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Smoking will be banned in Manchester’s new outside seating areas

Bad news for smokers…

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The new temporary outdoor seating and drinking spots in the city centre are set to be smoke-free.

The government has recently passed a new law that calls for bars and restaurants to provide smoking and non-smoking areas in the new outdoor terraces to avoid sleepwalking ‘from one health crisis to another’.

The outdoor drinking and dining spots recently opened up to help the hospitality get back on its feet and they’ve proved massively popular amongst Mancunians. 

But Manchester City Council is now implementing a new rule which means all outdoor areas will be smoke-free. 

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Executive member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar told the MEN: “Smoking is not only terrible for our health but is also an unpleasant thing for bystanders to endure.

“I am sure that after months inside the last thing people want is a face full of smoke when trying to enjoy a meal or drink.”

Symptoms of the respiratory virus, Covid-19, can be more severe and even critical in those that have a history of smoking, according to a study. This study concluded that ‘smoking is a risk factor for the progression of Covid-19’, with smokers being twice as likely to develop severe symptoms. 

Another study concluded that although a small number of smokers are less likely to test positive for Covid-19 than non-smokers, they are more likely to report more serious symptoms. 

A study done at the University of Oxford has suggested that there is ‘biological plausibility’ that smoking may actually be having a protective effect against coronavirus with nicotine blocking the receptors the virus uses to get into your cells.

Manchester also has one of the worst rates for lung cancer and cardiovascular disease registrations in the UK.

The national average for smokers over the age of 18 is 13%, this number stands at 18% in Manchester between 2017 and 2019. 

The council are taking this opportunity to help combat Manchester’s smoking problem which sees 6,000 smoking-related hospital admissions a year. 

Councillor Akbar continued: “The introduction of outside seating for the hospitality sector has been a positive step over the past few weeks.

“We are seeing the public enjoy a degree of normality, and we are also seeing our businesses pick up following the devastating impact of the lockdown. However, we have not endured one health crisis to sleepwalk into another.

“We know that in Manchester there are still too many people smoking and we want to play our part to ensure that the city is a place where smoking is not a cultural norm.”

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The BBC reported that more than one million people have quit smoking since the start of the pandemic, with at least 41% saying it was in direct response to coronavirus. 

In 2019, there were seven million smokers in the UK so there is still considerably more to be done. 

Public Health England’s guidance states: “There is strong evidence that smoking tobacco is generally associated with an increased risk of developing respiratory viral infections.

“Smoking causes damage to the lungs and airways and harms the immune system, reducing your ability to fight infection.”

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Blackpool is set to get a new £300m ‘indoor theme park’

This looks so good!

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Blackpool Council

The latest development proposals for Blackpool will be the single biggest investment in the seaside town for more than a century.

The range of new attractions will include the UK’s first flying theatre, the world’s first multimedia exhibition of its kind and the most advanced virtual reality experience on an epic scale.

The development is set to span across a 17-acre plot, attracting 600,000 additional visitors a year and contribute a massive £75m a year too.

There will also be 1,000 new jobs for the people of Blackpool created as part of the development.

Blackpool Council
Blackpool Council

Based on the novels written by Eric Von Däniken in the 1960s and 1970s, the site will follow the theme of ‘Chariots of the Gods’.

It will include unsolved mysteries of the past such as the Pyramids of Egypt and Mexico as well as ancient cave drawings, the monuments of Easter Island and even alien visitors!

Blackpool Council

Flying Theatre True flight movement will provide an unparalleled real-flying sensation and is the number one attraction across major cities and theme parks. The world’s most advanced VR experience will also find a new home in Blackpool with state-of-the-art visuals, body tracking and even touch and smell.

The development will also house a new restaurant with a breathtaking ‘rollercoaster service‘, in a one-of-a-kind place of fun, adventure and discovery, all serving healthy and organic food.

Blackpool Council

Blackpool is currently working with Media Investment Entertainment – who own the intellectual property of Chariots of the Gods – and Nikal Ltd to help unlock the development of this opportunity.

The new development is set to be delivered over an eight to nine-year period and will bring new hotels, restaurants, food market, event square, residential apartments and multi-storey parking.

Find out more here.

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Boris Johnson confirms England will return to three tier system from December 2nd

JUST IN…

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Boris Johnson addressed the Commons remotely today, to lay out his ‘Covid Winter Plan’.

The Prime Minister spoke to MPs via videolink as he is still self-isolating.

Mr Johnson confirmed that England would be returning to the regional three tier system which was in place before lockdown began.

However, he announced that the three tiers would each become stricter to try and stop the spread of the virus.

In Tier 1, people should work from home where it is possible, while in Tier 2 alcohol can only be served as part of a substantial meal, and in Tier 3 indoor entertainment, hotels and all hospitality will have to close – except for deliveries and takeaways.

Also in Tiers 1 and 2, the 10pm curfew for pubs and bars will end, with last orders being at 10pm and establishments closing at 11pm, allowing people to leave in a more staggered way.

The Prime Minister confirmed that gyms, hairdressers, salons and all shops could reopen at the end of lockdown, and that outdoor sports can resume.

He also announced that some fans will be allowed back into sports stadiums in Tier 1 and 2 areas.

Mr Johnson said that ‘more regions will temporarily fall into the higher levels’, but that with mass testing it should be possible for these areas to move into lower tiers.

The government is also working with the devolved administrations of the UK to come up with a plan for Christmas, according to the Prime Minister, although he added: “I can’t say that Christmas will be normal this year”.

The government is also planning to ‘end automatic isolation’ for anyone who has come into contact with someone who has coronavirus, with a testing scheme replacing it, which will be piloted in Liverpool.

In the pilot, people who have come into contact with anyone who’s tested positive will be tested every day for a week – they’ll only need to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus. 

It’s expected the details of what tier the different regions and areas of England will be placed in will be announced on Thursday.

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Morrisons gives 10% Christmas discount to frontline workers in 16 jobs

Amazing news.

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As a ‘thank you’ to thousands of frontline workers, Morrisons will be providing a 10% discount to people from now until Christmas.

Those employed in the emergency services, care workers and Armed Forces personnel who hold a Blue Light Card will qualify for the benefit at Morrisons stores.

Cardholders will be able to claim the 10% discount on their groceries by presenting their Blue Light ID Card at tills at any of Morrisons 498 stores.

Morrisons have launched the discount to show appreciation to the key workers who have gone above and beyond their usual roles throughout the pandemic this year.

People in these roles qualify:

  • Ambulance Service
  • Border Force
  • British Army
  • Fire Service
  • HM Coastguard
  • Prison Service
  • Police
  • Red Cross
  • Reserve Armed Force
  • Royal Air Force
  • Royal Marines
  • Royal Navy
  • Social care workers
  • HM Armed Forces Veterans
  • Community First Responders
  • Second Line Responders

David Potts, Morrisons’ chief executive said: “Our emergency services, social care sector and armed forces have worked tirelessly this year to provide support to the many people who need it across the UK, often in exceptionally difficult circumstances.

Blue Light Card Holders also have the opportunity to take advantage of the dedicated shopping hour for NHS staff and school Staff that occurs between 6 and 7am every day except Sunday.

Tom Dalby, chief executive of Blue Light Card, added: “Offering a Blue Light Card discount will make a huge difference to our members.

“I hope that this partnership will make the Christmas food shop that little bit easier for those who go the furthest for us.”

Find your nearest Morrisons.

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