On Friday evening, (20 March) the Prime Minister announced the closure of all bars, restaurants, clubs and theatres, because of the coronavirus emergency.
This is a terrible blow to local businesses, although takeaway food outlets can still operate, and I hope some of our great local cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs will be able to switch to doing more of this – so if your business is doing so, feel free to let me know and I’ll post about it on social media.
The government also announced a further welcome package of financial support, including to help businesses to pay their staff rather than laying them off, and more support for people on low incomes. However, there’s still gaps in the Chancellor’s announcements, particularly around how the government will support freelancers and the self-employed – the government seems to be suggesting people claim Universal Credit but that isn’t good enough. MPs will continue to press the Chancellor to provide more support.
Leisure centres must also close because of the coronavirus emergency, which will be very sad news for the staff and customers of Trafford Leisure Trust and other local gyms. But exercising during the crisis remains important, and Trafford Leisure will be offering advice and guidance for indoor exercises to members and residents. Outdoor exercise also remains very good for us and can continue too – just remember to always remain at a safe distance from others – 2 metres is advised. Of course, please follow government advice and stay at home if you have symptoms, to avoid the risk of spreading the virus to others. (Read about the advice on symptoms and self-isolating here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/).
The government have also now said that around 1.5 million people in England who are most at risk of being hospitalised with the virus will be contacted and urged to stay at home to protect themselves. You can find more information on this here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/major-new-measures-to-protect-people-at-highest-risk-from-coronavirus.