Update on Bolton Council’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
A reminder that clocks go back one hour this Sunday (25 October).
Halloween and Bonfire Night advice
Bolton Council is encouraging residents to celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night safely.
This year, people are being advised to avoid door-to-door trick or treating, and the annual fireworks display in Leverhulme Park has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
Bolton Council is also taking part in Treacle – a campaign to keep our communities safe during the Halloween and Bonfire period.
Bolton moves into Very High Alert Level
Bolton, along with the rest of Greater Manchester, has been placed into the ‘Very High’ alert level.
This means that additional local measures will come into place, including:
- people must not socialise with anybody they do not live with or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
- people must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue
- all pubs and bars must close, unless they are serving substantial meals
- betting shops, casinos, bingo halls, adult gaming centres and soft play areas will close
- people should try to avoid travelling outside a very high alert level or entering a very high alert level area other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey
- residents should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK and others should avoid staying overnight in a very high alert level area
Bolton residents urged to follow travel advice over half-term
Bolton residents have been urged to follow the latest COVID-19 travel advice during the half-term break.
As of today, Bolton has been placed in the ‘Very High’ COVID-19 alert level, meaning additional restrictions on travel and overnight stays.
Residents are asked to avoid leaving the borough except for work, education, or caring responsibilities.
As before, you must not visit or stay overnight in the home of someone with whom you do not live or share a support bubble.
- Job Support Scheme - a company will continue to pay its employee for time worked, but the cost of hours not worked will be split between the employer, the Government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction), and the employee will keep their job. Further information can be found on this factsheet.
- Extension of the SEISS Grant for the self employed. The extension will provide two grants and will last for six months from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period
- Local Restrictions Support Grant (Tier 2) business grants - additional funding to support cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas. These grants will be available retrospectively for areas who have already been subject to restrictions.
Business Bolton has information on the support that may be available for your business.
Other measures include:
- Extension of the temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors to the end of March next year
- New Payment Scheme - business who deferred their VAT bills will be able to pay back in smaller instalments. Rather than paying a lump sum in full at the end March next year, they will be able to make 11 smaller interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year
- Self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022
- Businesses who took out a Bounce Back Loan will benefit from a new Pay as You Grow flexible repayment system. This includes extending the length of the loan from six years to ten, which will cut monthly repayments by nearly half. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - giving lenders the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help businesses to repay the loan
- Extending application deadlines until the end of November for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Future Fund
What financial support is there for employees?
You may be able to get financial help through the:
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (until 31 October)
- Job Support Scheme (from 1st November)
- New Style Employment and Support Allowance
- Self-isolation grant (see also Self-isolation section)
The latest newsletter from the council’s Business Bolton service has advice for local firms as we move into the Very High Level measures.
Companies can subscribe to the email newsletter on the www.businessbolton.org website
Help for businesses to get online
Businesses impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) will be offered free support to build their online presence and reach a wider market as part of a new scheme.
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the Business Growth Hub have partnered with THG Ingenuity to launch Greater Manchester Digital Drive, an initiative which provides businesses with free access to ‘off the shelf’ tools to help them get online or improve their existing digital offer.
Guidance for parents and carers on safeguarding children in out-of-school settings
This guidance is aimed at parents and carers so may prove useful when producing information with its focus being to help parents and carers choose a safe out-of-school setting for their children to attend.
An out-of-school setting can be places such as community and youth centres, sports clubs, and places of worship, to individuals offering tuition in their own home, or providing one to one coaching at a playing field or local park.
It also includes a ‘Frequently asked questions’/’answers for parents’ which contains:
- questions parents/carers may wish to ask a provider
- examples of the types of good answers parents/carers should expect to hear back
- warning signs parents/carers may wish to look out for when choosing a provider
Face coverings in education
The government has updated the guidance about the use of face coverings for schools and other education institutions that teach people in years seven and above in England.
When an area moves to Local Covid Alert Level: high or very high, in settings where pupils in year seven and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.
Heavily discounted care packages for self-isolating University of Bolton students
University of Bolton students who are self-isolating because of Covid-19 will receive hugely discounted food and personal care packages.
All full-time students who live away from home will be eligible for the support, which is subsidised by the University.
The National Tutoring Programme
From November, schools will be able to access support for children and young people who have been most affected by school closures during the coronavirus outbreak through the National Tutoring Programme.
To register interest in joining this programme, visit the National Tutoring Programme website.
Community Champions Scheme
The government has announced a new ‘Community Champions’ scheme’, funded by MHCLG, that will enhance existing communication strategies in the most at risk places, and also fund work with grassroots advocates from impacted communities. The scheme will also provide funding for voluntary and community groups who specialise in working with communities most at risk from coronavirus.
Guidance for the safe use of places of worship and special religious services and gatherings
The government has updated the guidance for the safe use of places of worship and special religious services and gatherings to include a checklist and to incorporate changes in regulations announced by the Prime Minister on 12 October 2020.
This year’s Poppy Appeal
The Mayor of Bolton is urging people to pick up their poppy and support the armed forces. From today (Friday 23 October) the annual Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal will be raising funds to help servicemen and veterans.
Rugby League World Cup 2021 public ticket ballot opens on one year countdown
Today marks exactly one year to go until Rugby League World Cup 2021. The first public ticket ballot in Rugby League World Cup history has opened and will remain open for applications until 16 November 2020 at 20:21.
Bolton will play host to two fixtures as well as acting as the training base for France’s men’s team.
Fans can apply for tickets for the Bolton fixtures and matches across all the tournaments, with tickets in each price band at every game available.
RLWC2021 has also marked the occasion with a special poem from world renowned poet and proud Northerner Tony Walsh.
Virtual Indian Dance festival of Navratri
Bolton Hindu Forum its annual Navrati Festival online for the first time this year due to coronavirus. Navratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga - Navratri means ‘nine nights’.
The nine-day festival finishes with a live dance event on Sunday. The festival is being broadcast live on Facebook.
For the latest updates