FEMAIL answers your questions for those looking for love in a Tier 2 lockdown


Working on budding relationships or navigating the dating world was already tough enough, and now new coronavirus restrictions are set to make things even harder for couples who don’t live together and singletons looking for love. 

From midnight today individuals from different households in London, Essex, York, North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield, will be banned from mixing indoors, under Tier 2 restrictions. 

This means that people won’t be able to have their partners in their homes, if they’ve not already formed a support bubble, and a ban on meeting new dates in indoor settings such as pubs and restaurants. 

However, publicans are warning that the rules will be near impossible to enforce, because couples can easily claim that they live together, and staff have no way of checking that they’re telling the truth.  

Guidance also suggests that ‘in the early stages of a relationship, you should take particular care to follow the guidance on social distancing’ and remain two metres apart from people you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) where possible. 

Here, FEMAIL answers your questions on what the new restrictions mean for partners and singletons under Tier 2 lockdown…

Working on budding relationships or wading through the dating world was already tough enough, and now new coronavirus restrictions mean it’s even more difficult. (stock photo)

Can I still see my partner at home?

Single social media users mock the new coronavirus restrictions in Tier 2 areas

Yes, in certain circumstances. You may continue to see your partner at your home if you have formed a support bubble with them since September 14 or already live in the same household as them.

You can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.

A support bubble is where a single-adult household, or a single parent with children under 18, joins with another household of any size. 

The bubble must be exclusive, meaning that once you’re in one you can’t switch to a different household, so if your partner was not in your support bubble prior to now, then you are not permitted to change.    

Can I see my partner outside?

Yes. You may continue to see partners you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space.

But you must not enter inside spaces. You should only be inside venues and homes with people you live with or have formed a support bubble with. 

Can I sit inside a pub or restaurant with my partner or a date? 

You must not meet anyone from outside your househod in any indoor setting, unless they’re in your support bubble. 

However, Peter Down, the chair of Bradford Campaign for Real Ale, told the Telegraph and Argus that it will be very tricky to enforce the rules. 

‘Trying to manage single households and social bubbles is going to be really difficult. It puts the pub workers in a really difficult position,’ he said. 

‘How do they know people coming into their premises are a single household or a social bubble? What happens if a couple come in?’

Leeds-based pub worker Shawna Healey tweeted that she will be powerless to enforce the rule with her regulars.

‘If they all say they’re from the same household what do I do? I know they’d be lying but I can’t ask for proof,’ she said.

Where do I stand if I share a house or flat with other people? 

If you share cooking facilities, a bathroom and living room with other people, then this counts as a household. 

Your household as a whole can form a support bubble with another single adult household. 

But if one of the people you live with has already done this, then you can’t form another bubble with your own partner. 

You can still see them in an outdoor setting, but they will not be able to visit your house and you won’t be able to visit hospitality venues or other indoor settings with them.  

Can my partner visit if they are from outside my area?

No. If you live in a ‘tier two’ area you also cannot meet indoors with people from outside of the area, unless exceptions apply (see below). 

Can I go on holiday with my partner? 

No, unless they are in your household or support bubble.

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.

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

Can I move home with my partner?

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. 

Can I still go on a date?

People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.

However, you can meet someone for a date as long as it’s in an outdoor setting, such as a pub garden, park or other outdoor space.  

As least one of you 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.   

Where can I go with my date?

Singletons can still enjoy dates as long as it’s in an outdoor setting, such as pub gardens, parks or other outdoor spaces.

As least one of you 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.    

Can I stay at a hotel or Airbnb home with my date? 

No. You can only travel within high alert level areas to hotels and other guest accommodation with people in your household or support bubble.

You can only stay in a private home – which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats – with members of your own household or support bubble.

You can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household.

However you should avoid sharing rooms with people you do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other’s rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars. 

No hotel stays with dates: You can only travel within high alert level areas to hotels and other guest accommodation with people in your household or support bubble (stock photo)

No hotel stays with dates: You can only travel within high alert level areas to hotels and other guest accommodation with people in your household or support bubble (stock photo)

Can I bring a date home to stay the night?

No. People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. 

Can I still kiss or have sex with my date?

COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection, however, it can be passed on through kissing and close contact, including having sex.

The UK government says: ‘If in the early stages of a relationship, you should take particular care to follow the guidance on social distancing’. 

This means staying two metres apart from people you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) where possible, or one metre with extra precautions in place, such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors.

Face coverings should also be worn when inside public places.

Can I go on a date inside a pub or a restaurant? 

No. You must not meet socially with your dates indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. 

This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants. 

No dates inside a restaurant: You must not meet socially with your dates indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them (stock photo)

No dates inside a restaurant: You must not meet socially with your dates indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them (stock photo)

Can I meet my date in a pub garden?

Yes. You can gather in groups of six outside at venues which are following Covid-secure guidance, including pubs, restaurants, shops, leisure and entertainment venues and places of worship.

At least one person in the couple 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. 

Should I share a car with someone on a date?

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. 

You may continue to see partners you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space (stock photo)

You may continue to see partners you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space (stock photo)

What are the exceptions on people from different households gathering?  

  • in a legally permitted support bubble or childcare bubble
  • for work, volunteering to provide voluntary or charitable services
  • for registered childcare, education or training
  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • for prospective adopting parents to meet a child or children who may be placed with them
  • for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after school childcare), youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups
  • for birth partners
  • to see someone who is dying
  • to provide emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
  • to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service
  • to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable
  • to facilitate a house move
  • for elite sportspeople and their coaches if necessary for competition and training, as well as parents or guardians if they are a child
  • for outdoor exercise and dance classes, organised outdoor sport, and licensed outdoor physical activity
  • indoor organised team sports for disabled people, and youth sport
  • support groups of up to 15 participants – formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support (not to take place in private dwellings)
  • protests – if organised in compliance with Covid-secure guidance

How long will the rules be in place?

The Government must review which areas are subjected to the rules at least once every 14 days, with the first due to be carried out by October 28.

The restrictions themselves must be reviewed every 28 days, with the first due to be carried out by November 11. The rules themselves expire in six months.

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