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Support for residents

  • General advice

    The reason for the new measures 

    These measures will help to address the rise in coronavirus cases across Blackpool and the whole of Lancashire in recent weeks.

    There is an increased risk of spreading the virus the more people who gather together.

    We are doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable residents, whilst keeping businesses open and children in school. These new measures will help us to do this.

    Length of restrictions

    The new restrictions in Blackpool start from midnight on 25 September. They will be monitored closely and will be reviewed on a weekly basis. The next steps will depend on the impact the measures have.

    Childcare

    Families can form care bubbles to share childcare responsibilities with another household.

    • Informal carers will be able to provide care for children and vulnerable adults
    • Children under 14 will be able to be cared for by individuals outside of their immediate household as part of a care bubble. Arrangements must be part of a consistent childcare relationship

    See the Government's latest announcement about childcare.

    People allowed in your home

    People from outside your household or support bubble are no longer allowed inside your home.

    However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule listed below:

    • To provide emergency assistance
    • To attend a birth at the mother’s request
    • To visit a person who is dying
    • To fulfil a legal obligation
    • For work, volunteering or charitable purposes
    • For education or training purposes
    • For the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider
    • To provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
    • To facilitate a house move (this includes viewing a property)
    • To continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as one or more of their parents

    Support bubble

    See the government’s information and guidelines on support bubbles on GOV.UK

    Travel for school and work

    People can travel in or out of Blackpool for work and education purposes. Workplaces and schools should be implementing COVID-secure measures.

    Residents should only use public transport for essential journeys – such as travelling to school or work.

    Hospitality venues

    Leisure and entertainment venues, including restaurants, pubs and cinemas, must close between 10pm and 5am.

    During opening hours, businesses must operate table service only - including for ordering food and drinks.

    Between 10pm and 5am hot food takeaways can only operate a delivery service.

    Exercise venues

    You can visit gyms, gym classes or swimming pools, as long as these venues have the required COVID-secure risk assessments and guidelines in place.

    Leisure venues must close between 10.00pm and 5.00am.

    Meeting people in cafes, pubs or restaurants

    For residents of Blackpool, the government advice is to only visit these venues with other members of your household (or support bubble).

    See specific information for Blackpool from GOV.UK 

    Meeting people in outdoor spaces

    The government advice is to avoid mixing with any other household in any location to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. You can still go to outdoor public places with people who are part of your household or support bubble.

    Playing sports 

    Unless formally organised by a sports club or similar organisation, with guidance issued by a sports governing body, team sports should not take place at an indoor or outdoor venue with people you don’t live with.

    You should not spectate at amateur and semi-professional sports events.

    Going on holiday 

    You can still go on holiday within the UK or abroad, but you should only do this with people you live with or have formed a support bubble with.

    You need to follow any rules in the area you visit and be aware of the self-isolation rules when travelling to and from certain countries.

    People can visit Blackpool on holiday but must comply with the local restrictions.

    Having repairs or other work done on your house

    Official/registered tradespeople can go to other people’s homes for work purposes as long as they follow national guidance on how to work safely there.

    Using public transport

    Residents are advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work or for medical appointments. Face coverings must be worn unless you are exempt.

    You are advised not to share a car with anybody from outside your household or support bubble, and to use public transport for essential journeys instead.

    Children play with other children?

    In Blackpool and Lancashire, you must not socialise with people outside of your household or support bubble in private homes or gardens. The Government advice is to avoid mixing with any other household in any location to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.

    Getting a test in you don’t have symptoms?

    You can only get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus if you have any of the following symptoms:

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

    You can also get a test if you are asked to get one by services such as the NHS, your local council, or a Government pilot project.

  • Corona Kindness

    Blackpool Council is committed to maintaining essential services and protecting the most vulnerable members of our community.

    We have established a community Corona Kindness helpline for those who want to offer help and for those that need help.

    The services that we can help with include:

    • Food shopping
    • Medical supplies
    • Social isolation and loneliness
    • Dog walking

    If you need to access any of those things or you feel you can help, please email helpneeded@blackpool.gov.uk or helpoffered@blackpool.gov.uk.

    If you need help call 0808 1963080.

    Find out more about Corona Kindness

    Corona Kindness hubs

    Twelve corona kindness hubs are now in the process of being established in Blackpool across a broad geographical spread to meet vulnerable people’s needs.

    Each hub will have a dedicated person to co-ordinate support to the people most at risk.

    Find out more about the Corona Kindness community hubs

  • Council Tax

    The annual bills for council tax that were sent out in March were prepared and printed before any government announcements.

    We would like to thank all residents who are able to continue paying, as your contribution is helping us to maintain essential services that are delivered to all in our town. It is important if your circumstances have not changed, you pay what you should, maintain your direct debit payments, or payment plan as detailed on your bill.

    If you are struggling to pay your council tax, we want to make you aware of the support available and how we can help if you have been affected.

    Council Tax reduction grants

    The chancellor announced additional hardship support for council tax payers in the recent budget.

    Local authorities have been asked to award a reduction to all Working Age Council Tax Reduction customers.

    The award will be £150 off their Council Tax bill or if less than £150 is owed in Council Tax after the award of benefit, the bill will be reduced to nil.

    Working age residents in receipt of Council Tax Reduction do not need to contact us as the awards will be made automatically and a new Council Tax bill will be issued in due course.

    If your financial circumstances have changed and you now need to claim Council Tax Reduction, please complete your application form as soon as possible

  • Financial support for those self-isolating

    This is to ensure individuals, who test positive or are identified as close contacts, self-isolate and minimise the possibility of transmitting COVID-19.

    If people do not comply you will be subject to fines of at least £1,000 and up to a maximum £10,000 for repeat or very serious offences.

    To assist people to self-isolate, the government has announced that individuals on low incomes will be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500, if they meet certain criteria, in order to support them through their self-isolation period.

    The payments are only available to people who have been told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020.

    Find out if you're eligible and make an application

  • Employment support

    We are working with the Lancashire Skills Hub to make sure people have access to the employment support and skills training they need during this difficult period and to assure you that there is help available whether you've been:

    • Made redundant
    • Furloughed
    • Are at risk of redundancy
    • Have been unemployed for a while


    Find what support is available in Blackpool to help you learn new skills, access training courses, get careers advice and guidance and get one-to-one support to help you get back to work.

  • Public transport

    It is mandatory to wear a face covering when using public transport.

    Blackpool Transport

    From Sunday 8 November there will be some minor changes to operation

    Most routes will remain unchanged Monday to Friday, including all ‘X' services, and most changes have been made in ‘off peak' periods such as evenings and weekends.

    Tram services will run every 20 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes in the evening.

    Mobile app tickets

    From Monday 9 November, any active digital tickets purchased via the website/mobile app will automatically be paused if more than 1 day remains on the ticket. This automatic process is to make sure that you won't lose any of your travel if the restrictions have affected your daily journeys.

    If you are an essential worker and still need to make your journeys so you can simply reactivate your ticket as soon as you need to.

    More about these changes to services

    Until further notice, all NHS staff can travel for free onboard the Blackpool Transport bus network. Simply show your NHS ID card to their drivers as you board. Get full information on the Blackpool Transport website.

  • Schools

    The government will continue to prioritise the wellbeing and long-term futures of young people and are not closing schools, colleges or universities.

    It remains very important for children and young people to attend, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians.

    The Prime Minister and education secretary have been clear that exams will go ahead next summer, as they are the fairest and most accurate way to measure a pupil's attainment.

    We therefore need to keep schools and colleges open so that children are able to keep progressing towards exams and the next stage of education or employment.

    More information and guidance

  • Homelessness support and referral

    Blackpool Council and its partner agencies continue to support those at risk of, and those experiencing homelessness.

    Blackpool Homeless Partnership (which consists of a wide range of statutory and third sector partners working together to prevent homelessness) are in constant communication. It is this collaboration of people who are ensuring accommodation, food and other support is being offered to those that need it.

    Continued efforts ensure the following is in place:

    • Regular street outreach by our team and partner agencies to identify anyone who is homeless or in need of support
    • To date around 95 people have been temporarily housed in emergency accommodation, predominately B&Bs, to keep them safe and well
    • 3 hot meals a day are now being provided, 7 days a week to the homeless via a delivery service. This ensures that they do not need to leave their accommodation to get food, keeping themselves safe and also limiting risk to everyone else
    • Advice and support for those who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness via our Housing Options Team. Contact should be made via telephone where possible on 01253 477760. For emergency, out of hours support please call 01253 477600
    • Those that smoke will be provided with Nicotine Replacement Therapy to discourage them from leaving isolation for cigarettes
    • We're working with Delphi (our drug and alcohol treatment services) on supporting those with any addiction needs and where possible we'll be looking to support those individuals into recovery
    • Entertainment is being considered, for example, radios being provided where there are no TVs within the accommodation. There are ongoing discussions how to support residents with their mental health through activity provision

    People who are not homeless but still in need during this pandemic should contact the Corona Kindness helpline on 0808 196 30 80 Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm or emailhelpneeded@blackpool.gov.uk

    If you are able to offer help in anyway, please let us know by emailinghelpoffered@blackpool.gov.uk

    Advice on eviction

    Ban on eviction

    The government has announced that they have extended the ban on landlords evicting tenants and the courts will not hear repossession claims by landlords until 20 September 2020.

    Your landlord must give you 6 months' notice, rather than the normal 3, until at least the end of March 2021, unless the case involves a serious issue.

    Despite this, you should continue to pay your rent to your landlord if you are able to.

    Help with rent arrears

    If your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing costs do not cover your rent and you have fallen into arrears, you can apply for a discretionary housing payment from the council.

    You will need to complete an online application form and we will look at your circumstances, your income and expenditure and give you advice if required.

  • Government benefits

    Support for children with complex needs

    The Department for Education has announced that low-income families with children that have complex needs and disabilities can apply for a grant to make their lives easier during this period of social distancing.

    The grant can be used towards a number of resources, such as computers and tablets, specialist equipment and educational toys.

    A proportion of funding has been committed specifically for families that are staying at home more than usual to shield themselves from COVID-19, and are looking after and educating critically ill or disabled children themselves.

    For further information and to apply, visit the Family Fund website.

  • Information for tenants/landlords in the private rented sector

    The current COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the economy, including housing and the private rented sector.

    To support both landlords and tenants, temporary measures have been published by central government in relation to the private rented sector.

    View the information for tennants and landlords.