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Everything you need to know about the new lockdown rule changes starting from tomorrow

Big changes to lockdown…

Alex Watson

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TOOEDDD / Wikimedia

There will be some big rule changes coming into effect, starting from this weekend, including shops and outdoor attractions reopening and social bubbles. 

While most lockdown measures are being eased a little further from Monday June 15th, after well over two months of tight restrictions, there are also a few changes happening tomorrow as well.

There could be some big impacts on your everyday life, including a new rule which makes it compulsory to wear a face mask on public transport. 

We’ve collated all the big changes to lockdown rules below.

Kate Trifo/Unsplash

Meeting People
In England, from tomorrow, Saturday June 13th, if you live on your own (or live with one child), you can form a support bubble with one other household that contains any number of people.

You can also continue to meet outside in groups of six people from different households so long as social distancing is in place.

Wearing a Face Mask
Anyone using public transport must wear face coverings from Monday 15th June. The government is urging people to make their own face coverings, which can also be created from scarves and bandannas for instance. See here for more information on the face covering rule and how to make one.

Wash face coverings after use and wear them in any other situation where social distancing cannot be maintained.

David Vilches/Unsplash

Exercise
The overarching advice is to stay at home as much as possible, however, non-contact sport is allowed outdoors.

You can now exercise outside with up to five others from different households, for instance playing football in a park, as long as you stay 2m apart and practise good hand hygiene.

Athletics, golf, horse riding and tennis are also now permitted.

Visiting Beauty Spots
Households can continue to drive any distance in England to parks and beaches. Those in England cannot travel to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Non-Essential Shops
All shops that are deemed non-essential have officially been given the go-ahead to open from Monday 15th June. This means retail shops, car showrooms and market halls for example.  See the full list of shops reopening in the Arndale here.

Going Back to Work
The rules state if you can work at home you should still continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

If your job requires you to enter other people’s homes, you are allowed to return to work. This includes, for instance, cleaners or plumbers. Strict hygiene rules should be followed, particularly if the person is vulnerable. No work should take place in any home where someone is shielding.

If you have to travel to your workspace you are encouraged to walk, cycle or drive to prevent overcrowding on public transport, which you will also have to wear a mask on.

You X Ventures/Unsplash

Schools Reopening
Some primary schools in England have reopened for children, and secondary schools and colleges in England can now provide face-to-face support to Year 10 and Year 12 pupils, as well as 16-19-year-olds who are set to take their exams next year.

The exact rules vary between local councils.

Place of Worship
Places of worship can open from June 15th for private prayer. Worship groups, weddings and other services are not yet permitted. Communal prayer is also not yet permitted.

Outdoor Attractions
Outdoor Attractions including zoos, safaris and outdoor drive-in cinemas have been given the green light to open from Monday 15th as long as they can successfully put social distancings measures in place.

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Bonfire Night, Christmas lights switch-on and NYE fireworks cancelled in Manchester

JUST IN…

Proper Manchester

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Mike Peel / Wikimedia

Some of the biggest festive events in Manchester have been cancelled, in some sad news this afternoon.

The council has scrapped its official Bonfire Night displays, as well as the city centre’s Christmas lights switch-on and the New Year’s Eve fireworks.

With coronavirus still affecting our everyday lives, it was always likely this could be the case, especially considering Manchester has overtaken Bolton as the worst affected hotspot in our region.

David Dixon / Geograph

However, there is still a glimmer of light, as it’s also been revealed there’s hope the Manchester Christmas Markets might still return to our streets this year.

The event remains ‘under review’, as the council works out whether they can safely go ahead.

Some parts of the event have already been given the green light to return, like the ice rink in Cathedral Gardens, which will be open from November 7th to January 3rd as things stand – with a larger rink and reduced capacity so people can social distance.

And Christmas lights will still be put up around Manchester, even though there’s no switch-on ceremony.

The giant LED Santa – who appeared in Piccadilly Gardens for the first time last year – will also be back, accompanied by a trail of light sculptures throughout the city.

David Dixon / Geograph

Councilor Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “Christmas in Manchester is an incredibly important time for the city’s economy.

“The city attracts millions of visitors each year, which local businesses rely on – and it’s important to the city’s recovery that we can bring people back into the city safely.

“Covid means that Christmas will be different this year, but we are working hard towards celebrating the festive season as safely as possible. So watch this space.”

However, the council has made it clear that all events are subject to coronavirus restriction updates at both a local and national level.

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Manchester bars launch #CancelTheCurfew campaign to end ‘disastrous’ 10pm curfew

Everything you need to know about the campaign…

Alex Watson

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Louis Hansel/Unsplash

A new campaign, launched by the hospitality industry in Manchester, is calling for the government to scrap the 10pm curfew in a bid to save the industry.

Hospitality professionals from around the country have grouped together to help launch the #CancelTheCurfew campaign.

It’s been designed to raise awareness to consumers about the impact the 10pm curfew is having on the industry, and with hopes that the government make a U-turn on their policy. 

The curfew is a devastating blow to the hospitality industry that reopened just 12 weeks ago to the public, after being closed throughout lockdown.

The curfew means some businesses are losing multiple hours of trade a day, including over 40 hours a week in some of those worst hit. 

Tom Lord, founder of Hospitality Gin and hospitality consultant, says: “The industry that we love is in grave danger of being suffocated by this curfew. Some venues were starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel before it was announced as customers returned and we all settled into ‘the new normal’. Now we’ve been plunged back into uncertainty.

“We want the British public to know the impact that the curfew is going to have, not just on our businesses, but on our friends and colleagues. We have borne the brunt of the measures announced over the past fortnight.

“We are vilified as breeding grounds for the virus, yet Public Health England’s own figures show this is not true. In fact, the latest figures show that we have one of the lowest infection rates outside of the home.

“Hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs as a direct result of this disastrous policy, thousands of businesses will close their doors forever, and the hospitality industry will never be the same again. Stop blaming hospitality, let us serve”

In an Instagram post, @cancelthecurfew wrote: “The UK Hospitality Sector directly employs 10% of the working population and contributes £39 Billion in tax revenue.

“The newest legislation and government advice is paralysing our industry and we must be heard; as a unified voice, to protect what we have left and what our futures might hold for us.

“You can show your support by using the hashtag #cancelthecurfew and by signing our Google sheet document. We hope to raise awareness of our cause and get to those who make these decisions before it’s too late.”

The movement started this week on social media, with the explanation that the worst hit venues are reporting a more than 60% drop in revenue since the curfew has been imposed. 

Adding to that, they said: “Latest figures from PHE show that only 3% of transmissions outside of the home are from the hospitality sector.”

Mojo’s Manchester has also now banned the MPs from their bars until the curfew is changed.

Michael Greenhow of Mojo said: “With neither evidence to support the assumption that hospitality is driving infection – only 35 cases reported in the sector and as of yet no sign of the threatened dramatic upturn in deaths, the move to curtail the operational hours of our already crippled industry seems unjust and punitive, not to mention illogical and irrational.

“Are people more infectious after 10pm? Hospitality has slaved to work responsibly within the constraints laid out for us and now we are being thrown aside with scant concern for the impact these measures will have on our businesses and the wider economy.”

The movement begun this week by asking hospitality leaders, operators, employees, and anyone with a love for the hospitality industry to share the #CancelTheCurfew images on social media.

They are then following this up with a silent protest and social media ‘thunderclap’ at 10pm this Saturday, October 3rd, with venues and workers all over the country standing outside their venues and posting images of this on their social media.

You can show your support by signing the contact form here, and there’s also a petition in the pipeline pending approval from government. 

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‘Hero’ Asda worker pays for customer’s shopping after he forgot his card

What a top bloke!

Alex Watson

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Asda/Facebook

An Asda worker that paid for a shopper’s food after he forgot his debit card has been hailed a ‘hero’.

Alex works at the Omagh branch of Asda in Northern Ireland, and has been hailed a hero on the internet after he footed the bill for a customer who forgot his wallet.

Asda shared the news on their Facebook page, writing: “A big well done to our colleague Alex who went out of his way to help a customer at our Omagh store who’d realised he’d forgotten his debit card when he went to pay for his shopping just as the store was closing.

“Rather than leaving the customer stuck, kind-hearted Alex went ahead and paid for the shopping himself.”

Asda/Facebook

Alex said: “I just didn’t want to leave the customer stuck. It was very late at night, and I wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone!”

His store manager added: “This is just one example of Alex going the extra mile for our customers.

“Not many would trust that the person would come back to pay for their goods, but Alex did as he didn’t want to see them stuck.

“He’s a very caring member of our team, and I think he has a very bright future here.”

Facebook users have congratulated Alex, one saying ‘What a top block. Give the guy a medal”.

Another added: “Well done young man I bet your parents are really proud, they have every reason to be.”

A third wrote: “Well done Alex, not many would have been so kind. So glad your store manager applauded you on your kindness to one of its customers.”

Well done Alex! 

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