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Jeremy Clarkson was absolutely buzzing about the Manchester hotel he stayed in recently

High praise indeed…

Jamie Roberts

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Jeremy Clarkson was recently in town, and the former Top Gear star wrote about the trip in his Sunday Times column over the weekend.

But what was it about Clarkson’s trip to Manchester that made it worth a whole article?

Well, it was the hotel he stayed in. While that might seem quite unremarkable on its own, it turns out the car lover actually hates hotels.

According to his column, in Manchester homeless women look like Ivana Trump and the postmen dress up as Chippendales for a night out, but he also had some nice things to say – specifically about Dakota Hotel, where he stayed during his visit to our city.

First Clarkson explained why he usually doesn’t like hotels: “There are more than 17m hotel rooms in the world and all of them are wrong in some way. Some smell so powerfully of extreme cleaning products that your septum starts to bleed. Some are several miles from reception. And many have doors that are opened by electronical key cards that don’t work. Ever.”

This wasn’t the case at Dakota, though: “Unusually, it had rooms that had plainly been designed by someone who’d stayed in a hotel before. The light switches did what I was expecting when I pushed them. You didn’t need a degree in astrophysics to open and close the windows.”

He continued: “The temperature was maintained at a level that felt like there was no temperature at all. And the shower controls were located by the door to the cubicle, not on the other side of the icy jet that starts the moment you turn the tap.

“The decor was halfway between businesslike and what I’d put in my house. I had a look round the room and some of the stuff I would happily have stolen.”

Bearing in mind how grumpy he usually is, this is huge praise.

If you want more info about the hotel, or fancy booking a little trip of your own, head over to the Dakota website here – you won’t be disappointed. 

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Pubs and restaurants could reopen in June, Boris Johnson says

Just in…

Alex Watson

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As part of the newest updates on easing lockdown, in regards to the hospitality industry Boris Johnson has suggested ‘we may be able to do things faster than I thought’.

Potential plans to bring in a reduction in the existing two-metre social distancing rule to one metre mean pubs and restaurants could reopen as early as June. Mr Johnson has asked scientists to review the two metre rule in the ‘hope’ it can be reduced.

Previously, plans to reopen the hospitality sector were expected to take place at the beginning of July at the earliest, as part of phase three.

However, in a Zoom video link to the Commons liaison committee yesterday, the Prime Minister explained that hotels, restaurants and pubs may all open as soon as next month.

Credit: / Unsplash

He said: “It is really difficult to bring forward hospitality measures in a way that involves social distancing.

“But I am much more optimistic about that than I was. We may be able to do things faster than I previously thought.”

Boris Johnson is expected to announce new rules allowing two households to meet for barbecues later today, during the three week review of the coronavirus lockdown. 

In the roadmap, step two of the relaxing of the lockdown would not include the hospitality sector and personal care. Originally they came under step three which would start at the earliest on July 4th.

However, yesterday’s statements suggest that this could be moved forward. 

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From today you might get a call from the NHS telling you to isolate for 14 days

Track and trace starts today.

Proper Manchester

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Richard Townshend / Wikimedia

From today, Thursday May 28th, you could get a call from the NHS telling you to self-isolate for 14 days, even if you have no symptoms.

This is because the government’s new track and trace rules are now in effect, in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said self isolation was our ‘civic duty’ at yesterday’s briefing, adding that it could be made mandatory if people don’t obey it, the Liverpool Echo reports. 

Mr Hancock said: “If you are contacted by NHS track and trace instructing you to isolate you must it is your civic duty so you avoid unknowingly spreading the virus and you break the chain of transmission.

“This is voluntary at first because we trust people to do the right thing but we can make it mandatory if necessary.”

He continued: “From 9am tomorrow in addition if you are contacted by an NHS track and trace adviser advising you you must isolate you must do that if you have symptoms or not.”

If you have symptoms, you must self-isolate then ask for a Covid-19 test, before working with a track and trace adviser to list the people you’ve been in contact with recently, who will then get a phone call and be asked to isolate regardless of symptoms.

According to Baroness Harding, who led the track and trace project, people must isolate themselves for 14 days, although members of their family won’t have to if no one has symptoms. 

Mr Hancock added: “If you have symptoms you must isolate immediately and get yourself a test. Yesterday 2,013 people tested positive and the next step is through contact tracing, like detectives, the NHS clinician and the person who tested positive work together to trace the possible movements of the virus.”

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Full list of all the shops open in the Trafford Centre and Arndale

Non-essential shops will be reopening again soon…

Alex Watson

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Following the latest updates from the Government, non-essential shops such as clothes and shoe shops are set to open in the next few weeks. 

Almost all non-essential shops have remained closed since the lockdown was introduced in March. This has left the Arndale and Trafford Centre quieter than anyone has ever seen them before.

Over the past few months, a limited number of essential stores have been open providing residents of the surrounding areas with accesses to essentials like food, medicine and cleaning supplies.

Most recent openings include food retailers such as Archie’s and Five Guys offering takeaway services. 

We’ve listed below the shops that are currently open within Arndale and Trafford Centre shopping centres and will continue to update the lists as stores begin to reopen their doors as part of the lockdown easing.

Credit: Seth Whales

The shops open in the Arndale:

  • Aldi
  • Boots
  • Superdrug
  • Holland & Barrett
  • Wilko
  • Specsavers
  • Natwest
  • TSB
  • Metrobank
  • Archie’s (takeaway and collection only)

The shops open in Trafford Centre:

  • Five Guys (click & collect and Deliveroo only)
  • M&S Foodhall
  • Holland & Barrett
  • Vision Express 

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