To help halt the spread of Coronavirus and save lives, new guidance has been issued for Oldham residents and businesses.
This new guidance from Government, which came into effect on Friday 31 July, applies across Greater Manchester, as well as in some other areas of the North.
You must not:
- Meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions).
- Visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas.
- Socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with others. If you run such a business, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.
- We are advising any residents who have recently shielded to continue taking extra care now that the shielding process has formally ended in Oldham. - Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 - GOV.UK website
We’re urging residents to continue to take the risk of coronavirus seriously and to comply with current guidelines.
Please visit the Government website for the most up to date information:
These new restrictions have been introduced after an increase in the numbers of people testing positive for coronavirus in Oldham.
Our data shows that:
In the seven days to 1 August we saw 127 cases compared to 135 the week before.
Our data shows that:
- The virus is circulating throughout the borough with positive cases in almost every area and across all age groups and ethnicities
- A significant proportion of those testing positive are multiple individuals from one household showing household spread is a real issue - How to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with
- A significant number of these cases were among younger people – particularly those in their twenties and thirties
- A significant number of those testing positive were Asian / Asian - British although we are now seeing growing numbers of new cases among White British residents
What is against the rules?
It will be illegal for people who do not live together to meet in a private home or garden, except for limited exceptions to be set out in law. You should not host or visit people you do not live with, unless they are in your support bubble.
If you live in Oldham or another of the restricted areas, you should not visit someone’s home or garden regardless of whether this is in or outside of the restricted areas.
The government will pass new laws to enforce the changes to meeting people in private homes and gardens. The police will be able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices (starting at £100 – halving to £50 if paid in the first 14 days – and doubling for subsequent offences).
Can I still meet indoors with people in my support bubble?
Yes. Where people from single adult households (people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) have formed a support bubble with another household, they can continue to visit each other, stay overnight, and visit other public places as if they were one household.
At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble.
If you live by yourself or are a single parent with dependant children – in other words, if there is only one adult in your home – you can expand your close support network so that it includes one other household of any size. This is called making a ‘support bubble’ and means you are able to have close contact with them as you could if they were members of your own household.
Once you are in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as in a single household.
Keeping support bubbles exclusive
You should not change who is in your bubble or have close contact with anyone else you do not live with. This is critical to keeping you, and your family and friends, as safe as possible.
Members of support bubbles developing coronavirus symptoms
If you or someone in your household or your support bubble are showing coronavirus symptoms, everyone in your support bubble should stay home.
If you or a member of your support bubble is contacted as part of the test and trace programme, the individual contacted should stay at home. If the individual becomes symptomatic, everyone in the support bubble should then isolate. This is critical to staying as safe as possible and saving lives.
The best way to avoid infection is to limit contact with others as much as possible and to stay home wherever you can, including working from home.
Limit contact with other people and respect social distancing where you do go out – keep at least 2 metres from those not in your household and avoid shaking hands or hugging.
Where meeting outside you should meet in groups of no more than 6 people from different households. Gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is exclusively from two households or support bubbles.
You should be doing everything possible to avoid taking part in gatherings of more than 30 people. It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces) and for a range of other events, including weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and services, community activities and support groups the Government advice is the same.
Wear a mask where you cannot keep at least 2 metres from others – particularly in indoor public spaces - this includes but is not limited to shops and public transport.
We know that effective testing is at the heart of tackling the spread of the virus. We are urging anyone who shows symptoms that may be coronavirus to book a test online.
We have good availability for testing at our sites at Southgate Street and home testing kits are available. We are working to increase the amount of testing available to Oldham residents by establishing new mobile and pop-up testing sites.
Where people test positive or have symptoms or where people have been in contact with someone who has tested positive they MUST follow the guidance on self isolation.
Following on from the Prime Minister's press conference on 31 July, some changes planned for 1 August will be postponed for at least two weeks. This includes the following businesses and services:
- Bowling alleys
- Leisure centres
- Ice-skating rinks
- Close contact services such as facials, eyebrow treatments, make-up application
- Theatres, music halls and other indoor performance venues
We are asking businesses to support these new guidelines wherever possible to help Oldham avoid a second lockdown.