Step one - March 8th and 29th 2021
Schools and colleges returned to face-to-face education from March 8. Childcare and children’s supervised activities also resumed.
From Monday March 29th:
Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.
People are allowed to leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble, if they are eligible for one, or with one person from outside their household. Care home residents will also be allowed one regular visitor.
Please remember to follow social distancing guidelines.
Business and activities
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
Travel and working from home
The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on March 29 but many restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme.
Advice for business
You have to meet certain eligibility rules to form a support or childcare bubble. This means not everyone will be able to form a bubble.
A support bubble (external link) is a support network which links two households. You can form a support bubble with another household of any size only if you meet the eligibility rules.
It is against the law to form a support bubble if you do not follow these rules.
You are permitted to leave your home to visit your support bubble (and to stay overnight with them). However, if you form a support bubble, it is best if this is with a household who live locally. This will help prevent the virus spreading from an area where more people are infected.
If you live in a household with anyone aged under 14, you can form a childcare bubble (external link). This allows friends or family from one other household to provide informal childcare.
You must not meet socially with your childcare bubble, and must avoid seeing members of your childcare and support bubbles at the same time.
There is separate guidance for support bubbles (external link) and childcare bubbles (external link).
What do I do if I show symptoms?
- A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
- A new, continuous cough
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you, your household and anyone included in your support bubble, should begin to self-isolate. You should arrange a test at the earliest opportunity:
Please only book a test if you have symptoms of coronavirus - continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste and smell.
What to do with your test results
If your test result is positive you must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. Your household and your support bubble must self-isolate for 10 days. Anyone who develops symptoms in this time must arrange to take a test.
Following a positive test result you will be contacted by the government Test and Trace service who will ask you for information about who you have seen in the past 14 days. They are specifically interested in people you have been within 2 metres of for more than 15 minutes. It is important that you give the Test and Trace service accurate and honest information, so that the further spreading of COVID-19 can be contained.
If your test result is negative, and you’re feeling well then you can end self-isolation and all members of the household and support bubble can go back to work.
If you are in self-isolation you are advised to stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others. You should arrange for food shopping to be delivered or ask a friend or relative to do your shopping for you. You do NOT need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation.
If you are self-isolating and are struggling to get food and basic medical supplies because you don’t have support from family and friends, then you can:
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.
The rollout of vaccinations is underway across Wigan Borough. The NHS has robust workforce plans in place to deliver large numbers of vaccinations to the public. The most at-risk groups, along with health and social care workers, are being prioritised, following guidelines set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Residents will be contacted by their GP to let them know how to get their vaccine, so there is no need to get in touch. Four sites are up and running to deliver the vaccine:
- Robin Park Leisure Centre, Wigan
- Leigh Leisure Centre, Leigh
- St Peters Pavilion, Hindley
- Golborne Parkside Sports and Community Centre.
We understand how much people want to be vaccinated themselves or to have their loved ones vaccinated. We are set up and prepared. Please be assured that they will be on our list and will get invited when we have a vaccine for them.
For more information, take a look at the following:
Support for clinically extremely vulnerable people
If you or someone you know has been identified as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' there is help available.
You can register yourself or on behalf of someone else for the new National Shielding Support service, which includes information about registering for online priority supermarket delivery slots, and how to gain wider support.
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
- Stay 2 metres away from those outside your household wherever possible
- Where it is not possible to maintain a 2 metre distance try and maintain at least a 1 metre distance
- Face coverings are mandatory on public transport, in all shops and when attending healthcare appointments. They are also recommended anywhere you can’t maintain a 2 metre distance from others.
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: