Our live question and answer sessions with Professor Kate Ardern are proving to be really popular.
There are only so many questions Kate can answer throughout the session, so we’ve collated the most common questions below to help communicate government guidance as clearly as possible.
Frequently asked questions
Updated 23rd November 2020
What financial support is available for those unable to work?
If your employer has less or no work for you as a result of the pandemic, they could get a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (external link) grant to help continue paying you.
Your employer can claim 80 per cent of your salary from the government until March 2021.
You should speak with your employer directly if you are concerned that they have not claimed on your behalf.
Other financial support includes Job Seekers Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit. You can also claim other financial support if you are unwell due to Covid-19. Find out more information about the different support available (external link).
If, unfortunately, you do not meet the criteria for these alternatives, our welfare support team is always on hand to discuss further options with you.
What support is there for businesses?
The government has announced new Local Restriction Support Grants for businesses affected by Covid-19 restrictions.
There are four grant schemes which cover the different restrictions businesses have found themselves under since August.
We have posted about this on our social media pages and have sent information out to all businesses on our mailing list about the fund.
We’re pleased to say that we’ve already paid out a substantial amount of this money to local businesses. See if you can apply for the support grants for businesses (external link).
We’re also launching a new #SupportLocal campaign in the lead up to Christmas.
We want to encourage residents to support small businesses through this time and have been working with some local retailers to get our campaign up and running.
How are you supporting mental wellbeing during this time?
At the end of October, we delivered our annual Wellfest virtually for the first time.
The digital festival allowed people to browse the tents online and watch videos on social media.
There is lots of information in the happy tent around mental health support including tips for managing anxiety, mindfulness, stress busters and links to the wider support available.
We’re also ensuring all of our schools access ‘Wellbeing in Education’ training, which has been developed through the Department for Education and is supported by CAMHS.
This work will ensure our schools can continue offering emotional support to both staff and pupils during this time.
We’re also working with our partners to ensure mental health support is accessible to those experiencing crisis. If you need to access the Wigan crisis line, please call 0800 051 3253 or view crisis advice online (external link).
What help is there for the clinically vulnerable?
Although the government has not asked those classed as medically vulnerable to shield again, there are still things you can do to prepare you for whatever happens next.
Make sure you’re online so you can keep connected with loved ones. Ask friends and family for support with shopping where possible. Contact your pharmacist to get your prescriptions delivered.
If you need any help with the above or would simply like to be connected with nearby community groups and support, our borough-wide community hubs are on hand to help. Contact your local hub for more information. This service is available for anyone in need, not just those who are self-isolating.
Will people in education be a priority to be tested?
The idea behind mass testing is to test large numbers of people in a short period of time, with test results made available quickly.
This is to improve the detection of positive cases, so that people can isolate themselves and prevent the spread of the disease.
We’re in the very early planning stages of how this will work locally, but we will provide more information as soon as we’re in a position to.