Keeping you informed about coronavirus

Providing you with the latest information about COVID-19. Please note: this is an evolving issue and advice is changing regularly. We will endeavour to update our website to correspond with the updated guidance.

National restrictions in England from 5th November 2020 to 2nd December 2020

From Thursday 5th November 2020, the Government put in place new national restrictions for the whole of England until 2nd December 2020.

This means you must:

  1. Stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Close certain businesses and venues.

You can find out more about what people can and cannot do, including what they mean for working from home and business closures on the on the Government website.

The guidance around shielding has been updated. In addition to the rules you and your community must follow, you can take additional precautions to protect yourself. Read more about the updated shielding advice.

New Tier restrictions from 2nd December 2020

From Wednesday 2nd December 2020, the Government put in place a new local restriction tier system.

All 10 local authority areas in Greater Manchester fall under Tier 3: Very High alert.

Across all tiers, everyone:

  • must wear a face covering in most indoor public settings, unless they have an exemption

  • should follow the rules on meeting others safely (see below for Tier 3 restrictions)

  • should attend school or college as normal, unless they are self-isolating. Schools, universities, colleges and early years settings remain open in all tiers

  • should walk or cycle where possible, plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes when travelling

  • must follow the gathering limits at their tier except for in specific settings and circumstances (see below for Tier 3 restrictions)

  • who can work from home should do so

In addition in Tier 3:

  • you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues

  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6’

  • hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.

  • accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training 

  • indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close

  • indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close

  • leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close

  • there should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators

  • large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events

  • places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with  anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies

  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events

  • organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place

  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s

  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey
  • for international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list

You can find out more about what people can and cannot do, including what they mean for working from home and business closures on the on the Government website.

Manchester City Council has a range of advice and updates published here. They also have updated health advice published here.

Healthwatch England has provided a page full of guidance and articles on Coronavirus here.

Preventing the spread of the virus:

The advice for the most effective way to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus continues to be to thoroughly wash your hands with hot water and soap for 20 seconds.

Staying home to stop coronavirus spreading

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the Government has introduced new measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

What are the most common symptoms?

The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test.

When should I self isolate?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and begin to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms start. Arrange to have a test for COVID-19 if you have not already had one. The result of the test will determine how long you must stay at home and self-isolate. Stay at home while you are waiting for a home test kit or a test site appointment. You do not need to call NHS111 to go into self-isolation.

If you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, stay at home for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day the first person in your house developed symptoms or, if they do not have symptoms, from the day their test was taken. If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 yourself you do not need a test. Only arrange a test if you develop COVID-19 symptoms. The result of the test will then determine how long you must stay at home and self-isolate.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested:

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available.

When do I need to contact NHS 111?

Current advice: If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days or you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home then contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.

For a medical emergency dial 999.

Are general health services still open?

Many face to face services have closed during the crisis. Though some have substituted remote access, such as telephone appointments or video chats, others have had to delay treatment indefinitely.

We are aware that services such as regular dentistry, hospital outpatient units, rehab, wheelchair/specialist equipment, etc have been suspended or changed to limited access. These are temporary measures and services should return to normal as soon as the Government advise that it is reasonable to do so.  If you would like to tell us about any impact this has on you please use our Share Your Story form.

Further resources 

  • Public Health England information materials
  • Gov.UK information
  • Information on social distancing – what it is and how this could increase alongside the number of Coronavirus cases
  • Take a look at what actions the Government has taken so far here
  • Information and guidance for care providers can be found here
  • Information in other languages can be found on the ‘Doctors of the World’ google drive here


Please note: this is an evolving issue and advice is changing regularly. We will endeavour to update our website to correspond with the updated guidance. 

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