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[/news/downing-street/index.html Downing Street] today insisted couples in [/news/coronavirus/index.html coronavirus] hotspots who do not live together must stick to social distancing rules if they meet up outside even if they are in long term relationships.
The Government's Covid-19 restrictions dictate that people living in tier two or tier three areas are not allowed to meet socially with friends or family indoors unless they are part of one household or form a support bubble. 
People are still allowed to meet up outdoors as long as they stick to the rule of six and socially distance. 
However, the Government is facing criticism for failing to include an exemption for people in an 'established relationship' who do not live together. 
The Government's social distancing guidelines state that 'you do not need to socially distance from anyone in your household' or from 'someone you're in an established relationship with'.  
But that exemption has not been carried over to the three tier system, leaving many couples facing the prospect of months apart. 
Boris Johnson's coronavirus rules mean couples who live apart in hotspot areas are banned from meeting inside
Downing Street today also stressed that couples in hotspot areas should socially distance if they meet up outside 
A support bubble is defined as where a household with one adult joins with another household. The members of that combined household can then still visit each other and stay overnight. 
However, living arrangements will mean many couples will be unable to form a support bubble.
Downing Street today defended the lack of an exemption for couples in an 'established relationship'. 
Asked if couples living apart in tier two areas can see each other indoors, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said: ‘The rules on household mixing in tier two I think set out that you should mix with your own household only unless you have formed a support bubble and that obviously does apply to some couples.'
Asked if that meant that couples who do not live together in hotspot areas will now face months of not being allowed to meet indoors, the spokesman said: ‘I would put it in a different way which is what the rules set out is that there shouldn't be mixing between different households indoors but as I said there are exemptions to that with support bubbles and in a number of cases support bubbles will involve couples who live apart.' 
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Asked why there is not an 'established relationship' exemption built into the tier system, the spokesman said: ‘Because the purpose of the measures that we have put in place is to break the chain of transmission in between households and the scientific advice is that there is greater transmission of the virus indoors.'
Asked if the Government expected affected couples to socially distance if they meet outside, the spokesman said: 'The rules set out that people should follow social distancing and the hands, face, space rules.'

People in tier two areas are not allowed to meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they live together or are part of a support bubble. 
People can still see friends and family they do not live with outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space, and the rule of six applies.  
The restrictions are even stricter in tier three areas.

People are not allowed to socialise with anybody they do not live with, or are in a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden. 
They can still meet in a group of no more than six in an outdoor public space like a park or a beach. 
  Singletons' lockdown nightmare: Millions face heartbreak during weeks of Tiers 2 and 3 restrictions...

so CAN you still see your partner and where can you go on dates?
By Jessica Green for MailOnline 

Working on budding relationships or navigating the dating world was already tough enough, and now new [/news/coronavirus/index.html coronavirus] restrictions are set to make things even harder for couples who don't live together and singletons looking for love. 
From midnight today, individuals from different households in London, Essex, York, North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield will be banned from mixing indoors, under Tier 2 restrictions. 
This means that people won't be able to have their partners in their homes, if they've not already formed a support bubble, and a ban on meeting new dates in indoor settings such as pubs and restaurants. 
Meanwhile, those living under Tier 3 restrictions in Liverpool, which will also come into force in Lancashire tonight, will not be able to go on dates, due to a ban on socialising with anyone outside your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, private garden and most outdoor hospitality venues. 
However, publicans are warning that the rules will be near impossible to enforce, because couples can easily claim that they live together, and staff have no way of checking that they're telling the truth.  
Guidance also suggests that 'in the early stages of a relationship, you should take particular care to follow the guidance on social distancing' and remain two metres apart from people you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) where possible. 
Here, FEMAIL answers your questions on what the new restrictions mean for partners and singletons under Tier 2 and Tier 3 lockdown...
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