Meeting People In Gardens Is Still Banned

EDIT: A note has now been added to the Greater Manchester local lockdown rules page on the government website to say that the local lockdown rules will be replaced by the new Tier 2 (High) rules from tomorrow. This means in effect that the government is relaxing the rules across Greater Manchester.

The government has placed Manchester in its new “Tier 2 (High)” category and the Manchester local lockdown rules have been updated. The two sets of rules say different things

The Tier 2 (High) restrictions allow people to meet other people outdoors in their gardens in groups of up to six people. The Manchester local lockdown rules do not allow this.

Basically we still can NOT meet people in our homes or gardens unless they are in our “support bubble”.

The Tier 2 (High) rules come into force on Wednesday 14 October at 00.01. Maybe the local lockdown rules will be changed again then but currently the Tier 2 and Manchester Local Lockdown rules contradict each other. There is no mention on the government’s website for the local lockdown rules that they will change when the Tier 2 rules come into force tomorrow.

What do the Manchester local lockdown rules say?

Read the Greater Manchester Local Lockdown rules in full HERE

Social contact restrictions

If you live in one of the affected areas, in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus you must not:

  • host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support or childcare bubble
  • meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside the affected local areas, unless they’re in your support or childcare bubble

Your household is defined as the people you live with and any support or childcare bubble.

support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household can provide informal (meaning unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. This must occur on an exclusive basis – always the same two households.

What do the Tier 2 (High) restrictions say?

Read the Tier 2 (High) rules in full HERE

You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. When you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.

Prime Minister’s Statement On New Coronavirus Measures

Please see below the statement to the House of Commons by the UK Prime Minister. This includes announcements on stricter measures following the recent surge in infections, hospitalisations and deaths. These measures are expected to last for six months.

There will be a further televised statement by PM Johnson tonight at 20.00 that will be added to this post.

Key points:

  • Schools, colleges and universities will remain open.
  • Office workers who can work at home should do so.
  • Key public service and key workers who cannot work from home should continue to attend their workplaces.
  • From Thursday 24th September 2020 all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate a table service only except for takeaways.
  • All hospitality venues must close at 10pm with doors closed, not just last orders at 10pm.
  • Takeaways must also close at 10pm although deliveries can continue after 10pm.
  • Compulsory wearing of masks extended to taxis, private hire vehicles and all staff in retail.
  • Alll staff and customers in hospitality venues (except when seated at a table to eat or drink) must wear masks.
  • In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors government covid secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach the rules.
  • From Monday 28th September a maximum of 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions.
  • Up to 30 people can still attend a funeral.
  • “Rule of Six” will be extended to all adult indoor team sports.
  • The “Rule of Six” (when meeting friends and family you do not live with – or have formed a support bubble with – you must not meet in a group of more than six) will now therefore apply in all circumstances apart from weddings (15 people), wedding receptions (15 people), funerals (30 people) and outdoor organised team sports (30 people).
  • Business conferences, events and large sporting events will not be permitted as was planned for 1st October 2020.
  • People who were previously shielding will not be advised to do so again for the time being.
  • These rules will be enforced by tighter penalties.
  • Fine of up to £10,000 for those who fail to self isolate already exist and these fines will now be applied to businesses who break these covid rules.
  • Fine for breaking the “Rule of Six” or not wearing a mask will double to £200 for a first offence.
  • There will be a greater police presence on our streets and extra funding will be provided to police to enforce these rules.
  • Military support will be called on where required to free up the police for other matters.
  • These measures apply in England. Devolved administrations are taking “similar” measures.
  • 13 million people in England are living under further restrictions over and above these national measures [see HERE for the local lockdown measures that apply in Manchester].
  • “Fire power will be drawn upon” to deploy further measures if these measures do not work and people do not follow these rules.
  • These new restrictions should be assumed to remain in place “for perhaps SIX MONTHS”.

What are the differences between these new national rules and the extra local lockdown rules in Manchester?

Please note at the time of this announcement the rules for the Greater Manchester local lockdown have not been updated to reflect the new national rules that apply variously with immediate effect, from Thursday 24th September and from Monday 29th September 2020 as outlined above.

The rules across Greater manchester vary between different areas. This is outlined in the link above. Key differences to the new national rules that currently apply in Manchester are outlined below.

Key differences in Manchester:

  • You MUST NOT:
    • host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble*. (support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.)
    • meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas unless they’re in your support bubble.
  • You are ADVISED to NOT:
    • socialise with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue. This applies to inside and outside of the affected areas. Examples of public venues include pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions and parks.
    • visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances.

This information is provided in good faith as an accurate reflection of changing circumstances and the differences between the national and local restrictions and rules. Please follow the links for more detailed guidance and rules from the government.

Prime Minister’s Statement to the House of Commons, 22nd September 2020

Prime Minister’s Statement to the House of Commons, 22nd September 2020

Prime Minister’s broadcast to the nation, 22nd September 2020

Prime Minister’s broadcast to the nation, 22nd September 2020

Coronavirus Update

Please see below the video from Professor Chris Whitty (Chief Medical Officer, England) and Sir Patrick Vallance (Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government) providing an update on the recent significant increases in infection rates across the country.

Harsher Lockdown Rules From Next Week

The government has announced harsher lockdown rules that will apply to all of England from Monday 14th September 2020.

An announcement from PM Johnson is expected tomorrow (Wednesday 9th September) but the new rules will ban gatherings of more than six people with only limited exceptions.

At-a-glance: What are the new rules?

  • Social gatherings of more than six people in England will not be allowed in law from Monday 14 September
  • The new rule applies to private homes, indoors and outdoors, and places such as bars and cafes
  • The rule does not apply to schools and workplaces, or weddings, funerals and organised team sports
  • A full list of exemptions is due to be published before the law changes
  • People who ignore police could be fined £100 – doubling with each offence to a maximum of £3,200

Further information is available from the BBC HERE

We will provide another update when more information is released by the government.

Government Support for Self Employed – Stage 2

The second stage of Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opens for applications today.

Anyone whose self-employed business has been adversely affected by coronavirus since 14 July is eligible for the scheme and will now be able to receive a second and final grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, with the money set to land in their bank accounts within six working days of making a claim.

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme HERE

Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme HERE

Covid19 Advice In Translation

We have updated our Coronavirus advice pages with a new dedicated section on advice in translation. The new page includes information in 60 different languages from Doctors of the World and information in British Sign Language from SignHealth.

Go to the new page HERE

URGENT New Covid19 Restrictions

The government announced around 21.30 on Thursday 30th July that new restrictions would be introduced at midnight. The announcement was made by four tweets and one interview from the Secretary of State for Health who then did not appear on any of the main news bulletins. Nobody from the government bothered to appear.

These new restrictions are now in force. See below for the news reports from Thursday 30th July and the new government rules and press announcement released on 31st July.

The main change is nobody can visit another household either indoors or outdoors.

News Reports

BBC News report
ITV News report
Sky News Report

North West of England: local restrictions – what you can and cannot do

Find out what restrictions are in place if you live, work or travel in the North-West area and other affected areas.

Published 31 July 2020

From:Department of Health and Social Care

Contents

  1. Affected local areas
  2. Local restrictions
  3. Changes in restrictions

An outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, and West Yorkshire. The government and relevant local authorities are acting together to control the spread of the virus. From 31 July 2020, if you live in these parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire, you should follow these rules when meeting people who you do not live with. Separate guidance advises on the similar rules imposed in Leicester.

Affected local areas

  • Greater Manchester:
    • City of Manchester
    • Trafford
    • Stockport
    • Oldham
    • Bury
    • Wigan
    • Bolton
    • Tameside
    • Rochdale
    • Salford
  • Lancashire:
    • Blackburn with Darwen
    • Burnley
    • Hyndburn
    • Pendle
    • Rossendale
  • West Yorkshire:
    • Bradford
    • Calderdale
    • Kirklees

Local restrictions

Social contact

If you live in one of the affected areas, in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, you should not:

  • meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law).
  • visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas.
  • socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with others. If you run such a business, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.

The government will pass new laws to enforce the changes to meeting people in private homes and gardens. The police will be able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices (starting at £100 – halving to £50 if paid in the first 14 days – and doubling for subsequent offences).

Business closures

In Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford, the following premises must remain closed by law:

  • indoor gyms
  • indoor fitness and dance studios
  • indoor sports courts and facilities
  • indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks

Changes in restrictions

Does my household include close family members?

Your household – as defined in law – is only the people you live with. If you have formed a support bubble (which must include a single adult household i.e. people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) these can be treated as if they are members of your household.

What will be illegal?

It will be illegal for people who do not live together to meet in a private home or garden, except for limited exceptions to be set out in law. You should not host or visit people you do not live with, unless they are in your support bubble. If you live in the affected areas, you should not visit someone’s home or garden regardless of whether this is in or outside of the restricted area.

Can I still meet indoors with people in my support bubble?

Yes. Where people from single adult households (people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) have formed a support bubble with another household, they can continue to visit each other, stay overnight, and visit other public places as if they were one household.

Can I still meet people outdoors?

In line with the national guidance, you can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than six people, unless the group includes only people from two households. You cannot meet people you do not live within a private garden.

At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble.

I live in this area. Can I still meet with my family and friends to celebrate Eid?

Due to higher rates of infection, if you live in this area you should not host or visit friends and family in each other’s homes or gardens. It will shortly be illegal to do so, unless specific exemptions apply. You also should not meet friends and family in other venues – including restaurants or cafes.

Up to two households, or six people from any number of households may meet outdoors (excluding people’s gardens) where there is a lower risk of infection. If you do so, you should still socially distance from those you do not live with, and avoid physical contact.

You may attend a mosque or other place or worship, where Covid-19 Secure guidance applies, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings). We recommend at this time that, if possible, prayer/religious services take place outdoors.

Can I still go to work in this area?

Yes. People living inside and outside of this area can continue to travel in and out for work. Workplaces must implement Covid-19 Secure guidance.

I live in this area. Can I still go to cafes, restaurants, the gym and other public places?

Yes. But you should only go with members of your own household – even if you are going outside of the restricted area.

I live in the area. Can people from outside of the lockdown area visit me at my house?

No. This will be illegal.

Do I still have to shield if I live in this area?

Clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer have to follow the shielding guidance from the 1 August, unless they live in Blackburn with Darwen in the North West and other local affected areas across England where shielding continues.

Can I visit a care home?

You should not visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.

Can I still have my wedding if it’s in the lockdown area?

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies in these areas can still go ahead. No more than 30 people should attend a marriage or civil partnership, where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in a COVID-19 secure venue. Further guidance can be found here.

Large wedding receptions or parties should not currently be taking place and any celebration after the ceremony should follow the broader social distancing guidance of involving no more than two households in any location or, if outdoors, up to six people from different households.

Can I travel outside of the lockdown area to attend a wedding ceremony?

Yes.

Can I travel into the lockdown area to attend a wedding ceremony?

Yes. Weddings should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a wedding, but should not go into a private home or garden.

Can I still visit a place of worship in the lockdown area?

Yes, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (e.g. face coverings). We recommend at this time that if possible prayer/religious services take place outdoors.

Can funerals still take place in the lockdown areas?

Yes. Funerals should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a funeral.

Can I holiday in the lockdown area, or visit shops, leisure facilities, or cafes in it?

Yes. However, you must avoid socialising with people indoors when doing so.

Can I travel in a car with someone I do not live with?

You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or social bubble. If you need to, try to:

  • share the transport with the same people each time
  • keep to small groups of people at any one time
  • open windows for ventilation
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow face away from each other
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering

The Department for Transport has provided specific guidance on using private vehicles. Please see their guidance on private cars and other vehicles for more information on car sharing and traveling with people outside your household group.

Published 31 July 2020

Government Press Release

New rules on gatherings in some parts of Northern England

Government announces changes to rules on gatherings in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire after increase in COVID-19 cases

Published 30 July 2020

From:Department of Health and Social Care

placeholder

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has this evening announced that new rules on social gatherings will be introduced in Northern England to stop the spread of COVID-19. These changes will also apply in Leicester city.

This is in response to an increasing trend in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area, and data from PHE and the JBC which suggests transmission among households is a key infection pathway in the area.

The areas that these changes apply to are:

  • The Greater Manchester area
  • Pendle
  • Hyndburn
  • Burnley
  • Rossendale
  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Bradford
  • Calderdale
  • Kirklees
  • Leicester City

It means people in these areas will not be permitted to mix with other households (apart from those in their support bubbles) in private homes or gardens.

Some exemptions will be put in place, including for the vulnerable.

The government will sign new regulations to make these changes legally enforceable.

The regulations will give local authorities and police forces the powers to enforce these restrictions and more details on these will be set out when the regulations are published.

Households may go to hospitality, for instance bars and pubs, but new guidance will make clear that two households should not go to hospitality together.

Meanwhile local leaders and government have today agreed a number of changes to local restrictions in other areas.

While social gathering restrictions remain in place in Leicester City, the area will benefit from the lifting of restrictions that took place on 4 July in England, and all local restrictions currently in place in the neighbouring borough of Oadby and Wigston will end.

It means from Monday 3 August restaurants, cafes, bars and hairdressers in Leicester City can get back to business but leisure centres, gyms and pools will remain closed. In addition, cinemas and museums will open and religious ceremonies will be able to take place.

And on Saturday 1 August, Luton will be brought in line with the rest of the country after significant progress has been made in controlling the virus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

We’re constantly looking at the latest data on the spread of coronavirus, and unfortunately we’ve seen an increasing rate of transmission in parts of Northern England.

We’ve been working with local leaders across the region, and today I chaired a meeting of the Local Action Gold Committee. Based on the data, we decided that in Greater Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire we need to take immediate action to keep people safe.

The spread is largely due to households meeting and not abiding to social distancing. So from midnight tonight, people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors in these areas.

We take this action with a heavy heart, but we can see increasing rates of coronavirus across Europe and are determined to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe.

The restrictions currently in place in Blackburn, announced last Friday, which saw indoor swimming pools, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor gyms and sports facilities remaining closed, will continue.

From Saturday, these leisure facilities will open in Luton, bringing it in line with the rest of the country.

We have been working closely with local leaders across Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire and have made the decision to bring in new restrictions on social gatherings for selected areas.

For those preparing to celebrate Eid Al Adha this weekend with friends and family these restrictions will come as a blow but everyone is being urged to follow the new rules and to protect the ones they love from catching coronavirus.

Mosques and other places of worship have reopened for prayer and communal worship, but in a different socially distanced and COVID-19 Secure way. This means that while mosques can remain open, many will not able to welcome as many worshippers as before.

Anyone with any symptoms must isolate immediately and get a test for free by going online or ringing 119. Everyone must continue to socially distance and regularly their wash hands to help bring this virus down further so all areas of Leicester can return to normal as soon as possible.

Arcadia Leisure Centre Reopens

Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre has reopened to members on a limited basis from today (25th July 2020). The Centre will open to the public from 1st August with swimming available as well as gym facilities but the library will remain closed for the time being.

Full information on the staged reopening is available HERE

Small Business Grants

Applications for discretionary grants for small businesses close TODAY at 10pm.

Please see below for full details and a link to apply.

Continue reading

Covid Alert Levels

The government has also launched a new Covid Alert Level system administered by the newly created Joint Biosecurity Centre. There are five levels:

  • Level five (red) – a “material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed” – extremely strict social distancing
  • Level four (orange) – a high or rising level of transmission – enforced social distancing 
  • Level three (yellow) – the virus is in general circulation – social distancing relaxed
  • Level two (green) – the number of cases and transmission are low – minimal social distancing
  • Level one (green) – Covid-19 is no longer present in the UK – no social distancing

These alert levels currently only apply in England.

At the moment the government has not provided much more than some slides on this new alert system so please click HERE for a summary from the BBC.

As of today (June 1) the alert level remains at Level 4 although the government has confirmed that schools are re-opening to more pupils, shops and businesses are reopening, restrictions on the most vulnerable shielded people are being relaxed and sport is starting up again.

covid alert levels

NHS Test & Trace

A Test and Trace system has been launched by NHS England. The new service:

  • ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents
  • helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus

This system applies in England. Equivalent systems have already been introduced or are being developed in the rest of the UK.

An NHS Phone App has been developed and was said to be the essential basis of the test and trace system but the system has now been launched before the app is ready.

To find out how test and trace works click HERE

NHS test and trace: how it works

A new test and trace system has been introduced in England (versions of this have been or are soon to be introduced across the UK).

The NHS test and trace service:

  • ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents
  • helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus

Please click HERE to find out about the government guidance.

If you show any symptoms of being infected with Covid19 you can get a test HERE.

Please note the NHS app that is being developed is not ready and has not yet been launched outside the trials being done.

Dental Problems During Lockdown

What to do if you have a dental problem during the COVID-19 pandemic

If you have a dental issue during lockdown, it is important that you know how to access help when you need it. All high street dental and orthodontic practices can give advice, guidance and prescriptions, which you can collect from your local pharmacy.

If you are in pain or in need of support and need help or advice, please telephone your dental practice in the usual way. If you are not registered with a dentist you can go to https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist or call the dental helpline:

  • Greater Manchester: 0333 332 3800

This may be because you have severe toothache or a dental infection, or you have noticed other changes inside your mouth such as a white orred patch, a lump or an ulcer that won’t heal. You will be assessed and given advice over the phone, which may result in a remote consultation with a dentist.

To support NHS services, it is important that you do not visit hospitals or doctors’ surgeries with dental problems.

This information is from the NHS England and NHS Improvement North West website

BSL Coronavirus Daily Updates

The Deaf Health Charity SignHealth provides daily summaries of coronavirus information in British Sign Language.

Please click HERE to go to their website for the latest video. You can find all of the two minute updates on the SignHealth Youtube Playlist HERE

This information is also available in the LCA Coronavirus Resources page HERE

The video for 14th May is provided below.

New TfGM Travel Advice

Transport for Greater Manchester has released new travel advice.

“Coronavirus has affected all aspects of our lives, including how we travel. 

This week government published a new guide to help people understand if and when they should travel – and how to do so safely during the coronavirus outbreak in England. 

The guide gives advice for walking, cycling, driving and travelling on public transport. 

The Government’s latest advice is that you should stay at home as much as possible, work from home if you can, stay local and only travel if it is necessary. 

If you do have to travel, walk, cycle or drive if you can and continue to avoid public transport unless you have no other option – leave it for those with no alternative. 

Increased walking and cycling will be essential to reduce pressure on our roads and public transport networks so please do consider this as one of your options. 

If you have to use public transport, please help to keep yourself and others safe:

  • Wear a face covering when you travel
  • Keep a distance of 2 metres where possible on platforms, stops, stations and interchanges and while travelling on trams, trains and buses
  • Wash or sanitise your hands regularly – including before and after you travel – and carry a hand sanitiser with you if possible
  • Pay using contactless, apps or buy your tickets online if you can

Please be aware that a face covering is not the same as a surgical mask or respirator, these should be left for health and social care staff and other key workers who need them to protect against risks in their workplace. 

A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. You should wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and after taking it off. Government has published an online guide on wearing and making a face covering

Where possible people using public transport should also look to travel outside of peak times in the morning and evening and leave extra time for journeys. Also make sure you check timetables before you travel. 

If you are an employer or employee about to return to a workplace which has recently reopened, TfGM has produced a factsheet with further information to support you.

For the latest updates on services, timetables and safety advice, visit the TfGM coronavirus webpage.

Please share this message with your friends, family and colleagues, and we’ll continue to keep you updated. 

Stay safe,

Stephen Rhodes 

Customer Director 

Transport for Greater Manchester 

See the advice on the TfGM website HERE

UK Government Recovery Strategy

The UK government has released new guidance on its proposed “recovery strategy” described as a “roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis”. The contents are listed below for reference.

The new guidance provides information on changes to the current restrictions in place since 23rd March 2020 and changes planned for the coming weeks and months.

Please note that although this is identified as guidance from the UK government it only applies in England. The devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have independent responsibility for their own approaches.

Click HERE to view the document on the government website.

Click HERE to download a copy of the PDF

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement on the proposals, 10 May 2020

Response from Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition, 11 May 2020

Continue reading

11am Minute of Silence Today

The Royal College of Nursing has joined forces with the Royal College of Midwives and UNISON – collectively representing more than a million NHS and public service staff – to campaign for a moment of reflection at 11am on Tuesday 28 April.

The minute’s silence will be held on International Workers’ Memorial Day. It will allow the nation to pay respect to those whose work involved caring, saving lives, and keeping key services running and the rest of the country safe, while showing support for families who have lost a loved one.

RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said:

“We’ve become used to hearing a great roar on a Thursday night for key workers, but this respectful silence will be a poignant reminder of the risks they run to keep us safe. I hope the public gets behind this with the same affection they show when applauding our people. 

“The silence is a simple show of respect for those who have paid the very highest price, but their loved ones must know the levels of gratitude we feel as a nation and take some comfort from that.”

Prime Minister’s Statement

Prime Minister’s statement outside 10 Downing Street on 27 April 2020 on the day he returned to work following his illness with Covid19.

Job Retention Scheme Claims

The government’s Job Retention Scheme is now live and taking claims.

Claim for 80% of your employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can find full information and guidance HERE

You can submit a claim HERE

Nightingale North West Hospital Opening

Please see below a message from Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall opening the new NHS Nightingale North West Hospital in Manchester.

HRH Duchess of Cornwall opens NHS Nightingale Manchester Hospital

Every Mind Matters

At this difficult time it is important to be aware of our mental health and wellbeing. The NHS has support via its Every Mind Matters programme where you can develop your own Action Plan.

Click HERE for further information.

Rules relaxed for people with Autism or Learning Difficulties

Government advice on leaving the house for exercise have been updated for people with autism or learning difficulties. The government advice now says:

“You can leave your home for medical need. If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health – including if that involves travel beyond your local area – then you can do so. This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day – ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.

Even in such cases, in order to reduce the spread of infection and protect those exercising, travel outside of the home should be limited, as close to your local area as possible, and you should remain at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not a member of your household or a carer at all times.”

Contactless Payment Limit Raised

The limit for contactless payment has been raised from £30 to £45. Please remember to check when shopping to help avoid touching keypads. If you exceed the new £45 limit you can also ask for shopping to be put through in more than one payment to ensure you stay below the limit and can use contactless payment. The increase has been rolled out over the last week so should apply in most places.

A Message from the PM

A message from the Prime Minister on the day he has come out of hospital following treatment for Covid19.

GM Law Centre Covid19 Guide

Greater Manchester Law Centre has developed a guide to support residents and support organisations to assist people through the current health emergency.

This guide will be updated regularly as the situation develops. This guide is correct to 3rd April 2020. A downloadable version of the guide is available here

Whils

Press Conferences

A new page has been added to the LCA website for the UK government covid19 press conferences.

The page includes a link to the video of each press conference, a daily transcript / report and downloads of the slides used.

The page is available in the drop down menu on the Coronavirus (Covid19) menu tab. You can go directly to the page HERE

Reporting Lockdown Breaches

How to tell GMP about a possible breach of coronavirus (Covid-19) measures

Is it an emergency?

  • is there a threat to life (including road traffic incidents where someone is injured or the road is blocked)
  • does it feel like the situation could get heated or violent very soon
  • is there a risk of serious damage to property
  • is a serious offence in progress
  • there’s serious disruption to the public or there could be


If so, please call 999 now.If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS serviceExternal Link.

If you’re concerned about a business or venue that’s open and you don’t think it should be, please check the guidance on this first. 

We’re seeking to resolve situations where people appear to be or are contravening the government advice on physical social distancing and the stay at home measures without resorting to enforcement and issuing fines. 

Please only tell us about something if you feel there is a significant issue or breach which you think we need to know about.

Use the form available HERE to report any concerns about breaches of the regulations and where they are.

Station South Community Collage

A call for contributions for a Community Collage on the advertising board beside Station South on the A6.

Here’s an idea! We’d like to do something to keep us all entertained in these crazy times! 

We’re giving the advertising board over to you for a big #COMMUNITYCOLLAGE challenge.

To help lift people’s spirits and get creative at home we’re setting you an arty challenge over the next few days…we’ll prompt your efforts with themes!

A daily ‘call to action’ to submit your photos/artwork/words coming out of these trying times which represent the #positives and spread #hope and #happiness during this time. 

We’ll put the best ones into the #communitycollage and showcase on the advertising board on the A6/Stockport Road where we hope it will cheer up key workers and the like. 

Theme’s for inspiration so far are  #simplepleasures #workingfromhome#naturelovers  #foodforthought

Post your images/words/art on the Station South Facebook page HERE
Or email them to hello@stationsouth.co.uk – let us know if you’d like a credit x

Spread the word and GO! x

Manchester Nightingale Hospital

The government is building several new hospitals across the UK to cope with the demand placed on the NHS because of the Covid19 crisis. The Manchester “Nightingale” hospital is being contracted in the Manchester Central Convention Complex (formerly known as the G-Mex).

PM in Intensive Care

It has been confirmed that Prime Minister Johnson has been moved to intensive care follow his admission to hospital yesterday (Sunday 5 April 2020). The Prime Minister’s condition has since worsened with persistent symptoms of the Covid19 virus.

Johnson has asked Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary, to take over some of his responsibilities for the time being although the exact nature of how the government will operate while the Prime Minister is incapacitated is yet to be confirmed.

See the BBC News reporting HERE

Corona Helpers Directory

Levy Corona Helpers have compiled a Street Directory of coordinators for help and support.

Contact your street coordinator in the first instance if you either need or can offer assistance. If your street does not have a coordinator email set up, please email levycoronahelpers@gmail.com

You can also inbox the LCH Admins on the Facebook group or if necessary, contact Carey by text on 07968 031085.

If you are hearing from people in your street and have issues arising that you are not sure how to deal with please let LCH know. All the Admins work full time, so it might be that they can’t respond immediately.

Please note Levenshulme Inspire is offering a Corona Phone Hotline for certain streets, check the list to see if it applies to your street.

Directory correct as at Sunday 5 April 2020

STREET NAMEEMAIL ADDRESS / CONTACT
Agnes StreetAgnesStLCH@gmail.com or Inspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Albert RoadAlbertRoadLCH@gmail.com   
Allandale RoadLindsayAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Barlow RoadBarlowRoadLCH@gmail.com 
Bournville GroveBournevillGroveLCH@gmail.com 
Bowler StreetBowlerStLCH@gmail.com 
Broom AvenueBroomAveLCH@gmail.com 
Broom LaneBroomLaneLCH@gmail.com 
Brook AvenueInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Carnegie AvenueCarnegieLincolnAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Carson RoadEltonCarsonLCH@gmail.com 
Collingwood RoadCollingwoodRdLC@gmail.com 
Craighall AvenueCraighallAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Crayfield RoadCrayfieldRoadLCH@gmail.com 
Cringle RoadCringleRoadLCH@gmail.com 
Cromwell GroveCromwellGroveLCH@gmail.com 
Cuthbert AvenueInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Damian StreetInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Danforth GroveDanforthGroveLCH@gmail.com 
Deepcar StreetInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Dorset RoadDorsetRoadLCH@gmail.com 
Elmsworth AvenueElmsworthAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Elton AvenueEltonCarsonLCH@gmail.com 
Fairview AvenueLindsayAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Fernleigh AvenueFernleighAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Forest RangeForestRangeLCH@gmail.com 
Garfield AvenueGarfieldAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Grange AvenueGrangeAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Guildford RoadGuildfordRoadLCH@gmail.com 
Hawley StreetHawleyStreetLCH@gmail.com 
Hemmons RoadInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Highfield RoadHighfieldRoadLCH@gmail.com 
Horstead WalkInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629 955
Kingsmill AvenueKingsmillAvenueLCH@gmail.com  
Kingsway AvenueKingswayAveLCH@gmail.com 
Langdale AvenueLangdaleAveLCH@gmail.com 
Langthorne StreetLangthorneStreetLCH@gmail.com 
Leybourne AvenueLeybourneAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Lincoln AvenueCarnegieLincolnAvenueLCH@gmail.com
Lindsay Avenue LindsayAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Lytham RoadLindsayAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Maida StreetInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Marley RoadMarleyRdLCH@gmail.com 
Marshall RoadMarshallRoadLCH@gmail.com 
Matthews LaneInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Mayford RoadInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Montreal StreetMontrealStreetLCH@gmail.com 
Newdale StreetInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Osborne RoadOsborneLCH@gmail.com 
Park AvenueParkAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Preston RoadPrestonRoadLCH@gmail.com 
Pascal StreetYorkAndPascalStreetLCH@gmail.com 
Prestage StreetInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Provident AvenueProvidentAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Randolph StreetInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Roseneath AvenueFernleighAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Seddon StreetInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
St. Mark’s StreetStMarksStreetLCH@gmail.com 
St. Oswald’s RoadInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Stovell AvenueInspire Corona Phone Hotline 07459629955
Thorncliffe GroveFernleighAvenueLCH@gmail.com 
Windsor RoadWindsorRoadLCH@gmail.com 
York StreetYorkAndPascalStreetLCH@gmail.com 

Free Newspapers and Magazines via Manchester Libraries

PressReader

If you are a member of Manchester Libraries, you can access the website or app PressReader. There are over 5000 newspaper and magazine titles from more than 100 countries, in over 60 languages for free!

All the UK newspapers are there, including the Independent, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.

To sign up you just need your library card and pin number. You can access PressReader on your PC or download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

Just click here for all the info.

Newsbank

Newsbank is another website available for free offering a digital range of regional and international English language newspapers, including The Manchester Evening News , The Guardian , The Times , The Daily Mirror , The Daily Mail , and The Daily Express . 

Includes international newspapers such as The New York Times , The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), The Times of India , The Nation (Islamabad), and The Irish Times . 

All you have to do is go to the website and type in your library card number. 

If you don’t have a Manchester Libraries card but still want to access the site, you can now sign up for a temporary library card and the wonderful people at Newsbank will give you full access! 

Register for a temporary library card here.

How to maintain your car when not driving regularly

How to maintain your car when not driving regularly

With the country in the middle of the coronavirus (COVID-19), you may not be able to get out and about in the car as much as you’re used to. Many will be wondering what to do with your car if you aren’t driving it on a regular basis.

What to do with your car, and how to maintain it, depends on how long you’re leaving your car idle. For example, you may be using it to top up on food and supplies or driving it if you work in an essential job or industry. But for many, you may not need or want to use your car for a lot longer, maybe even months.

Remember that even if you’re not using it, you’ll still have to insure your car unless you make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). You can only make a SORN if the car’s being kept off the road.

Here are some commonly asked questions and answers:

How long can you leave a car without starting?

How long you leave a car without starting can depend on the condition of your car’s 12-volt battery. Most modern cars with a fairly healthy battery should last at least 2 weeks, without needing to be started up to re-charge the battery. If there’s any doubt about the condition of the battery, start it once a week just to be safe.

What happens if you don’t drive a car for a long time?

Even if you haven’t driven for a while your car should be fine. If it’s been regularly started and run for 15-minute periods, the battery should work. The tyre pressures should be checked and adjusted before driving. The brakes may have some corrosion on them, especially if the car was wet when it was parked up. Drive carefully and test the brakes as soon as possible. Make sure you use your brakes for the first few miles to clean off any corrosion.

Is it bad to leave a car unused?

Cars are made to be driven but with good care it should be fine. If it’s left unused follow our guidelines.

Can I leave my car parked for a month?

Yes, but it’s best to follow these guidelines to keep the car ready to drive.

How long can a car sit before the battery dies?

As we’ve said above, there are many factors that can affect this. The age of the battery, how the car’s been used and the temperature all affect the performance of a battery. If you follow our guidelines your battery shouldn’t let you down.

What if my MOT expires?

The government has announced a 6-month exemption from the MOT test, although your car must be kept in a roadworthy condition.

Here are a few simple tips on how to keep your car lasting longer and ready to use when you need it again.

Leaving your car parked for up to a month
  • Fuel – Before parking your car up for a long period, it’s a good idea to top up with fuel. Not only will this help with other measures, but a full tank doesn’t attract condensation, which could cause issues if allowed to build up over time.

  • Battery maintenance – If you can, connect your car’s battery to a mains-powered battery maintainer. If you can’t, start the engine once a week and allow it to run for about 15 minutes. This will re-charge the battery and help keep the engine in good condition. It’s important to allow the engine to run for this long so the battery can charge properly. In the case of petrol engine cars, it also helps to prevent engines from flooding with fuel. Never leave your car unattended with the engine running.

  • Brakes – Sometimes when a car’s parked up for a long period with the parking brake on, the brakes can seize. To prevent this it’s good practice to release the parking brake and move the vehicle a short distance back and forth, at the same time as running the engine. You shouldn’t leave the parking brake off unless the vehicle is on private land with the wheels securely chocked.

  • Electric vehicles – EVs and hybrid vehicles have 12-volt batteries, the same as conventional cars. However, they charge differently. Pressing the start button, so the ready light comes on, will operate the charging system. Doing this for 10 minutes once a week should keep the 12-volt battery topped up. Some electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles can maintain their 12-volt batteries if they’re plugged in to the mains charger. Check your vehicle handbook for details on this.

  • Garages – Don’t run a car engine inside a household garage as the exhaust fumes can be toxic. If you keep your car in a garage, pull it out onto the drive to run the engine to charge the battery.

  • Tyres – Before driving the car after a long period parked up, check all of the tyre pressures and inflate if needed.

Full advice from The AA is available HERE

Getting Free School Meals During the Covid19 Crisis

Free School Meals

Coronavirus: information about help with food costs while schools are closed.

If your child qualifies and their school is in Manchester, you can Apply for free school meals

You’ll need to contact the school yourself if it isn’t listed.

If your child’s school is outside Manchester, their free school meals will be dealt with by the local authority the school is in. Go to the GOV.UK website and enter the postcode of the school your child attends to find out how to get them.

Which children qualify for them?

Your child may qualify if you have any of these incomes:

  •  Income Support
  •  income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  •  income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  •  the guaranteed part of Pension Credit
  •  Child Tax Credit (as long as your annual gross income is £16,190 or less and  you don’t get Working Tax Credit)
  •  Working Tax Credit run-off after you come off Working Tax Credit
  •  Universal Credit that you applied for on, or after, 1 April 2018. As long as your household income is less than £7,400 a year after tax, not including any benefits

Children who receive these benefits themselves instead of through a parent or guardian, can also qualify for free school meals.

Your child may qualify if you are an asylum seeker.

Children who are younger than the compulsory age for starting school but in full-time education, can also get free school meals.

How long can they get free school meals for?

Children who are eligible for free school meals now will be eligible for them until either:

  • they finish school; or
  • if on 31 March 2022 they are still in school, until they finish the phase of schooling they are in (primary or secondary) –

whichever is sooner.

Infant free school meals in England

All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can get free school meals whatever your income. But if you have one of the qualifying incomes (above) it will help the school if you tell them this, so they can get extra funding.

Manchester Covid19 Helpline launched

Announcement from Manchester City Council

Manchester Community Response

If you need help you can get it now by calling 0800 234 6123

We have set up a hub to support Manchester’s most vulnerable people, and help them cope with the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.

We want to help you if you are:

  • over the age of 70, are self isolating and have no support network,
  • if you have received a letter from the NHS advising you are high risk, or
  • you are medically vulnerable according to the government criteria.

We can help with things like:

  • Delivery of food
  • Delivery of medication
  • Combating loneliness
  • Managing fuel top-up payments

Help is also be available for other reasons, for example if you are a carer, care leaver or young carer.

Across the City a community of charities, businesses, community groups and the Council have all come together to make sure you have the support you need during this challenging time.

Get help – 0800 234 6123

If you live alone, are struggling to make ends meet, are self-isolating or generally in need of advice or support please contact us between 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday.

Call our helpline to access the support you need.

Driving and MOTs extensions

Link to the new DVLA guidance HERE

Published 25 March 2020

From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by 6 months. This is being done to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

There’s separate guidance about what to do if your MOT due date is up to and including 29 March 2020.

There are different temporary rules for MOT tests for lorries, buses and trailers.

What you need to do

You do not need to do anything to extend your vehicle’s MOT expiry date if it’s on or after 30 March 2020. However, you must keep your vehicle safe to drive.

Your vehicle will be automatically given a 6-month MOT exemption. This will extend your current MOT expiry date by 6 months.

ExampleYour vehicle’s MOT was due to expire on 3 April 2020.

This will automatically be extended to 3 October 2020. You will need to get your MOT by this date.

You can check your MOT history to see when you have been issued an exemption. It will not be updated straight away, so keep checking back if your new due date MOT is not yet showing.

You will not get a paper exemption certificate.

If your vehicle tax is due, you can tax your vehicle as soon as your MOT due date has been updated.

If your vehicle’s first MOT is due

Your vehicle will be automatically given a 6-month MOT exemption from the date its first MOT was due.

If your first MOT was due before 30 March 2020 and your vehicle did not pass

Your vehicle will not get an extension to its MOT due date.

Your vehicle will need to pass an MOT before you can drive it again.

The government is allowing MOT centres and garages to remain open. So you can still get an MOT if you need your vehicle:

  • to shop for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • for any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

Read the full guidance on staying at home and away from others.

Keep your vehicle safe to drive

You must make sure your vehicle is safe to drive (‘roadworthy’). It can be unsafe even if your MOT expiry date has been extended.

Find out how to check your vehicle is safe and read the rules about vehicle maintenance, safety and security.

You can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

You should still take your vehicle to be repaired at the nearest open garage. The government is allowing them to remain open.

Clap for Carers 20.00 Tonight

Covid19 Advice in 34 Languages

Doctors of the World have developed Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for patients in 34 languages. These documents were produced in partnership with the British Red Cross, Migrant Help and Clear Voice. The guidance is based on the UK government’s updated advice and health information. It is hoped this will help important guidance reach migrant and asylum-seeking communities in the UK.

The advice is available in 34 languages: English, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Czech, Dari, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Hungarian, Kurdish Sorani, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Romanian, Sindhi, Slovak, Spanish, Somali, Tigrinya, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese.

You can find all files on the DOTW website HERE

These files are also available in our Resources section HERE

We Love MCR Community Response Fund

The We Love MCR charity has set up a fund to provide Covid-19 Community Response Grants. Full information is available HERE

Constituted community groups and organisations with a bank account can apply to this fund for £500 – £3000 for the items, equipment or supplies they need to support their communities in this difficult time.

The application process has been simplified to help get the money out to groups quickly. The application form can be downloaded here:

Completed application forms can be sent to: welovemcrcharity@manchester.gov.uk

Please share this information with groups you are aware of and your wider networks.  WeLoveMCR want to support as many groups and organisations as they can in this time of need. 

Support For Extremely Vulnerable People

Get support as an extremely vulnerable person

Register if you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, you’ll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food.

If you’re not sure whether your medical condition makes you extremely vulnerable, register anyway.

You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.

Start now

Before you start

If you know it, it’s useful to have your NHS number to hand. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you or on a prescription.

This service is available in England. If you do not live in England, there’s guidance for:

Prime Minister’s Statement To The Nation

In an address to the nation tonight the Prime Minister has introduced emergency controls and restrictions on people’s movements.

That’s it. We’re in lockdown.

  • All non essential shops will close.
  • Police will enforce restrictions including dispersing gatherings.
  • Only essential travel to / from work allowed.
  • No meetings with more than two people in public.
  • Only essential shopping and medical visits allowed.
  • One form of exercise daily only.

These measures will last for three weeks in the first instance.

The message is stay at home to save lives.

  • View the Prime Minister’s speech HERE
  • Read the full transcript the Prime Minister’s speech HERE
  • Read the full guidance HERE
  • A more detailed list of businesses that must close and those businesses and services that can remain open is available HERE

Levenshulme Creatives Chat Space

Levenshulme is full of wonderful people. Creative people. People who care.

At this difficult time some of the people at LOL (Levenshulme Old Library) are wondering… what do we do now?… how does the Levenshulme creative community respond? We know that the Inspire Centre are doing great stuff supporting the covid-19 response, such as being a rallying point for the Levy Corona Helper mutual aid group.

I’m sure we are all feeling a bit lost still. So… if you are in any way connected to Levenshulme Old Library… or live in Levenshulme and want to think how we can be creative online and safely… Join us for this 1 hour initial webinar and chat.

Hosted by Jez Hall, treasurer at LOL, we will be using Zoom, kindly donated by Shared Future CIC (who have a paid account they have let us use)

If you sign up we can capture your email and that will help us stay together. 

If you can’t make it on the day… don’t fret… there will be other online chats.

No agenda. Nothing expected of you… just come together.
We’ll email a zoom link to you if you sign up

Follow the link to register HERE

Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre Closure

Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre has been closed in line with instructions from the government during the current crisis. A payment freeze has been applied for the duration of the closure.

Better, who operate the centre, has made the following announcement:

“In line with Government instruction, we will be closing all of our Better Leisure Centres and Better Gyms across the UK at the end of Friday 20th March, 2020.

The health and well-being of both our staff and valued customers is paramount. We have a social responsibility to everyone in the local community to take action to protect ourselves and others. 

We would also like to help you during this difficult time by automatically applying a payment freeze for all of our members. A payment freeze means that you retain your membership or lesson/course, but will not have to pay during the period that the centre is closed. That means, whether you have an annual, monthly, pre-paid or pay and play membership or lesson/course your Direct Debit payment will not be collected throughout this period. If you would like to know more about how we’re working to help you, or any other queries, visit our dedicated FAQs page.

We are working closely with local public health authorities and receiving all official updates from the Government. We will keep you up to date on what is happening going forward.”

Levenshulme Coronavirus Banner Revealed at Inspire

Levenshulme Inspire today revealed a coronavirus banner – “Physical Distancing, Social Solidarity” organised with the Levy Corona Helpers group.

This brilliantly reflects the community spirit of Levenshulme and combines a message of caution with solidarity and strength.

You can find support and offer help via the Levy Corona Helpers Facebook group HERE

Manchester City Council Coronavirus Advice

Manchester City Council have now launched a section on their website with advice and information.

School, college and early years closures

News release from the Department for Education

Schools will close from Monday, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children

Published 18 March 2020

From:Department for Education and The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

Gavin Williamson

After schools shut their gates on Friday afternoon, they will remain closed until further notice except for children of key workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus.

Examples of these workers include NHS staff, police and supermarket delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work to support the country’s fight to tackle coronavirus. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans – a legal document that describes a child’s special educational needs and the support they require.

Children who do not fall into these groups should remain at home with appropriate care.

Where schools are unable to look after these children, local authorities will work with the Department for Education’s regional teams to ensure an alternative option is available in the same area.

Registered early years providers, including childminders, private schools and sixth forms should also follow this guidance. We will provide financial support for these settings as required.

Where possible, we would encourage settings to also look after key workers’ children and vulnerable children throughout the Easter holidays.

The scientific advice shows that these settings are safe for this small number of children to continue attending – but asking others to stay away will help us to slow the spread.

To lift the pressure on schools themselves and to allow them to focus on supporting those children who need it most, Ofsted will cease all inspections of schools and colleges with immediate effect.

We will not go ahead with primary school assessments or secondary exams this summer, and we will not be publishing performance tables.

We will work with the sector and Ofqual to ensure children get the qualifications they need.

We recognise that many special schools and residential settings will need to continue to look after their pupils.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Fighting Coronavirus and protecting the vulnerable and our NHS are the Government’s top priorities right now. That’s why we are asking schools, nurseries and colleges to close – except for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

We are facing increasingly extraordinary circumstances, but by asking schools to support our key workers and vulnerable children I am confident we will help beat this virus.

I am deeply grateful for the civic spirit and dedication of everyone working in education, and I will continue to provide my full support throughout this crisis.

To support children eligible for free school meals, schools will be able to provide meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops.

The government has also confirmed that the total value of vouchers offered to each eligible child per week will exceed the rate it pays to schools for free school meals, recognising that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs. The final amounts will be confirmed shortly via guidance for schools.

Effective immediately, schools will be able to order vouchers directly from supermarkets or shops in their communities to be emailed or printed and posted to families, and they will have their costs covered by the Department for Education.

We know that many universities and other higher education institutions are already taking necessary steps to keep their staff and students safe. We are confident vice-chancellors are making the right decisions and the Department for Education continues to support them in doing so.

To support nurseries at this time, the Chancellor has also decided that they will also now be eligible for a business rates holiday for one year. That means non-local authority providers of childcare will pay no business rates in 2020-21, from 1 April.

Local authorities will be fully compensated for the cost of this measure. We are applying the Barnett formula to this additional support in England. 

Guidance for local authorities on the application of the holiday will be published by MHCLG shortly.

DfE enquiries

Central newsdesk020 7783 8300

General enquiries0370 000 2288

Handwashing techniques

How to wash your hands effectively with either soap and water or alcohol hand rub.

Levenshulme Market Cancellations

Notice from the Levenshulme Market Team:

Hello everyone.

Due to yesterday’s advice from the government we have taken the decision to cancel the rest of our markets for the month of March.

This means there will sadly be no birthday party Night Market this Friday, and no Saturday market on 28th March.

We’re awaiting further clarification on whether it will be possible to continue with our events in Levenshulme in the coming months. The situation is very much a live one at present and making any concrete decisions for our future is deeply challenging. But as a community hub our priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our customers, traders and staff.

The situation we find ourselves in comes as a huge blow both to the market and to our traders. Markets exist due to small businesses born out of passion and dedication whose survival depends on opportunities to trade. Cutting off those opportunities gives us no pleasure and we would like to take a moment to add our voice to those venues and events organisers who have highlighted how unreasonable it feels that a decision of such magnitude has been left in our hands.

We’re hopeful that there will be some clarification very soon on how businesses such as ours are expected to cope with the decisions we’ve found ourselves having to make, and any future plans for our markets will be made accordingly.

Due to the recent announcement as well as the University of Manchester’s decision to cancel all in-person seminars, we have also taken the decision to cancel all of the Tuesday lunchtime food markets we run at UoM for the time being.

However, while the market may not be open for business we will still be here for you, working away on ways for you to support independent traders, amplifying those doing good work for the community here in Levenshulme and looking forward to a future when shopping, street food and socialising are safe once again.

Until then, please be kind to one another, support independent local businesses where you can and look out for those who may need help in these testing times.

The Levy Market Team

Latest Covid19 Government Advice

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said today, “Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel“.

Here are some key points from the press conference this afternoon (Monday 16 March 2020):

  • Anyone who lives with someone who has a cough or a temperature should stay at home for 14 days
  • People should start working from home where they possibly can 
  • Avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues
  • Only use the NHS when we really need to 
  • From tomorrow government will no longer be “supporting” mass gatherings using emergency workers

LCA Coronavirus information page

The LCA has set up a dedicated coronavirus web page to share information and advice. This will contain official information and also ideas and support from the Levy Corona Helpers group.

Follow the link on our main menu or click HERE