Living with the restrictions

Have you followed the rules? If not, why?

How well have we communicated the rules? What could we do better?

What has been your experience when going about everyday life e.g. shopping, socialising, track and trace?

10 thoughts on “Living with the restrictions

  1. The rules were not clear enough for any of the restrictions, people need it in black and white what they can and cant do !

    1. Hi, we know that sometimes the guidance can be confusing as it is constantly changing. For the latest information go to

  2. I have generally followed the rules I think.

    However I have found knowing what the rules are confusing. Recently, I did not know that in Oldham, we were still not to see anyone outside the household, I thought it had been replaced by the rules of six’. I also don’t know if you follow the rules of where you live or the rules where you are – I am due to holiday in Yorkshire so so I follow those rules or the Oldham rules?

    I think that government / council communication has been poor. Despite checking news and social media almost daily I have found updates few and far between. I think there should be some sort of daily update, eg published in the MEN, or on local TV news to tell us what the case is regarding Covid, eg if cases are going up and down, when rules will be reconsidered and by whom etc, what is being done and why. I was really annoyed a few weeks ago when there was the first review (and as far as I know only) of extra restrictions – MEN said a meeting was taking place Thursday morning, but it was late Friday till the result was public. I think this is really poor – these are our lives and for no apparent reason decisions about them were held back for nearly 48 hours.

    I find the rules inconsistent and I find it difficult to justify to myself sticking to them – why is ‘organised team sport’ allowed, but not informal team sport? How can you encourage people to go in to work, but stay out of family houses? How can we eat in a restaurant with strangers on the next table, but not with family on the next table? Why can a child be cared for by a registered childminder but not by family? (I find this last rule particularly ridiculous – registration does not confer immunity, and in the case of my young children, professional minders hug and touch them eg to change nappies, feed and comfort them without social distancing just as much as family minders – family just cost less).

    Again, in a similar vein, I think I am right in thinking that under the ‘rule of six’. I would be allowed to see six people and then leave them and see six more straight after – I don’t understand how this is really any different to meeting up with twelve at once.

    I note some rules say ‘your must not’ and some say you ‘should not’ – does ‘should’ mean or is up to ones own discretion? Rules should be clear not open to interpretation.

    I think the government should support businesses to ensure that all tickets are refundable or exchangeable – I have recently spent, with friends, nearly £300 for us all to go to an attraction. When booked it was legal, currently it is not, yet the tickets are not refundable or exchangeable, so we are left with the choice to lose hundreds of pounds, or to break the rules.

    I find it really hard that I have not hugged my grandmother (or any other family) since March. And I find it really upsetting that no end to this is even indicated at, not the difficulty of this even referenced to from officials. To me, opening pubs, shops, etc is irrelevant, and I have hardly used such services (I did go once to Oldham town centre but did not enjoy the experience and will probably not return anytime soon). I would sacrifice any of those freedoms for permission to see and touch my friends and family. I think that the Wales idea of four-household family bubbles is a good idea, and I think that having those bigger bubbles would be easier to stick to and more acceptable to more people. Even though bubbles would be bigger, people might break rules less and social contacts actually be reduced. This especially needs looking at before Christmas. I think the isolation of no physical contact is really emotionally draining and damaging to ones mental and physical health – for example I would normally exercise with my friends not my partner, and no couple can be totally reliant on only each other for support.

    I also think we should be told why decisions are made. We are intelligent people and should be given the evidence that backs up the massive hardships we are facing.

    I think people on social media should be punished for breaking rules. I follow celebrities on Instagram (admittedly from outside Oldham) and I get really annoyed when they post pictures of themselves and friends without any social distancing and are not fined. There are seldom any comments about the lack of distance and it leads me to think that people don’t realise that you still have to stay distant even when you are allowed to see people.

    I hate the divisions that have been created by the council and government – singling out ‘multi generation households’ or ‘young people’ as the causes of increased numbers. I think that setting one group against another is unhelpful and fuels racism and societal division. Phrases like ‘don’t kill granny’ are particularly unpleasant. I am not suggesting that different rates of occurrences in different groups are hidden, just that they are reported in detail and accurately, and that reasons for differences are also reported – in order to try to prevent ill-informed people spreading their opinions as though they are facts. Similarly encouraging neighbours to report each other is not the sort of thing that is going to build a community spirit.

    Related to this, I also think someone should man social media accounts to reply to comments and to remove racist / bigoted comments (and give a reason for the removal to prevent ‘I’m-just-saying-it-like-it-is-and-they-can’t-handle-it’ type replies). Comments on social media are one of the ways that rumour and falsities are spread.

    These are my opinions about how Covid has been managed and affected me. I would like to be part of a focus group of any further groups are planned. I am interested to hear how other people are affected by and deal with the restrictions.

  3. I have followed the rules. Suggestions…One thing people need educating on is the wearing of masks, putting them on and off safely with washing hands after. I have seen so many with masks under their noses and lots under their chins while talking to people. This Even happens a lot on news reports, and obviously means people could infect themselves by pulling them down and putting them back up.
    Also I think someone needs to go round and check on supermarkets as the initial safety measure are not happening. I went to Lidl in Chadderton last week, and there are no distancing measure or one way systems in place. A young mum with her toddler also thought it wasn’t good. Especially when people who were shielding now being told not to anymore, they are at risk when they go food shopping. Another Suggestion would be to have something like this, that people could report concerning areas, as not everyone will want to try getting through to police to report concerns. Unless it is a 999 emergency it takes too long on 101. I do wonder if people would stick to the rules more if they could form bubbles with one more family. Thank you for listening.

    1. Hi Marilyn, thank you for your comments. Although we do our best to share the message around the wearing of face masks it is the responsibility of businesses to ensure that their customers do so.

  4. I have followed the rules to the letter and made many sacrifices, am now at the point where I feel my sacrifices are no longer making a difference. When I go shopping it is very obvious compliance has completely fallen apart. The track and trace system is not fit for purposes at present, people in pubs openly admitting they’re not leaving their details etc.

  5. I have followed the rules to the letter and made many sacrifices, am now at the point where I feel my sacrifices are no longer making a difference. When I go shopping it is very obvious compliance has completely fallen apart. The track and trace system is not fit for purposes at present, people in pubs openly admitting they’re not leaving their details etc.

  6. I understand the rules but I do think the media message has been very muddled especially as our area comes under different restrictions than others.

    1. Hi, thank you for your message. We agree that sometimes things can be confusing. We are trying our best to communicate this information as best we can. By listening to Oldham residents such as yourself we hope to do this in more effective ways.

  7. Face masks should be insisted upon or entry not allowed (except medical /young children) in all public buildings and shops. Heavy advertising on this like Aids advert from the past. For the safety of all including staff. Heavy fines for failures and allow staff to eject non compliance customers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.