Published: Friday, 22nd May 2020

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

You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms. Please help to slow down the spread of infection and follow national guidance on social distancing, self-isolation and hand washing

For further information, visit the NHS website and the GOV webpage.

Bank Holiday

Remember this Bank Holiday it is still very important that we stay home unless necessary to go out for specific reasons.

These include:

  • for work, where we cannot work from home
  • going to shops that are permitted to be open – to get things like food and medicine, and to collect goods ordered online or on the phone
  • to exercise or spend time outdoors for recreation
  • any medical need, to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

The government announced an easing of restrictions in England two weeks ago but restrictions still apply. Please check the government website about what we can all do or not do during this time.

Visiting places

Although you may drive to outdoor publicly accessible open spaces you should plan ahead to make sure that your destination is open and appropriately prepared for visitors.

If it is, we should follow social distancing guidance whilst we are there.

When travelling to outdoor spaces it is important that we respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and do not travel to different parts of the UK where different rules apply.

Bolton test centre now open for anyone with symptoms

Anyone over the age of five 5 who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), can now book an appointment for a test at the University of Bolton Stadium test site.

The expansion in testing eligibility comes after all four UK Chief Medical Officers also confirmed that anosmia has been added as a symptom of coronavirus (COVID-19). Anosmia is the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell and it can also affect your sense of taste.

This means you and your household should self-isolate immediately if you have:

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

To book a coronavirus (COVID-19) test fill in a form on the council’s website. Testing is available by appointment only.

Cut fire risk by storing and disposing of waste responsibly

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has issued advice for storing waste safely and securely to reduce the risk of fire at home.

GMFRS has also warned the public to never burn waste in their home or garden, after a series of incidents across Greater Manchester.

Residents who may be struggling with excess rubbish are reminded that household waste and recycling centres are now accepting general waste as well as some recyclable items including garden waste, cardboard, paper and wood.

We have also reintroduced the bulky waste collection service.

‘Thank you carers’ messages painted outside Bolton care homes

Colourful road markings paying tribute to the hard work and dedication of local carers are being painted across Bolton

Rainbows and “thank you NHS messages” have already been added to the streets outside Royal Bolton Hospital.
 
Now “thank you carers” messages are being painted outside 10 local care homes in a tribute to those on the social care frontline.
 
NHS health centres across Bolton will also get uplifting messages added to nearby roads with rainbows and the words “stay well” painted on the tarmac.
 
The signs have been sponsored meaning there is no cost to Bolton council tax payers - local contractor Kays have also painted all the markings on behalf of Bolton Council.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has now had a far-reaching impact on people right across the world and it’s important during this time to take care of your mind as well as your body.

Everyone will be reacting in their own way.

•             You might be feeling frustrated or lonely.

•             Concerned about your finances, your health, relationships or relatives

•             You might be feeling down, worried or anxious.

Remember, it is ok to feel like this. These are normal reactions to uncertainty and to challenging events.

This wellbeing  guide to looking after yourself and others has been published to support residents, printed copies will be available for the most vulnerable.

Young people

You are not alone. Help is out there.

Visit www.bekindtomymind.co.uk for where to go for confidential and free support.

Know a young person who’s struggling? Tell them about www.bekindtomymind.co.uk

Letter to children of our workers

The council is writing a letter to all the children of our key workers on the front line, working from home or undertaking alternative duties.

We want to thank them for all the help they are giving to their parents or carers through this difficult time.

Managers are being asked to help distribute the letters.

Transport Update from TfGM

Last week the government published a new guide to help people understand how to travel safely when they need to during the coronavirus outbreak in England. It gives advice for walking, cycling, using private vehicles (for example cars and vans), and travelling on public transport.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) are asking that you:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Only travel if necessary and work from home and stay local if you can
  • Protect public transport for those with no alternative – do not use it unless you have to
  • If you need to travel - walk, cycle or drive if you can
  • If you have to use pubic transport, wear a face covering, keep your distance from other passengers, clean your hands frequently and use contactless payment.

Transport for Greater Manchester have a dedicated webpage www.tfgm.com/coronavirus with information on transport and coronavirus.  Please visit the website if you have to make a journey, so that you can do so safely.

Greater Manchester Travel Survey

As part of Greater Manchester’s recovery it is really important we understand peoples intentions, beliefs and attitudes about how they will travel in the future. The transport network will be central to our recovery from the coronavirus epidemic.

To get it right Transport for Greater Manchester want to hear about your future travel plans and are asking people to fill out this survey and be in with a chance of winning a £50 shopping voucher.

The survey runs from today until 1 June.

Trying to get through to your pharmacy?

Please be patient if your call isn’t answered straight away - keep trying and you will get through.

Your pharmacy team is very busy making sure everyone gets the essential medication and advice they need at this time.

Remember to order your medication in time - but only order what you need and don’t forget to pick it up.

Prescriptions can take up to seven days to get ready.

Let your pharmacy know if you no longer need any medication you have ordered.

Update about council services

Bolton Council reintroduces bulky waste collection service

Residents can now have bulky waste items removed from their homes again, after the council reintroduced a collection service which was suspended due to coronavirus.

Large items such as electrical appliances and furniture can be taken away, for a small fee, using Bolton Council’s contractor Bulky Bobs.

Although local Recycling Centres have recently re-opened in Bolton, residents are not yet able to take large bulky items for disposal.

The move means people who have been storing large items at home during the crisis will now have a safe and affordable means of disposing of them.

Schools and early years settings

From 1 June, more children will be returning to schools and early years settings in Bolton.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh and Executive Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Anne Galloway, have stressed: “Our priority is for the safety and wellbeing of our children and our whole community”.

Read the full joint statement on our website.

Appointment of Cabinet and committees

The appointment of the council’s Cabinet has taken place.

Last night’s virtual meeting of the full council has appointed members to Committees, Scrutiny Committees and Area Forums for the new municipal year 2020-21. The reports from last night’s meeting can be found here.

Heaton Fold new opening times

Heaton Fold Garden Centre is temporarily adjusting its opening times to allow staff more time to re-stock and prepare for the day ahead.

Weekday opening times will now match those at the weekend – the centre will be open 10am to 4pm (Mon-Sun).

The centre, Overdale Drive, off Chorley Old Road had been closed as part of the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and re-opened on Friday 15 May.

The first weekend opening of the council-run centre was a great success with many customers making very positive comments about the social distancing measures that had been put in place to make their visit safe.

Bolton’s Humanitarian response

Support for the most vulnerable   

Please ring our helpline 01204 337221 if you do not have friends or family to support you. Further information is on our website.

Community Support

Keep yourself and your family safe from domestic abuse

Home should be a place of safety, but measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) mean that victims and those at risk of domestic abuse may be trapped at home with abusive partners or family members.

Their children will also be affected.

Social isolation is important, but your safety is a priority.

Our domestic abuse services remain open and available for specialist help, support and advice:

You can also ring the free 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0808 2000 247

Bolton can quit

Bolton has launched the ‘Bolton Can Quit’ stop-smoking campaign to encourage people to #QuitForCovid.

The campaign aims to help smokers to quit during the current coronavirus pandemic and supports Greater Manchester’s ‘You Can’ stop smoking campaign.

For further information, see our website.

New information about coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms has been announced

The UK Chief Medical Officers have provided an update about coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

All individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia (the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell).

Business support

Future Fund update

Eligibility details for the Future Fund, which was set up to provide government loans to UK-based companies has been updated. 

Loans will range from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

Please note that applications for the Fund will open on Wednesday 20 May 2020.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to current or former employees.

The repayment will cover up to two weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:

  • Have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms;
  • Cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms; or
  • Are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks.

Business Bolton help

Information and support available to businesses can be found on our Business Bolton website.

Partner update

Third anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack

Due to coronavirus-related restrictions people are being encouraged not to gather together to mark the anniversary, or leave tributes, but to mark it online or at home.

A minute’s silence and virtual services have marked the anniversary.

In the evening there will be a special United We Stream event starting at 8pm which will mark the anniversary. It will feature the Manchester Survivors’ Choir and other guests.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme 

The government has extended the maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £50 million to £200 million.

Changes also mean companies receiving help through CLBILS and the Bank of England’s Coronavirus Corporate Financing Fund will be asked to agree to not pay dividends and to exercise restraint on senior pay.

Loans under the expanded scheme will be made available to large businesses affected by coronavirus from next week. Further information can be found on the government website

University of Bolton update

The University of Bolton has announced a detailed range of measures being implemented to ensure that all students and staff can return safely to campus in September. 

An animated video has also been produced to explain the measures to students and applicants.

Check your vehicle number plate before you visit a recycling centre

To help manage traffic, residents are being reminded that an odd and even number plate system is in place.

This means you can only visit Raikes Lane and Salford Road centres on certain days depending on the last number on your vehicle number plate.

Check the Recycle For Greater Manchester website before you go to see whether it’s an odd or an even day, and for details of other restrictions in place.

Opening hours: Raikes Lane is open 8am to 6pm each day, Salford Road is only open weekends (Saturday: 8am to 6pm, Sunday: 10am to 4pm).

This week’s timetable:

Date

Vehicle number plates  

Friday 22nd May 

Even

Saturday 23rd May

Even

Sunday 24th May

Odd

Latest travel advice

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.

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • Only travel if necessary – work from home and stay local if you can.
  • Protect public transport for those with no alternative – do not use it unless you have to.
  • If you need to travel, walk, cycle or drive if you can.
  • If you have to use public transport wear a face covering, keep your distance from other passengers, clean your hands frequently and use contactless payment.

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 visit the TfGM coronavirus webpage.

For the latest updates from our partners

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust; Bolton at Home, Bolton CVS, Greater Manchester Fire Service, Transport for Greater Manchester