Coronavirus in Manchester: the road to recovery

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COVID-19 Newsletter header

The road to recovery

It's been almost two weeks of adjusting to the government’s easing of the lockdown restrictions, which has meant some people making a tentative return to their place of work if they can't work from home, and the chance to exercise more by continuing to observe social distancing.

For others, they continue to be at home for a prolonged period, which can be difficult, frustrating and lonely. So during Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May 2020), it is even more important to keep in touch with family, friends and loved ones, as a small act of kindness can brighten someone else's day. 

There are lots of ways you can take care of your mind or find support for others who might need help as we navigate COVID-19. To find support visit NHS Every Mind Matters 

So look after yourself and your loved ones this Bank Holiday weekend.

Here is the latest information

Service Updates

covid-19 Freephone helpline

COVID-19 Freephone Helpline Bank Holiday opening hours

If you know someone who needs support with food, medicines, or fuel bills, please share the freephone number 0800 234 6123 and email address:

The helpline is open over the May Bank Holiday at the following times:

  • Saturday 23 May: 8.30am-5.30pm
  • Sunday 24 May: Closed
  • Bank Holiday Monday 25 May: 10am-2pm

If you need support with council tax, business rates or bins, visit

Key information for Manchester's parents and pupils

The majority of Manchester schools have remained open to vulnerable pupils and children of key workers during COVID-19 lockdown period and all schools have retained contact and overview with their pupils.

From June 1 onwards, the next step is to increase the numbers of Manchester’s pupils attending school in a way which ensures the safety of staff and pupils. A key focus of this approach will support pupils to re-engage with their schools and learning - and to support their wellbeing and mental health.

There will be a slow and steady approach to more children returning to school, based on keeping staff and pupils safe. This will differ from school to school depending on class size and the building design. Schools will get in contact with parents and carers to advise when their children will be able to return.

So, it’s really important that children ONLY go to school on June 1 if they have had a message from their school. Please do not attend without that notification.

In addition, to help with the transition process for primary pupils to high school, all year 6 children will be sent a reading book with exercises and activities in it which will be part of the work at their new school, so that there is a common, bonding experience for them all.

We will also be getting in touch with all Year 11 students to mark the end of their school years and to make sure they know where help and support is available.

Fostering for Manchester

The council is always trying to recruit more foster carers - and that need is even greater during hard times.

We're keen to hear from people who have experience of working with children and young people, including as a parent or a grandparent.

You must:

  • live in the Manchester area
  • be in good health and have a spare room
  • be happy for us to carry out checks to see that you'll be a good foster carer.

Think that fostering could be for you? We pay an average of £380 a week tax-free for one child. And if you foster more than one child, you'll get a lot more.

Interested? Get in touch today for an informal chat on 0800 988 8931 (9am to 4.30pm weekdays). Visit the fostering section of our website to find out more.

Bin collections

Green food and garden recycling bins are now being collected every two weeks on the same days as your grey general waste bins. Grey/black, brown and blue bin collections are continuing as normal.

Food and garden recycling waste will only be collected if it is in the bins. Please keep any excess waste until your next collection. Food waste can be put in your grey/black general waste bin if necessary.

You can check your bin days on our website, by entering your postcode. 

While maintaining a safe distance, please let any friends, family, or neighbours without internet access know about the current arrangements.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority have reopened some of their tips and recycling centres. Visit their website for more information. 

Sport and recreation in our parks

Following the latest Government advice these facilities are now open in our parks:

  • Tennis courts
  • Multi-use games areas 
  • BMX and skate parks 
  • Angling / fishing
  • Heaton Park Golf Course

You can find full guidance on how to use these sports facilities, whilst keeping yourself and others safe, by visiting this page

The following facilities currently remain closed, but we are constantly reviewing the position:

  • Children’s play areas
  • Outdoor gyms
  • Public toilets in parks
  • Communal facilities on allotments
  • Formal baseball, cricket, football and rugby pitches
  • Citywide crown green bowls
  • Heaton Park boat hire, donkey rides, flat and crown green bowls, farm centre, garden centre and Tree Top Trek
  • Wythenshawe Park Horticultural Centre, farm and stables.

Visiting Parks and Green Spaces

You can now visit our parks for more than just exercising, either alone, with people you live with at home, or one person from another household. If you visit with someone you do not live with, you must remain two metres apart at all times.

You can drive to outdoor publicly accessible open spaces irrespective of distance, but should follow social distancing guidance whilst you are there. You should plan ahead to ensure that, where you are visiting places, you have checked that they are open and appropriately prepared for visitors. 

Find details of your local park here

Pharmacy Bank Holiday opening times

Pharmacy opening times over the Bank Holiday weekend can be viewed online. Read more

Be aware of the symptoms

COVID-19 - be aware of the symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are usually mild, but some people can become very unwell.

The main symptoms are:

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service if you have any of the following a:

  • high temperature
  • new, continuous cough
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

111 will tell you what to do and help you get a test if you need one.

Call 111 if you cannot get help online. Do not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy.

Carers Hardship fund

Emergency fund to support Manchester’s unpaid carers

A fund of £200,000 is being made available to carers in Manchester who need additional support as a result of COVID-19.

The Fund is open for carers (aged 16+) to ensure the ongoing health and wellbeing of both the carer and the person who needs care. This includes those households where a child or young person is the carer. 

The funding can be used for transport costs (including taxis) or fuel, furniture, emergency delivery of food and one-off practical costs to help with the caring role at this time.

Carers can receive advice about accessing this financial support from Manchester Carers Centre or their Young Carers Coordinator. Manchester Carers Centre helpline is open for carers Mondays to Thursdays, 9am to 4.30pm on 0161 272 7270. Alternatively, carers can email:

How to apply for help:

Impression of memorial design

Arena attack anniversary and plans for the memorial

Friday 22 May will be the third anniversary of the Manchester terror attack, in which 22 people lost their lives and many others were left badly affected.

Owing to COVID-19 restrictions, people are being encouraged not to gather together to mark the anniversary or leave tributes, but to mark it online or at home.

Prayers, led by the Dean of Manchester Rogers Govender, which will include the names of the 22 people who lost their lives, will take place at 9am and 4.30pm on Friday 22 May and be live-streamed at

You can also learn more about the project to catalogue and digitise all the tributes left in St Ann's Square in the aftermath of the attack online via the Manchester Together Archive.

Further details about the plans for a permanent memorial for the 22 May 2017 attack and what is happening on the anniversary itself can be found online.

Anniversaries stir up memories and support continues to be available via the Greater Manchester Resilience Hub on 0333 0095071 or by email to The hub is open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 6pm, and until 8pm on a Wednesday.

10,000 requests for food support since helpline started

The COVID-19 freephone helpline coordinated by Manchester City Council and its community partners has received 10,000 calls for food support from residents since March.

More than 100 Council staff, along with volunteers, charitable organisations and businesses have worked tirelessly to provide over 30,000 deliveries of food support packs.

The helpline also provides support for residents to access government funding and support services. If you know someone who needs help call: 0800 234 6123.

2,000,008 items of PPE distributed through the Mutual Aid Hub in Manchester and Trafford

Over 2 million pieces of PPE distributed by Mutual Aid Hub

Many thanks to all those who have and are continuing to donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support the Mutual Aud Hub for Manchester and Trafford. 

The hub is an emergency service based on the urgent supply of PPE equipment to ensure key workers have the protection they need to continue providing essential services. If your business or organisation can help please email: 

Partial Pedestrianisation of Deansgate 

The temporary pedestrianisation of part of Deansgate has now come into effect, creating a new shared space for pedestrians and people on bikes between Blackfriars Street and King Street West.

Temporary barriers are in place to prevent traffic from accessing this stretch of Deansgate, with the exception of time windows for loading and essential access by emergency services. 

The move will aid the city's economic recovery by making it easier for people to socially distance while getting to work or visiting local businesses, as and when restrictions on movement to reduce the spread of coronavirus are eased. 

The Council’s aspiration is for the change - initially being brought forward on a temporary basis - to become permanent, pending public feedback. Read more and give your views about Deansgate’s partial pedestrianisation.

If you are concerned about your child's health, don't wait.

NHS Services here when you need them

We are aware that the number of people contacting their GP about heart conditions, cancer treatment, during pregnancy or with ill children has decreased during the COVID-19 lockdown.

NHS services are still available for you to access by contacting your GP by phone, online, or using NHS 111 or 999 in an emergency. 

Visit Health at Home for information about accessing NHS services.

Eid Mubarak

Celebrate Eid safely at home this weekend

This weekend is set to mark the end of Ramadan and the start of the Eid Festival. Please celebrate at home this year to protect yourself and your loved ones. By staying home, and finding ways to celebrate digitally you are protecting others and saving lives. Government’s advice on social distancing.

Together in one voice

Together In One Voice

Greater Manchester residents are being asked to open their windows and take to their doorsteps for Together In One Voice, a mass singalong to connect communities in these challenging times.

The event will take place at 7.30pm on Thursday 28 May, and will see famous faces join locals in a 30-minute virtual sing-song.

The event will be live-streamed on YouTube as part of Manchester International Festival's online programme MIF Live. Residents can sing along together to a special soundtrack of songs curated by Musical Director Dan McDwyer. Dan will be conducting a series of online rehearsals in the run up to the event so people can learn the songs and harmonies.  

Visit for more information.

Join the Clap For Our Carers at 8pm every Thursday 

The weekly clap pays tribute to all the key workers who are out there making an unbelievable difference to our lives in these challenging times. Join in and show your support by applauding them either outside your door or through open windows at 8pm!

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Allsorts To Do At Home

Our sports centres, art galleries, theatres, libraries and events are in temporary hibernation – but you don’t have to be. Behind the scenes, the staff who keep these things going have been busy, finding ways to bring recreation to you at home.

To view the latest ideas for Allsorts To Do At Home, sign up for the e-bulletin:

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