What are the reasons you can leave your home in Wirral during the coronavirus pandemic under the new Tier 4 restrictions?
By John Brace (Editor) and Leonora Brace (Co-Editor)
First publication date: 8th January 2021, 11:50 (GMT)
On Wednesday 6th January 2021, new public health regulations were agreed that resulted in Wirral going from a Tier 3 area to a Tier 4 area due to a type of coronavirus that spreads more quickly than before. These modifying regulations (Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 3) and (All Tiers) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021) came into force on the 6th January 2021.
Those who are categorised as “extremely clinically vulnerable” (a definition of that term and who it applies to can be found at this link) are asked to shield (although vaccinations are being rolled out to these groups).
However, the list of “reasonable excuses” why anyone can leave home in a Tier 4 area has been changed, but the sixteen categories (the list is numbered from 1 to 17 but one of the former categories has been repealed) can be found in full here but is summarised below.
Exception 1 – leaving home necessary for certain purposes
Exceptions in this category include that it is “reasonably necessary” to be buying goods or obtaining services from businesses that are still open in Tier 4 areas whether these goods or services are for their own use, others in the same household, vulnerable persons or those with a disability.
This category also covers leaving home to obtain money from or deposit money with businesses listed in categories (k) and (l) which are “banks, building societies, credit unions, short term loan providers, savings clubs, cash points, undertakings which by way of business operate currency exchange offices, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheques which are made payable to customer and post offices”.
Also covered in this category is leaving home to take exercise alone, with one or more members of their household, with one or more members of their linked household, exercise as part of informal childcare for a child aged 13 or younger, or with members of their linked childcare household. Exercise is also allowed in a public outdoor place with one other person who is not a member of their household, linked household or linked childcare household (with an exception for carers).
Also included are visits to attend a place of worship as are visits in five defined categories to do with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property.
Visits to a member of a linked household are allowed, as are collections of food, drink or other goods ordered from a business.
Visits to a waste or recycling centre are also allowed.
Exception 2: work, voluntary services, education and training etc
This exception covers work, volunteering and charitable services that can’t be done from home, leaving home “for a purpose of the type specified in paragraph 6(3) of this Schedule;”, providing care or assistance, including personal care to a vulnerable person (or person with a disability), providing emergency assistance to a person, fulfilling a legal obligation or participating in legal proceedings, accessing critical public services (social services, services provided by the Department for Work and Pensions, services provided to victims (including victims of crime) and asylum and immigration services and interviews) and also to access to services provided by voluntary or charitable services such as food banks.
Exception 3: elite athletes
Exception 3 applies to elite sportspersons, their coaches and if the elite sportsperson is under 18 a parent and relates to training or competition.
Exception 4: medical need
This covers where it is “reasonably necessary” to leave home to seek medical assistance (such as for medical tests, vaccination or “to access any of the services listed in paragraph 17(o) of the Schedule”). This category also covers donating blood, medical trials, avoiding injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm, attending a person giving birth (at the request of the person giving birth) or visiting a person receiving treatment in hospital, staying in a hospice or care home or accompanying a person to a medical appointment where a person is a member of their household, close family member or friend.
Exception 5: Support and respite
This category covers meetings of support groups “permitted to meet under paragraph 6(7);”, respite care for a vulnerable person or person with a disability and a short break being provided in respect of a looked after child.
Exception 6: death bed visit
This covers a visit to someone who is dying by a member of their household, close family member or friend.
Exception 7: funerals etc
This category covers attendance at a funeral, “commemorative event celebrating the life of a person who has died” or a visit to a burial ground or garden of remembrance to pay respects to a member of the household, family member or friend.
Exception 8: marriages and civil partnerships
This covers attendance at a marriage ceremony, civil partnership or an alternative wedding ceremony.
Exception 9: children
This category includes contact between parents and children where the parents live in different households, contact between siblings who are in care, prospective adopters meeting a child or children, “to access facilities for the activities described in paragraph 6(3) of this Schedule, or to accompany a child to those facilities where P is the parent or has parental responsibility for, or care of, the child in question”, later years provision, supervised activities for children, informal childcare of children 13 or under by a linked childcare household and placing children or facilitating children being placed in the care of another person by social services.
Exception 10: animal welfare
This category involves where it is “reasonably necessary” to visit a vet to seek advice about the health and welfare of a pet or animal and also covers care of or exercise of a pet or animal.
Exception 11: returning home
This involves returning home from a place where a person was on holiday immediately before these rules came into force.
Exception 12: prison and immigration detention visits
Visits to those living in criminal justice accommodation or immigration detention accommodation by a close family member or friend are covered by this category.
Exception 13: voting
This category covers voting, counting of votes or activities ancillary to voting or the counting of votes whether that be in UK elections or referendums or foreign nationals living here voting in their country’s election or referendum.
Exception 14: permitted outdoor sports gathering
Exception 14 is an outdoor sports gathering for persons who have a disability (but without spectators allowed to attend).
Exception 15 has been repealed.
Exception 16: students and vacation households
This relates to university students moving from their university address back to one other household for the holidays and travel back again (but only once before 8th February 2021).
Exception 17: picketing
Finally, this last exception relates to picketing (as long as it is a permitted gathering).
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