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

Big changes to lockdown…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Greater Manchester town officially named one of the happiest places to live in UK

Well-deserved?

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A Greater Manchester town has been named among the 20 happiest places to live in the UK, alongside a couple of other North West spots.

Altrincham was placed in the top 20 of Britain’s happiest places to live in an annual survey, coming in at number 17 in Rightmove’s survey.

St Ives, a seaside town in Cornwall, took the number one spot, while Galashiels in Scotland came in a respectable second.

Anthony O’Neil / Geograph

Other North West areas in the top 20 were Northwich (16) and Macclesfield (18).

Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index asked more than 21,000 people their thoughts on where they live.

Each area is ranked on factors like whether people feel there is a sense of belonging, local amenities, whether there is a community spirit and the proximity to green spaces.

Anthony O’Neil / Geograph

According to Rightmove, these are Britain’s happiest places to live in 2022 (including the average house price and average asking monthly rental price):

1) St Ives, South West – £523,731, £1,152

2) Galashiels, Scotland – £153,546, £530

3) Woodbridge, East of England – £481,978, £1,196

4) Hexham, North East – £262,265, £810

5) Perth, Scotland – £179,410, £812

6) Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber – £381,124, £1,327

7) Anglesey, Wales – £324,048, £766

8) Bury St Edmunds, East of England – £334,160, £1,368

9) Stirling, Scotland – £197,075, £990

10) Cirencester, South West, £382,065 – £1,331

11) Richmond-upon-Thames, London – £1,153,347, £3,931

12) Falmouth, South West – £373,752, £1,289

13) Monmouth, Wales – £331,844, £1,104

14) Leamington Spa, West Midlands – £383,553, £1,274

15) Worcester, West Midlands – £286,250, £1,059

16) Northwich, North West – £246,995, £942

17) Altrincham, North West – £615,246, £2,297

18) Macclesfield, North West – £292,078, £1,146

19) Newbury, South East – £380,842, £1,364

20) Llandudno, Wales – £260,245, £760

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Northern to start using new technology to catch train fare dodgers

‘This technology will be invaluable for our gate line and revenue protection colleagues’

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Northern has announced that they will be bringing in some brand new technology to catch train fare dodgers.

Britain’s second largest train operator is planning to install the system within station barriers at ‘known hotspots’, the BBC reports.

The technology will automatically detect whether a ticket is valid, and alert rail staff for any additional checks, or if the customer has the right railcard.

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According to Northern, around 180 fare dodgers were caught in a single day when they trialled the system at Manchester Victoria in November.

Northern’s Customer and Commercial Director Mark Powles said: “This technology will be invaluable for our gate line and revenue protection colleagues whose job it is to ensure ticket checks are carried out quickly and efficiently.

“Unfortunately, we know that a small minority of customers try to exploit the automated nature of barrier checks to travel on tickets they know they’re not eligible to use.”

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Powles added that the kit was ‘very easy’ to install, saying it could be: “deployed to known hotspots across the whole network to help tackle this fraudulent activity”.

The Department for Transport confirmed last month that anyone travelling on a train without a ticket can be fined £100 from January 23rd, rising from £20. 

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Man, 33, charged following attempted kidnapping of schoolgirl

A 33-year-old has been arrested and charged

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Police have charged a man, following the release of CCTV footage featuring a car used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on Monday, November 21st.

Detectives also believe the same man tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

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Officers have confirmed that Sean Anthony Gillings (06/09/1989) of no fixed abode has been charged, following an appeal to the public.

This appeal resulted in the arrest of 33-year-old Gillings, who was then questioned and charged on Tuesday November 29th.

He also remains on bail for the other two attempt kidnaps, while further investigations are ongoing.

Gillings was remanded in custody yesterday, Wednesday November 30th, to appear at Manchester Crown Square Court on Wednesday January 4th 2023.

Police previously confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested by officers on Monday November 28th, on suspicion of three counts of attempted kidnap.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Officers identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield, of GMP’s Salford CID, previously said: “Although we have made this arrest, we are still very much looking to speak to anyone who may have information or dashcam footage, which could help us to establish the circumstances.

“We understand that the local community will be concerned but we are doing all we can to solve this investigation.

“I’d urge anyone who knows anything at all to please get in touch as soon as possible. In particular we are interested in the movements of a Black Vauxhall Astra 08 plate with a silver driver’s wing mirror cover; the passenger side is black.”

Police believe the incidents happened at the following times:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm
  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am
  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

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