COVID-19 support

Guidance and support relating to Covid-19


Greater Manchester is joining together while staying apart.

We all need to carry on playing our part in helping to control coronavirus.

To protect yourself and others, when you leave home you must:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces
  • Stay at least one metre away from people not in your household

Following an increase in cases of coronavirus, the Government has announced some changes to the way we can live our lives in Greater Manchester.

These will be reviewed on a regular basis. But for the time being:

  • You can’t meet with another household or support bubble indoors or in a private outdoor space like a garden or back yard. This still applies even if they live outside Greater Manchester.
  • You can still attend venues such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions but only with members of your own household or support bubble.
  • You can continue to socialise with others in public outdoor spaces, such as a park or beer garden, but this should be limited to groups of no more than six people or two households/bubbles.
  • You should not visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances.

By following this guidance, we can all help to slow the spread of Covid-19 in our communities and protect those at higher risk.

If you go out, social distancing is still important so try to stay two metres (6 feet) apart or ‘one metre’ plus, which is one metre plus mitigations, from other people at all times. Mitigations can be anything that lessen the risk, such as face coverings or screens, and will vary depending on where you are. When visiting shops and businesses, pay attention to signs and floor markings telling you what arrangements they have put in place. There may be a one-way system, queueing in a particular place, contactless payment only, or reminders about social distancing – it’s all about reducing the risk to you and the staff who work there. Always wash your hands as soon as you get home.

You are now required to wear a face covering in any enclosed space – this includes hospitals and other healthcare buildings, shops and public transport. If you attend an NHS appointment at a hospital, or other premises, you will need to wear a face covering. This can be anything that covers your nose and mouth, while allowing you to breathe freely. The government has provided guidance on how to make your own face covering. You should bring your own but healthcare premises, such as hospitals, will be able to provide a mask in an emergency. There are some circumstances, for health, age or equality reasons, where people are not expected to wear face coverings. Those who have a legitimate reason for not wearing a face covering should not be routinely asked to give any written evidence of this. However, an exemption card template is available for those who feel that more comfortable if they are able to show something.

Those who live alone, or single parents, can form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. This means you can spend time together indoors and do not need to stay two metres apart. This should be exclusive so you can’t change the household in your bubble once you have set it up.

If you, or a member of your household or bubble, has symptoms of Covid-19 (a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature, a change/loss of taste or smell) you will need to self-isolate at home for 10 days. Anyone else in your household must isolate for 14 days. Self-isolating means not going out to buy necessities, to exercise or go to work. You should order a test for coronavirus straight away at or by calling 119. If your test is positive, you and other members of your household must continue to self-isolate. The NHS Test and Trace Service will contact you with instructions on how to share details of people you have had close, recent contact with and places you have visited. The NHS website has more information on coronavirus test results.

Do not go to a GP practice, pharmacy or hospital. If you, or a member of your household, feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after seven days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111.

People who are shielding, so at a very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to an existing health condition, remain vulnerable and should continue to take extra care.

The latest national advice, guidance and announcements can be found at

The NHS website has information on Covid-19 symptoms and what to do if you feel unwell.

Information and advice is available in other languages via the Doctors of the World website. The Sign Health charity is providing daily two minute coronavirus updates using British Sign Language on their You Tube channel.

In Greater Manchester, we are working closely with Greater Manchester Combined AuthorityGreater Manchester PoliceTransport for Greater Manchester, NHS bodies, local authorities, voluntary sector organisations, and many other partners since the beginning of the outbreak to limit the spread of Covid-19, manage the impact and ensure vulnerable people get the support they need. We have a jointly produced Greater Manchester COVID-19 Management Plan that sets out how we will manage outbreaks.

On 1 August, local partners jointly declared a major incident in response to the rise in the number of cases across Greater Manchester. This will help us to respond to the situation as quickly as possible by maximising the capability and resources of agencies across the city region.

The Greater Manchester Joining Together website has information, advice and details of local support.

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