England lockdown: Children excluded from two-person meeting limit

1 November 2020, 16:39 | Updated: 1 November 2020, 17:01

The announcement will come as a relief to parents with young children
The announcement will come as a relief to parents with young children. Picture: Getty

By Joe Cook

Children "under school age who are with their parents" will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside in England's second national lockdown, a health minister has said.

On Saturday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that a national lockdown would be introduced from Thursday until 2 December.

Households will be banned from mixing in homes, except for childcare or other care reasons.

People can also leave for recreation with their own household, or on their own with one person from another household (a ‘one plus one’ rule).

Heath minister Nadine Dorries clarified on Sunday that children of school age who are with their parent will not be included in this number.

Read more: What you can and can't do under England lockdown rules

This will come as a relief to parents who wish to meet outside with others with young children.

The Health Minister tweeted that the guidance “will mean that a parent can see a friend or family member with their baby or young children”.

She added that “children and adults who are dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, will also be included”.

The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed the policy shift was correct and would be outlined in official guidance soon.

Read more: 'Regrettable' that Government waited to bring in second lockdown, says Keir Starmer

Read more: Police assaulted as '700-strong' Bristol illegal rave continues

Alongside a limit on meeting other households, non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will all be closed.

Bars, pubs and restaurants must stay closed except for delivery or take-away services. Hairdressers and beauty salons will also close.

People are advised not to travel unless for essential reasons, which include education, work and essential shopping.

Announcing the restrictions on Saturday evening, Boris Johnson said that without action, deaths would reach “several thousand a day”, with a “peak of mortality” worse than the country saw during the lockdown in April.

MPs will vote on the new measures before they are introduced at 00.01 on Thursday.