It is the day when everything changes for people in Wolverhampton.
Residents will be banned from visiting other households from next Tuesday (September 22) as new lockdown restrictions come in.
For many, the new Covid rules will bring about key lifestyle changes.
The new legal restrictions were announced by the Government on Friday in a bid to tackle rising coronavirus cases in the city.
The new law means:
- You must not allow people you don’t live with or who are not part of your bubble into your home or garden
- You must not visit people you do not live with or who are not part of your bubble, in Wolverhampton or elsewhere
- Only essential visits inside the home, such as by carers or for urgent repairs, will be allowed
These restrictions will be law and people could be fined for breaking them.
The measures will not affect schools, public transport or workplaces, though people should still practice social distancing and wear a face covering where required.
Many working parents across the city have expressed concerns over childcare once the new restrictions come into effect.
At the moment many parents rely on grandparents, relatives and friends to look after their children while at work. For those outside of the support bubble, the next few weeks will be challenging.
A mother from Wolverhampton, who asked not to be named, said she won’t have anyone to look after her kids, aged six and eight, while she works full-time in a maternity ward.
She said: “I’m a student midwife and often rely on my mum to have my girls after school, overnights and weekends when back on shift. My child minder does the school run but can only have them till 6pm.”
Virtual link ups
From Tuesday you are no longer allowed to welcome people into your household.
This might mean coming up with new innovative ideas for keeping in touch with your loved ones.
Apps like Skype, Zoom and Google Meetings are grown in popularity as many families have used technology to virtually meet up.
While you aren’t allowed to visit other households, the restrictions do not apply to outdoor spaces such as parks and nature reserves.
We may see a boom in the number of people meeting up in parks in order to keep up in touch with families and friends.
This may be either a blessing or a curse but police have urged neighbours to report those seen breaking the new restrictions or meeting in groups larger than six.
This will put an end to house parties, celebrations and gatherings, which will mean your neighbourhood should become quieter within the next week.
Mobile business struggle
Independent businesses such as mobile hairdressers, nail technicians and painters and decorators may struggle following the new restrictions in Sandwell and Wolverhampton.
This is due to the fact that you are no longer allowed to welcome someone into your home or visit other households.
Carers and vital service providers are exempt from this rule.
Shopping centres in Sandwell have already started to introduce stricter measure such as increasing the number of social distance wardens and being stricter with one-way systems.
It is expected that businesses in Wolverhampton will follow suit.
The test and trace system has also been ramped up as businesses and community venues have been urged to put up posters to encourage customers to proactively use the app.
As well as avoiding household to household contact, people are reminded they should continue to:
- Wash their hands regularly for 20 seconds
- Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult or where they encounter people they do not normally meet
- Stay 2m apart from people they do not live with, or 1m-plus with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings) where 2m is not possible
- Get a test if they have symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, by visiting Coronavirus (COVID-19) or calling 119 and share their contact details for Test and Trace purposes