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Salford named one of the top alternative global destinations to visit in 2020

Well done Salford!

Jamie Roberts



RHS Garden Bridgewater

You might not consider Salford a tourism hotspot, but it’s been ranked as one of the top alternative global destinations to visit this year.

That’s according to a list of the top 20 alternative holiday spots put together by the Guardian, focussing on ‘conservation and community projects that are making a difference to people and the planet’.

Salford made the list thanks to the the new RHS Garden Bridgewater project, the biggest gardening scheme in Europe.

RHS Garden Bridgewater

It’s set to open this summer at the Worsley New Hall site, and the 154-acre project will cost £30m-plus to complete – when finished it’s expected to generate £13.8m a year for the local economy by 2029, from a predicted one million annual visitors.

In preparation for its opening, more than 700 volunteer gardeners have been working hard to get the garden ready, alongside a small herd of rare pigs that were brought in to clear brambles and dig over the soil.

GPs have already been referring patients struggling with isolation, mobility problems and other conditions to the garden, through a ‘social prescribing’ pilot scheme, in which they plant hanging baskets, make bug hotels or go on woodland walks.

Patients can also take part in tai chi and yoga sessions in the wellbeing garden, which will become a hub for community organisations like veterans and dementia support groups.

Salford ranked alongside some illustrious global destinations, including Rotterdam, Slovenia, Menorca, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Vienna, Finland, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Montana and Vancouver.

You can check out the full top 20 list and the amazing projects they’re involved in on the Guardian website here.

The RHS Garden Bridgewater project will open in summer 2020, with free entry for RHS members, as well as for Salford residents every Tuesday during the first year – everyone else gets two free visits a year.

You can also book a two-hour guided tour for £5 until April, if you can’t wait for the official opening. To find out more about the incredible work they’re doing over in Salford, visit the RHS website here

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Pubs and restaurants could reopen in June, Boris Johnson says

Just in…

Alex Watson



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



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



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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