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Local Restrictions in Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester is placed in the "Stay at Home" alert level. Make sure you are up-to-date on the restrictions for your area.

This page was updated on 5 January 2021.

On 5 January, England was placed in a new national lockdown. Review our quick-read guide for a summary of the latest national restrictions. 

On November 23, the government published details of the revised ‘local COVID alert levels’ system. More information on what restrictions the different levels include can be seen through our page hereThe allocation of tiers is reviewed every fourteen days.

Following a review of the tiers on December 30, the government announced, that Greater Manchester will move to Tier 4, the "Stay at home” alert level. 

Key measures included in Tier 4 and applicable to the Greater Manchester region can be seen through our guide hereFurther information on Tier 4 restrictions is available through the government website

View our Tier 4 restriction guide

Note: Suppport bubble expansion remains the same.

You will now be able to form a support bubble with another household if at least one has:

• only one adult; (including a household where any children are under the age of 18)
• only one adult carer (i.e. living with any additional adult(s) in the household that have a disability and require continuous care);
• a child under 1 (regardless of how many other adults are in the household); or
• a child under 5 with a disability that requires continuous care (regardless of how many other adults are in the household)

From December 2, the government has also provided local authorities in England with new powers to take decisive action against premises that do not comply with COVID-secure rules.

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Stay at home - Tier 4


Timeline for Greater Manchester local restrictions

This timeline summarises all restrictions in Greater Manchester since July 2020. 



  • 4 January, The Prime Minister announced that from January 5, new national restrictions would be imposed in England. A summary of the new measures can be seen here.

  • 30 December, Following a review of the tiers, Greater Manchester was placed in Tier 4.

  • 17 December, Following a review of the tiers, the government announced that Greater Manchester will remain in Tier 3. 

  • 26 November, The Government announced that from December 2, Greater Manchester will be in local COVID alert level: "Very high".

  • 31 OctoberThe Prime Minister announced that from November 5, new national restrictions would be imposed in England. A summary of the new measures can be seen here.

  •  20 October, The Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from October 23, Greater Manchester will be in local COVID alert level: very high. In addition to the baseline guidance for very-high areas, the following businesses will not be allowed to open in Greater Manchester: 
    • casinos 
    • bingo halls 
    • betting shops 
    • adult gaming centres 
    • soft play centres and areas
  • 12 October, The government introduced a new three-tiered system of local Covid Alert Levels in England, set at medium, high, and very high. Greater Manchester was placed in Tier 2 as a high alert region. More information on the key restrictions in place in each alert level are available through our page, here.

  • 9 October , The Chancellor announced that cash grants for businesses required to close in local lockdowns will be increased to up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks.

  • 1 October, The Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock announced that from midnight on Saturday 3 October, the government will be aligning the measures in Bolton with the rest of Greater Manchester. In addition, certain businesses in Bolton that have been closed for 3 weeks because of the local lockdown restrictions will be eligible to receive grants of up to £1,500. More information is available on the government website and eligible businesses can apply through Bolton Council's website.
  • 25 September, Due to a rise in cases the government introduced new restrictions for Wigan and Stockport which from 26 September are required to follow the guidance currently in place in Greater Manchester.
  • 22 September, Following the announcement from the Prime Minister, new measures have been introduced in England to control the virus. Our guide can help you keep up to date with the latest news relevant for you and your business.

  • 21 September, The government announced that from Tuesday 22 September childcare bubbles will be able to form in areas of intervention, to allow families to share caring responsibilities with another household. A childcare bubble is where someone in one household can provide informal (i.e. unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. This must occur on an exclusive basis - always the same two households.

  • 9 September, From Monday 14 September, in line with the new rules across the whole of England, you must not meet in a group of more than 6 people in any location.
  • 8 September, Due to a spike in Bolton, the Government with immediate effect states all hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to takeaway only; this includes restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs. There is also a restriction of operating hours, all venues (including takeaways) will be required to close from 10pm to 5am. You should not socialise with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue (pubs, restaurants, cafes and others). Read more information at Bolton Local Authority and the Government announcement here.
  • 4 September, From 8 September, the following business and venues will be able to open in Oldham, City of Manchester, Trafford, Bury, Tameside, Rochdale and Salford. However, due to a rise of COVID-19 cases in Bolton, these businesses must remain closed in Bolton.
    • casinos
    • skating rinks
    • bowling alleys
    • indoor play areas, including soft play areas
    • exhibition centres and conference halls
    • indoor performances, with a social distanced audience
    • close contact services such as beauty treatments on the face

These businesses had previously been allowed to open in Wigan and Stockport.

The ban on people from different households meeting indoors remains in all areas of Greater Manchester except in Stockport and Wigan. Further to this, in Oldham residents must avoid mixing with anyone from another household both indoors and outdoors.

Find more information on the local guidelines here.

  • 2 September, Restrictions in Trafford and Bolton will remain, this means residents cannot meet people outside their bubbles either indoors, or in people’s homes or gardens. There was a possibility of these areas easing the lockdown, however, due to a spike in cases, they are to remain under restrictions. Further details here.

  • 28 August, the local restrictions in Stockport will be lifted from 2 September. This means people will be able to mix with family and friends outside their household, in line with social distancing rules. Businesses including bowling alleys and indoor play areas, will also be permitted to reopen in these areas. However, the ban on 2 households mixing indoors will continue in City of Manchester, Salford, Rochdale, Bury and Tameside. In Oldham, residents should avoid mixing with anyone from anther household both indoors and outdoors. Further information can be found here.  

  • 21 August, Wigan, on the other hand has seen a reduction in cases. From August 26, the rules on social gatherings will be lifted in Wigan. This does not apply to the rest of Greater Manchester.

  • 21 August, the Government issued further guidance specific to Oldham due to a rise of Coronavirus cases in the area. These measures state that any social activity both indoors and outdoors can only be with people that you live with or people in your support bubble. Residents are advised to avoid public transport except for essential travel. Restaurants in Oldham should halt walk-ins and encourage customers to make reservations in advance which can be up to a maximum of 6 people per table. The full details for Oldham can be found here.

  • 14 August, following review of the measures, the government announced that the enforced restrictions will remain in place. The national easements for 15 August will not apply to Greater Manchester.

  • 30 July, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that due to an increasing number of Coronavirus cases, local restrictions are introduced in Greater Manchester and the new guidance is enforced as of July 31.
    • People are not permitted to mix with other households in private homes and gardens, except where they have formed a support bubble.
    • You should not socialise with people you do not live with in indoor public venues such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues. If you run a business in such venues, you should take steps to ensure guidance is followed.
    • You can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces including outdoor seating or beer gardens in groups of no more than 6 people (unless the group includes only people from 2 households). You should continue to follow social distancing when meeting people you do not live with.
    • You should not visit others even if they live outside of the affected areas. People from outside of the affected areas are also not allowed to visit you.
    • You should not visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances.
    • Children of separated parents are still allowed to move between households.
    • People living inside and outside of this area can continue to travel in and out for work.
    • People requiring access to your home as part of their job (i.e. cleaners, nannies, and repair workers) are still allowed to come inside.
    • From 1 August clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer need to shield.
    • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can still take place with no more than 30 people in attendance. Receptions should not involve more than 2 households in any location or, if outdoors, more than 6 people from different households.
    • People can continue to visit places of worship following social distancing.
    • You can still leave the area go on holiday, but you should only do this with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with).
    • You are still allowed to undertake viewings and move homes.
    • You should avoid sharing a vehicle with those outside your household or social bubble.

Local authorities and police forces have the power to enforce these restrictions. Full guidance is available on the government website.

 For a detailed timeline of lockdown restrictions for the whole of England, please see here.

More information is available on the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Support website. For more personalised advice call us on: 0161 237 4128 or email us at:


The information provided is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance. GC Business Growth Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information, and professional guidance should be sought on all aspects of business planning and responses to the Coronavirus. Use of this guide and toolkit is entirely at the risk of the user. Any hyperlinks from this document are to external resources not connected to the GC Business Growth Hub, and The Growth Company is not responsible for the content within any hyperlinked site.

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