As restrictions are lifted, it’s important to keep doing all we can to stay safe.
Plans are underway for our lives to return to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible.
In doing so, we need to keep on staying safe - to protect ourselves, our friends, families, communities and the NHS.
The government has produced guidance on staying safe outside your home.
We are still advised to limit the number of people we see. That's because the more people you have interactions with, the more chance the virus has to spread.
Many people will still be spending more time at home than before the outbreaks. Help and advice is available to support you to stay safe and well at home.
Staying safe in public spaces
Many businesses and venues are now reopening. They are expected to follow COVID-19 secure guidelines.
But as individuals there are steps we need to take to keep ourselves, our friends and our families as safe as possible from the continuing risks of coronavirus.
- keeping a safe distance (2 metres wherever possible) from people you don't live with
- washing your hands regularly
- avoiding crowds
Everything you need to consider is set out in the government's staying safe outside your home guidance.
Information to help you stay safe is available in easy read format from Keep Safe.
Wear a face covering
Face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease from someone who is suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms.
It is now compulsory to wear a face covering on public transport, apart from a small number of exemptions. If you don’t wear one, you may be unable to travel and you could be fined £100.
You are also recommended to wear a face covering in public enclosed spaces. This is particularly the case in places where it is not possible to keep 2 metres distance from other people and where you are more likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet. For example, in some shops.
And from 24 July, you must wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets.
You can find information on how to wear and make a face covering on the gov.uk website.
Information on face coverings is available in easy read format from Keep Safe.
Staying safe in our schools and nurseries
Nurseries and schools have begun opening their doors. They are doing so in a way that allows our children to return safely, in a phased way that reduces risk.
Measures in place to protect our children and the people working with them include limiting class sizes, keeping to small, consistent groups and preventing mixing.
The Department for Education's updated guidance provides information for parents / carers about nurseries and childminders, primary and secondary schools and colleges during the coronavirus outbreak.
These places are currently able to open to:
- some nursery and pre-school children
- primary school pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6
- secondary school students in Years 10 and 12
- 'vulnerable' children and those of critical workers in all year groups
However, not all schools and nurseries have reopened. Some have introduced different timetables to ensure children can return safely.
Your child's school remains the best source of information on specific arrangements. You may also find advice from your local council, via the 'in my area' section of this website.
Mental health and wellbeing support
Children and young people may be experiencing a variety of feelings in response to COVID-19.
These include anxiety, stress or low mood. Social isolation, reduced exercise and bereavement may also be affecting children’s wellbeing.
These are normal responses to an abnormal situation.
Help is available - for children and young people, their parents, teachers and people who work or volunteer with them.
The Greater Manchester mental health hub's 'back to school or college' section brings together a wide range of trusted resources.
Staying safe on our transport
People are still encouraged to avoid all but essential use of public transport. Why not walk or cycle instead where possible, especially for shorter journeys?
However you travel, remember to plan ahead and be patient. Avoid the busiest times and routes if you can.
If you are using public transport, there are things you should do to keep yourself and others safe:
- You must wear a face covering when using public transport, unless you are exempt
- if you don't, you may be unable to travel and you could be fined £100
- it is your responsibility to provide your own face covering. It can be a simple scarf or bandana
- exemptions include for children under the age of 11, and anyone with a disability or condition which means they are unable to wear one
- we expect everyone to wear a face covering if they can
- for more information, read TfGM's face coverings guidance
- please keep your distance from other passengers where possible
- clean your hands frequently and carry hand sanitiser with you if you can
- use contactless payment
To find out more visit TfGM's Safely Reopening GM webpage.
Easy read information on wearing a face covering on public transport is available from Keep Safe.
Staying safe at home
This a difficult and worrying time for everyone, but we’re still here if you need us.
But you don’t have to report anything to the police if you don’t want to. Support is available regardless of whether you want to speak to the police or not.
Whether it's yourself or someone you know, if feeling anxious and unsafe at home:
You can access confidential help and advice, including how to contact local support services.
If you or someone else is in immediate danger always dial 999.
Children and young people
Spending more time at home potentially places children and young people at increased risk of harm.
If a child is experiencing abuse, there aren't as many opportunities for others to spot the signs, or for them to access support, in turn increasing their vulnerability.
It is everyone’s responsibility to keep children and young people safe, now more than ever.
If you have any concerns:
- visit ItsNotOkay.co.uk for information, advice and contacts for your local child sexual exploitation team
- contact Greater Manchester Police by phoning 101 or using their live chat facility
- if you’re a young person, you can call Childline 24/7 on 0800 1111
- if you’re an adult, you can phone the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000
Scams and cyber crime
Across the UK there has been a significant increase in COVID-19 related cyber-crime. This includes email deception and phone-based scams as well as online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.
It is now more important than ever to stay safe online.
The NHS Test and Trace service will email, phone or text if you’ve been in close contact with coronavirus. They will never ask:
- for payment
- about your bank account
- for passwords or PINs
- you to download anything
The National Cyber Security Centre has launched a Cyber Aware campaign to advise residents on how to stay secure online during coronavirus.