If Manchester’s farcical lockdown is any clue, the second wave will hit us all hard | Christine Berry

The rule of six will just add more confusion. It’s starting to feel like March all over again, except solidarity has given way to resentment

Keeping up with lockdown rules in Greater Manchester has become a full-time job. On Tuesday, casinos and soft-play centres reopened everywhere except Bolton. Later that same day, pubs in Bolton were closed. You can’t meet other households in your house or garden, unless you live in Stockport or Wigan. You also can’t meet them in pubs or restaurants unless you sit outside, in which case it’s fine, unless you live in Oldham, in which case it isn’t. Restrictions were lifted last Wednesday for Trafford, where I live, until suddenly, 12 hours later, they weren’t. From tomorrow, along with the rest of the country, socialising in groups of more than six will become illegal.

If the government had tried to design a lockdown that was bound to fail, it could scarcely have done a better job. The rules are now so convoluted that they are nigh-on impossible to understand: they seem to change almost daily, with no serious effort to communicate these changes. Worst of all, they simply don’t make sense to people. Children can go to school but can’t visit their friends? I can go to the pub but not see my mum in my garden?

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