Published: Thursday, 6th Aug 2020

Update on Bolton Council’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Local news and updates

Statement following Mayor of Greater Manchester’s press conference yesterday (5th August)

Dr Helen Lowey, Director of Public Health for Bolton Council, said: “We are disappointed that figures are rising for the borough, but we have increased the amount of testing that is taking place, so we would expect the number of cases to rise.

“We continue to monitor the situation and to work with our residents and businesses. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has not gone away and we are still in the middle of a global pandemic.

“We must continue to stick to the new rules introduced for Bolton and other parts of the north of England.

“Residents should not meet people they do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where they have formed a support bubble.

“They shouldn’t socialise with people they 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. They shouldn’t visit friends or family in care homes.

“We must continue to wash our hands regularly and keep two metres apart from each other. If two metres is proving difficult we must wear a face covering if you can.

“And if you start to experience symptoms of COVID-19 then you need to self-isolate immediately and arrange a test as soon as possible.

“The announcement last week will have been a cause for worry for many and it’s a reminder that we must continue to exercise a great deal of caution.

“We continue to monitor the local picture closely along with our partners in health and social care and Public Health England.”

Helping men open up about their mental health

Most deaths by suicide are by men.

A new campaign is aiming to encourage men to open up by reaching them through the places the frequent.

Men spend more time with their barber than their GP.

BarberTalk aims to give barbers the skills to recognise, ask and listen when someone may be struggling with thoughts of suicide.

Free training is available from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP) and The Lions Barber Collective charity.

Public to shape town centre funding plans

Residents are being urged to have their say on Bolton town centre to help the council access up to £25m government investment.

Fill in a short online questionnaire online at: https://investinbolton.com/townsfund

Two surveys are available – one for the general public and one for young people about their views for the town centre.

The show must go on: Albert Halls unveils 2021 programme

Bolton Albert Halls’ Christmas pantomime will not go ahead this winter due to the COVID-19 pandemic – but the venue is looking forward to welcoming visitors back next year.

The "difficult decision" to cancel ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was jointly made by the theatre and production company Polka Dot Pantomimes.

The venue is now looking forward to reopening its doors in 2021, with an Easter pantomime ‘Peter Pan’ and other shows including ‘An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson’.

National updates

Restrictions in the north of England

The legislation behind the ‘northern lockdown has been published making the restrictions announced last month statutory rather than guidance.

  • meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except if you are in a support bubble
  • 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
  • visit friends or family in care homes

Separate law applies to Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford.

Social distancing cards or badges

The government published badges that can be used by anyone who is finding difficulties or concerns about others maintaining social distancing. The badges – ‘Please give me space’ - are available for mobile phones as well as print.

The badges can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/please-give-me-space-social-distancing-cards-or-badges

Reporting outbreaks in businesses and other locations

The first of a series of action cards for businesses and other locations have been produced by the government.

They tell managers of such organisations the steps they need to do if they have an outbreak.

They apply to:

  • Entertainment and holiday resorts
  • Places of worship
  • Tourist attractions
  • Campsites and caravan park
  • Domestic abuse refuges
  • Homelessness accommodation
  • Hotels and other guest accommodation
  • Arts, heritage and cultural venues
  • Cinemas, theatres, comedy venues and music venues
  • Construction and outdoor work
  • Dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers
  • Hairdressing, barbershops, beauty and nail bars, makeup, and tattoo and spray tanning studios
  • Manufacturing of food and other large processing plants
  • Restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways
  • Shops and branches

Mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people

A resource pack has been developed to support children, starting at or returning to school and college in September.

Schools have been open for children of key workers and vulnerable children throughout the pandemic.

In early June, schools opened up more widely for other groups of children as well, including Year 6, reception and Year 1 and children taking their GCSEs.

However there will be many children and young people who have not been in school for five months.

The resource packs are available for educational staff to use with their pupils.

Help keep the countryside clean and safe

With some lockdown measures easing we can all enjoy the countryside around Bolton, but we need to look after it.

We should all follow the Countryside Code and remember to:

  • Take our litter home to throw away or recycle
  • Don’t have barbecues or fires in the countryside
  • Keep dogs on a lead
  • Stick to footpaths and follow local signs
  • Respect local farmers and communities
  • Protect our outdoor spaces
  • Throw PPE (gloves and face coverings) in the bin – not the recycling

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has launched a campaign to encourage audiences to respect, protect and enjoy the outdoors.

Changes to rules on face coverings

From Saturday (August 8) the regulations on wearing a face covering will change to include a larger list of venues and settings.

Face coverings are already required on public transport, in shops and in banks.

The new rules will expand the requirement to include community centres, museums and social clubs among other venues.

Marriages, civil partnerships and safe use of places of worship

Guidance for the safe use of places of worship and for small marriages and civil partnerships have been updated.

Extension of self-isolation period from 7 to 10 days

People who test positive for coronavirus or show symptoms must now self-isolate for 10 days, rather than seven.

The change has been announced by the UK's Chief Medical Officers.

Kick start your health

Extra weight puts extra pressure on your body which makes it harder to fight against diseases like cancer, heart disease and now, coronavirus (Covid-19).

Losing weight can help reduce your risk.

The NHS has launched the Better Health campaign to help you do this.