The new rules mean that mixing indoors with other households will be illegal.
From Wednesday Merseyside will operate under a series of new restrictions as the government has introduced a third level lockout, which has raised fears about childcare arrangements.
The strict Tier 3 restrictions in the Liverpool City City region prohibit households from mixing with other households, but this is what the government says about childcare
Well, according to the government’s own website and official government guidelines, it depends on “whether you live in an area where the local COVID alarm level is very high”, such as the Liverpool City area.
So where are the families who call in relatives such as grandparents to help with childcare and picking up children from school?
Pubs, bars, gyms, betting shops and casinos will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
It states that even if an area is classified as Tier 3/very high, the following people in private households and gardens can provide childcare assistance
The website warns: “You must not contact or support bubbles indoors with anyone outside your household, either at home or in a public place.
However, childcare is listed in the exceptions.
A childcare bubble is defined by the government as “when someone in one household provides informal (unpaid and unregistered) childcare for a child up to 13 years old in another household. This must always take place between the same two households”.
So if there were grandparents or other relatives, they can continue to do so.
However, the rules mean that you cannot simply ask someone outside the bubble to do this.
The government warns: “Friends or relatives who do not live with you and are not part of a support or childcare bubble are not allowed to come to your home to help you with childcare.
The latest advice comes in the wake of Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s announcement in September that informal childcare and care arrangements will continue to be allowed in parts of the country with restrictions on inter-household carpooling.
“Childcare bubbles should only be used to provide childcare and not for the purpose of mixing different households where this is not otherwise permitted.
The introduction of childcare bubbles means that informal childcare arrangements can continue with another household as long as they are consistent.
One-off arrangements, such as a play date, are not envisaged.
But again, he said that these arrangements must be part of a consistent childcare relationship and part of a “childcare bubble”.