Sex ban imposed on Manchester couples under northern England lockdown rules

5 August 2020, 14:02

Couples who don't live together in Manchester have to stay apart
Couples who don't live together in Manchester have to stay apart. Picture: Getty

By Kate Buck

Couples who don't live together in Manchester are under a sex ban after new local lockdown rules came into force.

Anyone found flouting the measures, which have been brought back in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire, could face a £100 fine.

The rules prohibits encounters between people from different households in their homes or other "private dwellings"

They also define a gathering as "when two or more people are present together in the same place in order to engage in any form of social interaction with each other, or to undertake any other activity with each other"

However, the government has faced accusations the new rules are not clear enough.

There is nothing in the new laws that apply to hotels, BnBs, campsites or caravan parks.

Anyone living on their own or a single parent with children under 18 will also be exempt from the ban, and are permitted to live in a "bubble" with one other household.

Restrictions apply to metropolitan, city and borough council areas in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, Calderdale and Kirklees.

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However, papers detailing the legislation explained that the restriction zone could be modified at any time as directed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Existing laws for Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford have also been updated in the Regulations, meaning those areas are now subject to the same measures.

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They were initially governed by less restrictive legislation which was published on Friday and came into force on Saturday.

The latest laws also prohibit people from meeting others from different households in areas outside the lockdown zone, such as at homes in nearby towns not subject to the rules.

People are not allowed to meet in groups of more than 30 in public places.