher level of infections where some additional restrictions are in place.

  • you must not socialise with anybody outside of your household, care bubble or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other spaces like beaches or parks (other than where specific exemptions apply in law)
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law
  • certain businesses are required to ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close between 10pm and 5am
  • businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • schools, universities and places of worship remain open
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
  • exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but should look to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible

You should continue to:

Find out more about the measures that apply in high alert level areas to help reduce the spread of COVID-19

FAQs
Who has made the decision on which tier Wolverhampton is in?

The decision for Wolverhampton to be in Tier 2 was made by Government as areas that were already under local restrictions automatically entered Tier 2.

What are the new restrictions on households in Wolverhampton?

Revised restrictions will come into effect in Wolverhampton as part of the Government's three-tiered approach to tackle the spread of coronavirus from Wednesday 14th October.  From Wednesday 14th October the city has been placed in the High alert category (tier 2) meaning that: 

  • You must not socialise with anybody outside your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in public 

  • You must not socialise in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or park (other than where specific exemptions apply in law). 

Your household is defined as the people you live with and any support bubble. Households that have formed a support bubble with another single adult household behave as if everyone lives in the same house. 

These new Government restrictions are the same as those introduced in Sandwell, Birmingham,  Solihull, and Walsall to reduce the coronavirus rates of infection which is rising fast. 

What is a support bubble?

A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size. 

Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in one household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household. Once you make a support bubble, you should not change who is in your bubble. 

What is the rule of 6?

The rule of 6 applies to meeting others outside your household in a group of no more than six individuals. As of Wednesday 14th October, this only applies to outdoor settings.  

Are hospitality venues i.e pubs and restaurants still open?

Yes hospitality venues remain open with a 10pm closing time and table service only.  

Can I still go to a hospitality venue like a pub or a restaurant and meet up with family or friends that don’t live with me?

From Wednesday 14th October, you can only meet up with your own household members in an indoor setting such as a pub or restaurant. Pubs and restaurants have to have Covid-safety risk assessments in place and must be managing the space to keep you safe. 

Can I visit a care home?

Essential and compassionate visiting, either for health reasons or end of life care, can continue as long as appropriate infection prevention measures are in place. However, non-essential visiting – indoor and outdoor – has been halted.  

Are leisure centres and gyms open?

Yes, these remain open but please ensure you adhere to strict social distancing measures.  exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors and indoors, as long as people are able to avoid mixing with other households and for youth or disability sport. 

Why can I go to the workplace, school or hospitality venues, but I can’t visit other households?

From Wednesday 14th October, you can only meet others outside your household or support bubble in an outdoor setting. 

We understand that it can be frustrating to be able to go to these certain places but not visit your family and friends within their household. 

However, the reason that these restrictions have come in place is that the data shows that the infection rate has risen mainly due to social interactions, particularly in private household gatherings. 

Evidence suggests that 90% of Covid-19 transmission in Wolverhampton is within the household or from one household to another. 

Can I still meet other households in outdoor public spaces e.g. local parks?

Yes, these rules only apply to the home and garden. However, you must still follow the national guidelines and the rule of six.  

Can I go to meet a friend or relative in their home in an area not subject to these restrictions?

No – and they cannot come to your home either. Separate households cannot mix either at home, or in other indoor settings. 

Can I move home? 

Yes, you can still move home if you’re in a high alert level area. Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings.

Are places of worship still open?

Yes but they should adhere to social distancing measures.  

Can I still travel to work or school? 

Yes. Workplaces and schools themselves should also be implementing measures to make themselves Covid-secure. 

Can I travel to University?

Yes, Students living at their university term time address in a high alert level area should follow the same guidance on meeting other people and travel as others in that area.

Commuter students (those who live at a family home and travel to/from university each day) should be able to continue to travel to/from their university as required, this being for education purposes.

Can I have someone in my house (or go into someone’s house) to do repairs or other work?

You can go to other people’s homes for work purposes as long as you follow national guidance on how to work safely there. This includes limiting contact with customers, explaining your safety measures to them, making sure your staff are properly trained and understand what they need to do and avoiding crowded areas. Check before you go if anyone in your customers’ house has symptoms. 

Can I go to a wedding or a funeral? 

Funerals must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces with up to 30 people in attendance. Wakes or linked ceremonial events (such as stone-settings) before or after the funeral are limited to 15 people and must not take place in private homes. Where food or drink is consumed, this should be in the form of a sit down meal.

Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances. Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and wedding receptions are restricted to 15 people. Receptions should be sit down meals to ensure people can keep their distance from each other, and mustn’t take place in private dwellings.

People living outside of a high alert level area can travel to this area to attend an event, but they must not meet with another household indoors.

Can I go to a place of worship? 

You may attend places of worship, but you should socially distance from people outside of your household. Please also follow the guidance that these establishments have set out. 

Does this affect education?

All schools, colleges and other educational establishments should remain open and continue to allow all their students to attend. All nurseries, childminders and breakfast/after-school clubs should remain open and continue to allow all their children and young people to attend. 

Is this a local lockdown?

No, these restrictions only apply to the mixing of households in private homes and gardens. 

Is shielding being reintroduced?

No. Individuals who were previously told to shield should continue to observe strict social distancing measures with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. They should follow the same guidance as the rest of the city.  These new restrictions only apply to the mixing of households in private homes and gardens. For further information please visit Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

What do I do if I see people breaking the rules?

If you encounter individuals breaching the restrictions, you can fill out a reporting breach of restrictions form with West Midlands Police.  

How long can we expect these restrictions to go on for?

These restrictions will go on for as long as is needed to bring down the coronavirus rates of infection. They will be reviewed regularly with Government. 

I live in a WV postcode but don't think I live in Wolverhampton, does this mean I am affected by the new restrictions?

If you pay your council tax to the City of Wolverhampton Council, you are classed as a Wolverhampton resident and must follow the new restrictions. If you live outside of the City of Wolverhampton, you should not be entering households within Wolverhampton. Given that Covid-19 doesn’t respect city or town boundaries, or postcodes, we strongly advise you to follow the measures. If you live in a neighbouring Local Authority area it is suggested that you monitor news bulletins issued by your local council as these may change at short notice. 

Can I take part in sport activity? 

In line with guidelines from national sporting bodies you can take part in sport and physical activity outdoors. Organised indoor exercise classes are only permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing in with people you do not live with or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions to enable disability and youth sport and physical activity indoors, in any number.

What evidence is there to justify restrictions which prevent visits to other households, how can you back up your assertion that 90% of virus transmission is spread in the home?

Some 90% of close contacts identified by NHS Test and Trace are household members or family or friends who have been visiting each others’ homes. 

The restrictions do not seem to make any sense. Surely visiting the home of somebody we know is safer than mixing with total strangers on public transport or in a pub/restaurant?

We know that 90% of close contacts identified by NHS Test and Trace are linked to household members or family and friends visiting each other’s homes. As businesses and public transport have risk assessments and associated measures in place to help reduce the spread of infection (such as the wearing of face coverings, social distancing and so on) there is less risk for these settings. 

Family members/friends provide essential childcare which enables me to go to work and without their support I have a huge problem. How am I meant to cope if my children cannot go to their house and they cannot come to mine?

The Government has announced that grandparents, extended family members and others who provide either formal or informal care for children aged up to 14 or vulnerable adults are exempt from local lockdown measures where it is necessary for caring purposes. See the full guidance for more information. 

I do a job that involves me working in other people's homes (eg mobile hairdresser or a handyman) can I still do my job?

People can go into others’ homes or gardens for specific purposes set out in law. Please see the guidance for further details.  

Am I allowed to go on holiday?

Yes, you can still go on holiday outside of high alert level areas, but you must only do this with people in your household or support bubble. Please check the area you are visiting for local restrictions. If you are travelling abroad, please check with your booking agent and also for any associated quarantine conditions on your return.  

Can I travel? 

You may continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, for work, voluntary, charitable or youth services, or to access education, within a high alert level area, but you should and aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible. If you need to travel we encourage you to walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.

It is difficult to socially distance during car journeys and transmission of coronavirus can occur in this context. So you should avoid travelling with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing.

You should also avoid travelling to any part of the country subject to very high local COVID alert levels.

Can you travel through Wolverhampton to get to other towns?

Yes. But you cannot go into someone’s house or garden in Wolverhampton if you do not live with them, or they are not part of your bubble. 

What happens with children being collected from School by a family member not in bubble whilst you are still at work?

The Government has announced that grandparents, extended family members and others who provide either formal or informal care for children aged up to 14 or vulnerable adults are exempt from local lockdown measures where it is necessary for caring purposes. See the full guidance for more information. 

Can I go shopping?

Yes but please follow the Government’s Hands, Face, Space advice. Hands: Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds. Face: Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult or where you encounter people you do not normally meet. Space: Stay 2m apart from people you do not live with, or 1m-plus with extra precautions in place if 2m is not possible 

Can I visit my work office outside of Wolverhampton?

Yes if working from home is not possible 

Can I meet my friends in a pub garden or a park? 

Yes. You can gather in groups of up to six outside at venues which are following Covid-secure guidance. At least one person in the group should give their contact details to the venue or check in using the official NHS Covid-19 app so NHS Test and Trace can contact you if needed. Please note that when meeting with people outside your own household, you must observe social distancing at all times.

Do children count in the 'rule of six' outdoors? 

Yes. This limit of six for meeting people outdoors includes children of any age.

Can I still meet inside with people from my support bubble? 

Yes. You will still count as one household who can meet together indoors or outdoors.

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. 

Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together. 

You don’t need to observe social distancing with other members of your household or bubble.

Can I go to stay at a hotel or Airbnb home?

Yes. You can still travel within high alert level areas to hotels and other guest accommodation, but you should only do this with people in your household or support bubble.

Do these tier two rules follow me if I travel outside my area?  

It depends where you go. If you live in Wolverhampton, you must abide by the tier two restrictions when you go to places within either a tier one or a tier two area But if you are visiting a tier three area, you must follow the tier three restrictions. If you are from a tier one area and are visiting Wolverhampton, you must abide by the tier two rules in place in Wolverhampton.

Can I meet with a household from another flat inside the property where I live?  

No. The Government's definition of a household is one person living alone, or a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address who share cooking facilities and share a living room, sitting room or dining area.

Therefore people who live in different self-contained flats cannot meet with each other.

Will I be fined if I am caught having a meeting in a group that is illegal?

Yes. Meeting in larger groups is against the law, although there are certain exceptions.

The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups, which includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fixed penalty notice fines.

You can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

Can I still attend routine health appointments such as dentists? 

Yes, the guidance states that routine appointments are available. Changes have been made to keep individuals and the team safe during treatment. Residents are encouraged to contact their health service directly via email or telephone to discuss Covid-secure appointments and should not attend in person unless told to do so.

Should I share a car with someone from outside my household? 

No, in most cases. The Government says it is difficult to socially distance during car journeys and transmission of coronavirus can occur in this context.

So you should avoid travelling with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing. If you must share a car, please wear a face covering.

I am a business owner; whose responsibility is it to ensure customers are attending within their own household (or support bubble)? 

It is the responsibility of a business as the guidance states that ‘businesses and venues must ensure people do not meet in their premises with people from outside of their household or support bubble’. Businesses and venues that fail to comply with these restrictions may face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution, or in some cases closure.

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