Confusion as Cheshire-Staffordshire border village is separated by the new lockdown restrictions

The Government’s new lockdown restrictions are now in force, with the hope of making it easier for people to understand what they can and cannot do. The three-tier system announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday (October 12) separates different areas into one of three categories: medium, high or very high, depending on the local infection rates. For families who live between two zones, knowing which rules to follow has proven more difficult than intended, StokeOnTrentLive reports.

The village of Mow Cop sits between the boundary of Cheshire and Staffordshire. The boundary itself is marked by its High Street, running between Wood Street and Chapel Bank. This means a quick step to the right will see you following Cheshire’s tier two rules, but a quick step to the left will mean you have to follow Staffordshire’s tier one restrictions.

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Some locals will even tell you of a former pub on High Street that had rooms in both counties, and a later closing time in one part of the pub because of the differing licensing laws of the day.

And on occasion the village’s streets will be treated to a sprinkling of grit from both Cheshire East Council’s highways workers and Staffordshire County Council’s. As of today, Cheshire’s tier two lockdown restrictions mean indoor visits between households are barred. Whereas in tier one Staffordshire, if you follow the rule of six, you can meet in someone’s home.

Mow Cop families told StokeonTrentLive they were confused but supportive of the new measures.

Phil and Jackie Ector of Mow Cop with their dogs Henry and Meg on High Street, Mow Cop (Staffordshire side)

Dog walkers Jackie and Phil Ector have two daughters who live in Cheshire who they won’t be able to visit now. Retired teacher Jackie said: “We like to see them regularly but we’ve just got to follow the rules really. They’re both teachers so they’re out and about, one was due to visit us this week but they can’t now, that’s just the way it goes.”

And Nicholas Hartley lives just over the border on the Cheshire side of the street. The 54-year-old was made redundant from his job as a truck salesman due to the pandemic and believed more restrictions were the way to go. He said: “It’s how it should be to stop it from spreading.

I usually go into Congleton to go out so I won’t be going into Staffordshire. I actually thought Staffordshire was worse for it because every time you hear about an outbreak it’s Silverdale or somewhere in Staffordshire.

Confusion as Cheshire-Staffordshire border village is separated by the new lockdown restrictions

“My mum and dad live in Staffordshire so I won’t be able to visit them. But that’s the way it’s got to be to stop it spreading and hopefully it’ll be sorted out before Christmas.”

Retired hospital pharmacist John Hubbard explained that parts of his street were under different council jurisdictions and that neighbours a few doors away would be under different restrictions from him in Staffordshire. He said: “We tend to do more of our shopping on the Cheshire side. Congleton has a quite pleasant high street for cafes and a bit of shopping.”

Confusion as Cheshire-Staffordshire border village is separated by the new lockdown restrictionsStaffordshire vicar Gilly Hubbard with John Hubbard, who lives in a street where neighbours are under different council’s jurisdictions.

And Staffordshire vicar Gilly Hubbard added: “We stayed within a mile of a locked-down part of south Wales but weren’t even allowed to meet our granddaughter who we still haven’t met yet.”

A retired walker who did not want to be named who lives just into the Cheshire side of the border, added that the restrictions were confusing. He said: “My daughters both live in Staffordshire. We live in a village in the middle of nowhere.

This morning I went shopping in Kidsgrove, but is that safe?

Or legal?

I just don’t get it, we live in a country village.”

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