Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Meet friends and family safely this Easter
A socially distanced gathering in a private garden involving three people

Meet friends and family safely this Easter

by Guy Murphy

The further easing of restrictions on 29 March means that many people will be planning on meeting up with friends or family over the Easter weekend. However, it is really important that we know what the rules are and we all play our part in doing this safely to reduce the potential risk of spreading COVID-19.

What are the rules on social contact over Easter?

You are only allowed to meet up outdoors, including private gardens, in either a group of six or as two households. The evidence shows that is safer to meet outdoors as the risk of spreading COVID-19 is lower.

When meeting up with people outside of your household or bubble, you must continue to follow social distancing and follow all guidance.

Can I get tested ahead of meeting up with friends or family?

Knowsley Council is urging residents to make use of the borough’s testing facilities ahead of meeting friends and family. SMART testing is for anyone who does not have symptoms of COVID-19 and can identify people who are carrying the virus but do not display any of the symptoms.

Ensuring that you have a negative test result ahead of meeting up with people outside of your bubble adds another layer of safety and ensures that you can not unknowingly pass the virus onto someone else.

Remember, a negative test result is not a free pass. You must still follow guidance such as ensuring that you socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble, and regularly wash your hands. You must also wear a mask where required.

Knowsley’s SMART testing sites are open from 10am to 4pm on the following dates over Easter:

Volair Huyton, Kirkby and Halewood:

02 Apr 21             Good Friday

03 Apr 21             Saturday

04 Apr 21             Easter Sunday

05 Apr 21             Bank Holiday Monday

Pop up sites:

Fri 02 Apr 21       FOR Housing & Prescot One Stop Shop

Sat 03 Apr 21      FOR Housing & Prescot One Stop Shop

Sun 04 Apr 21     Knowsley Village Hall & St Edmund Arrowsmith

Mon 05 Apr 21   Knowsley Village Hall & St Edmund Arrowsmith

You find out more about SMART testing here.

What are the rules if I have been vaccinated?

If you have been vaccinated you must still follow COVID-19 guidance, such as social distancing, washing your hands and wearing mask when required.

You must also only meet up outdoors and either in a group of six or as two households.

How far can I travel to see friends and family?

There are no restrictions on travel in England from 29 March. However, you cannot go abroad, and you should check the rules for Wales and Scotland before travelling.

Domestic overnight stays are also not allowed.

When travelling you should look to minimise the number of journeys and avoid travelling at the busiest times and routes.

I feel unwell but I don’t think its COVID-19 – what should I do?

If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 – a fever, loss of taste or smell, a new cough – then you, and your household, should isolate immediately and book a test via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. If you test positive, you and people in your household, support bubble and close contacts need to self-isolate for 10 days.

Some of the COVID-19 variants have been known to show in a wider range of symptoms. If you suffer from any of the following, you are urged to book a test:

The new flu-like symptoms include:

  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Tiredness
  • Shortness of breath

Some people may also experience

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea

There is no legal requirement for you to isolate with the wider range of symptoms unless you test positive. However, Knowsley Council is urging residents to be cautious and consider the potential impact of meeting up with others.