Coronavirus (COVID-19) update and advice

Covid-19

The government has announced that from 19 July, the country can reach step 4 of the roadmap, which will see many legal restrictions lifted.

However, Greater Manchester remains an Enhanced Response Area, which means the Delta variant continues to rise here and rates of infection are increasing.

As a result, Wigan Borough residents are being asked to act with caution.

Be Kind, and keep Wigan Borough safe by continuing to wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces and on public transport, washing your hands regularly and watching your distance from others.

More information can be found on GOV.UK (external link)

Roadmap out of lockdown

Earlier this year, the government published its four-step roadmap that saw restrictions lifted in a phased approach.

The government has confirmed that the country is in a position to lift most legal restriction from 19 July.

This means that:

  • There are no limits on social contact
  • Social distancing rules to be removed, except for within ports of entry and medical settings
  • No legal requirements to wear face coverings (although they will be advised within medical, healthcare and enclosed, crowded public spaces and public transport)
  • Nightclubs will be permitted to re-open and all capacity limits will be removed from events.

Venues will still be encouraged to use the Covid-19 status certification.  If you have received both vaccinations, you can register for your NHS covid pass (external link).

For more information on what step 4 means, please check the government website (external link).

Social contact

The government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.

Employers will still have a legal duty to manage risks. They should complete a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and should take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks identified. Working Safely guidance (external link) sets out a range of mitigations employers should consider including:

  • Cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly;
  • Identifying poorly-ventilated areas in the venue and taking steps to improve air flow;
  • Ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue;
  • Communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place.

Click here for more business advice and support.

Education and childcare

Nationally, education and childcare settings are open and attendance is mandatory.

Over the summer, staff, secondary pupils and college students should continue to test regularly if they are attending settings that remain open.

Primary age pupils do not need to test over the summer period. Secondary schools and colleges have been asked to prepare for on-site testing at the beginning of the autumn term.

Nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges have their own health and safety risk assessments and keep them under review.

The government has asked these settings to maintain certain control measures to ensure safety and minimise transmission.

Please speak directly with your childminder, school or college for more information specific to their setting.

See guidance in relation to educational settings post 19 July (external link).

Travel

The government has implemented a traffic light system for international travel setting out the measures people should adhere to when arriving from red, amber and green countries.

These ratings are kept under regular review and it is important that people continue to follow the rules that apply to the country from which they have travelled.

The government has also recently changed quarantine guidance for people travelling from amber list countries, meaning that those who are double vaccinated will not need to isolate on their return. They will, however, need to test before travelling and two days after their arrival in the UK. More information can be found here (external link).

You can check which countries are on each list here (external link).

What do I do if I display symptoms?

The main coronavirus symptoms include:

  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees or above)
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss of change to your sense of smell or taste

If you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, you and your household should begin to self-isolate. You should also arrange a PCR test at the earliest opportunity.

You can book a PCR online here (external link).

The requirement to self-isolate if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace will remain in place until 16 August. From this date, it will be relaxed for people who are fully vaccinated and for the under-18s (external link).

If someone tests positive for Covid-19, they will still be legally required to self-isolate.

If your test is negative and you’re feeling well, you and your household can stop isolating.

If you are self-isolating, you should stay at home and avoid contact with others. You should arrange for food to be delivered to your home either by home delivery services or through friends and family doing your shopping for you.

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation.

If you need any help throughout your isolation including accessing essential items, digital support and being put in touch with local community groups, you can fill in our self-isolation welfare support form (external link).

What if symptoms worsen?

If your symptoms worsen or are no better after seven days contact NHS 111 online: 111.nhs.uk (external link). If people have no internet access, they should call NHS 111.

Test and Trace

A vital part of returning back to normality and reducing the spread of COVID-19 is the NHS Test and Trace service. By playing your part, everyone can help control the rate of reproduction (R) and save lives. You can help in the following ways:

  • If you develop symptoms, you must self-isolate with other members of your household and order a test to find out if you have coronavirus
  • If you test positive for coronavirus, you must share information promptly about your recent contacts through the NHS Test and Trace service to help us alert other people who may need to self-isolate
  • If you have had close recent contact with someone who has coronavirus, you must self-isolate if the NHS Test and Trace service advises you to do so.

If you test positive for coronavirus, the Test and Trace service will make contact and you must share information promptly about your recent contacts to help us alert other people who may need to self-isolate. It’s important that the information you give is as accurate and as honest as possible.

COVID-19 vaccinations

The rollout of vaccinations is underway across Wigan Borough.

The NHS has robust workforce plans to deliver large numbers of vaccinations to the public.

The most at-risk groups, along with health and social workers, were prioritised first following guidelines set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

We are now targeting all adults over the age of 16 years old. There are four sites up and running to deliver the vaccine including:

  • Robin Park Leisure Centre, Wigan
  • Leigh Leisure Centre, Leigh
  • St. Peter’s Pavilion, Hindley
  • Golborne Parkside Sports and Community Centre.

To make the vaccine more accessible, there are now walk-in vaccination clinics open (external link) to those who have not yet had their first jab.

After you’ve received each vaccine, a pass will be available for download on the NHS app.

This is separate to the NHS Covid-19 app. Search ‘NHS app’ on your tablet or smart phone. Once you’re registered, your vaccine pass will be accessible a few days later.

This is proof of your vaccination here in the UK and can be used if needed when travelling or entering events and other premises.

Support for clinically extremely vulnerable people

Advice for people who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable from Covid-19 has changed.

Although the advice to shield has ended, the government advises clinically extremely vulnerable people to continue to take precautions to protect themselves.

From 17 May, close contact with friends and family became a personal choice but residents are encouraged to exercise caution.

Further guidance can be found here (external link).

Simple steps to stay safe

Day-to-day, you should stay calm and take simple steps such as:

  • Washing your hands regularly with soap and water or use sanitiser gel
  • Throw away used tissues (then wash hands)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Catch coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues
  • If you don't have a tissue use your sleeve
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Although legal restrictions have been lifted, the government has said it ‘expects and recommends’ face coverings to be worn.

We continue to encourage residents to wear face coverings particularly in enclosed public spaces and on public transport.

Be kind and keep your distance from others and wash your hands frequently.

For further guidance you can visit:

Weekly surveillance tracker

We have been monitoring the impact of COVID-19 locally for some time and have been working closely with our partners to put together an accurate picture of new infection rates, death registrations, the R number and more.

Each week, we will publish an up-to-date COVID-19 surveillance tracker so you can see clearly how Wigan Borough is doing in comparison to the region and the nation.

Guidance for schools, childcare providers and colleges

Government advice by sector

The government has issued specific advice for:

You will also find business advice on the Business Growth Hub website (external link).

Sign language support and advice

If you use sign language as your first language and have been affected by COVID-19, there’s support available for you:

Further information

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