Updated- 11.18 am 19 March

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The UK government has issued a series of new measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

These include:

  • Everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres
  • People should work from home if they can
  • All unnecessary visits to friends and relatives in care homes should cease
  • People should only use the NHS when necessary and reduce the burden on health staff by getting advice on the NHS website where possible
  • By next weekend those with the most serious health conditions must be largely “shielded” from social contact for around 12 weeks
  • If one person in a household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
  • Those people should, if possible, avoid leaving the house even to buy food or essentials, but can go out for exercise at a safe distance from others

The group of people who should take particular care to minimise their social contact are:

  • People over the age of 70
  • Other adults who would normally be advised to have the flu vaccine (such as those with chronic diseases)
  • Pregnant women

Business support

On 17 March the government announced a £330 billion financial rescue package to support and protect businesses affected by COVID-19 including those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. 

This includes:

  • £330 billion of government-backed loans and guarantees that will be available from next week (w/c March 23) to help businesses pay for supplies, rent and salaries
  • A package of support for airports and airlines to be announced in the coming days by the Secretary of State for Transport
  • Stated government actions are sufficient to trigger payments for those businesses with pandemic insurance
  • For the hospitality and leisure sector there will be an extended business rates holiday and a £25k cash grant of up to £25k per retail and leisure business for those without specific pandemic insurance
  • Strengthened support for people. In addition to the measures in the budget, mortgage lenders will offer a three-month "mortgage holiday" for those in financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 outbreak 

The new measures are in addition to the £12 billion announced to support businesses in the budget last week and follows earlier announcements this week by government on travel and the need for people to practice ‘social distancing” to avoid spreading the virus. 

Note: Blackpool Council’s business support team is in the process of setting up a dedicated helpline to ensure that local businesses can access the support announced by the chancellor. Details will be issued on this website shortly.

Here in Blackpool

Blackpool Council

  • Blackpool Council is committed to maintaining essential services and protecting the most vulnerable members of our community
  • Our adult social care and public health teams are co-ordinating community efforts to mobilise an army of volunteers to deliver food to vulnerable residents. We will soon be releasing details of how this scheme will work
  • All council main reception areas remain open to the public including the Customer First facility at Municipal Buildings; Bickerstaffe House and Housing Options. The Town Hall reception is also open for birth and death appointments
  • Highfield Day Centre is closed until further notice
  • Green waste, bulky collections and Rover are suspended until further notice. Residents can dispose of green waste at the tip on Bristol Avenue. All Bulky Matters bookings for the next two weeks will be cancelled and customers contacted to offer a refund

Leisure and arts

  • Grundy Art Gallery is closed until further notice
  • Solaris Cente and Cafe C are closed until further notice
  • The Tourist Information Centre on the Promenade is open
  • Council libraries, sports centres and swimming pools also remain open at the moment although there will be a reduced number of activities. For regular updates follow the council’s social media pages @bpoolcouncil

Education, children and young people

  • Revoe Academy has closed until further notice after a report of a possible infection on site.
  • All childrens centres and Family Hubs except Grange and Talbot and Brunswick are closed
  • A number of other schools in Blackpool are currently facing part or full closure due to high levels of staff absence: Highfurlong Special School has closed until further notice; Unity Academy has closed to all pupils except those in Years 5, 6 and 11; South Shore Academy is closed to Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 for the remainder of this week
  • Layton Primary School is closed to all pupils until the end of the Easter holidays

Blackpool businesses

  • The reception areas at Blackpool Coastal Housing (Coastal House and Grange Park) are closed until further notice along with community centres across their sites. The closures will be reviewed on a weekly basis. If you need to contact Blackpool Coastal Housing call 01253 477900
  •  Blackpool’s tourism industry is open for business although due to the escalated government advice, some attractions, hotels, restaurants, theatres and other venues might need to cancel events or temporarily close their doors. For essential travel advice, events and attraction updates and any cancellations, please head to VisitBlackpool
  • The Winter Gardens has announced that it is closed until further notice. Several events and conferences will be rescheduled for later in the year. The Grand Theatre has announced it will be closed until April 6 as has the Viva Blackpool showbar on Central Promenade
  • The Royal Hotels group which operates five large hotels in Blackpool including the Royal Seabank, Royal Ruskin, Royal Carlton, Royal Alexandra and Royal Boston will close all hotels from Friday 20 March until April 29

General advice

It is crucial that residents protect themselves against the spread of coronavirus.

  • Good hygiene is the best preventative measure so ensure you wash your hands regularly and thoroughly
  • You can find NHS and Public Health England information, advice and updates. (This should be the first port of call for the public)
  • Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home
  • You should use the NHS 111’s online coronavirus service if you need medical help. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
  • Call 111 if you need to speak to someone. Only use this service if:
    • You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
    • Your condition gets worse
    • Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Stay at home if you have either:

  • A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • A new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly