Coronavirus (COVID-19) update and advice

This page was last updated on 22nd October 2020

Wigan Borough, alongside much of the North West region is now following local COVID alert levels are sometimes called ‘tiers’ or known as a ‘local lockdown’.

Wigan Borough will move from local COVID alert level high to very high from 00.01 on Friday 23 October. More detailed  information on the levels and what you can and can’t do.

You must not socialise with anybody you do not live with or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.

Informal childcare can also be provided via childcare bubbles.

More information about support bubbles can be found here.
Stay alert

This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.

You should continue to:

  • follow social distancing rules
  • work from home where you can effectively do so
  • travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but aim to reduce the number of journeys you make
What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms

Continue to stay at home if you have either:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • A loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Get tested as soon as possible. You need to get tested within 5 days of the symptoms starting.

To get a test you can call 119 or  Order a test online.

To protect others, do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

If you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus there is NHS Guidelines to for staying at home can be found here . If you’re staying at home it’s important to remember your mental wellbeing more help and advice from the NHS can be found here:

If you or someone you care for has learning difficulties find support on the mencap website. You will also find a range of easy read guides on COVID-19.

If you or someone you care for need information in sign language, regularly updated videos can be found by visiting signhealth.


What to do if you need medical help for another reason

If you need medical help not related to coronavirus your GP practice will be speaking to patients via telephone or video calls as much as possible. During this time your practice and GPs will be very busy but it is important not to turn up at your GP surgery unless you are expected and remember:

  • For health information and advice, use the NHS website or check your GP surgery website.
  • For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. Only call 111 if you’re unable to get help online.
  • For life-threatening emergencies local A&E services remain open or call 999 for an ambulance.

If you’re advised to go to hospital, it’s important to go. Keep going to any appointments you usually have, unless you’re told not to.

Read more advice about getting medical help at home.


Delivering medicines to patients

Pharmacies are receiving an increase in the number of requests for delivery of medicines at this time. Please only request delivery of medicines if you have no other option. This will help to ensure that we have the ability to deliver to those who are in need.

Could you ask any of the following people to collect your medicines for you?

  • Family member
  • Neighbour
  • Friend
  • Local volunteer
  • The NHS Volunteer Responder service

Find out more about registering for online services:

Electronic Prescription Ordering

Electronic Repeat Prescriptions  


Advice on Shielding or Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people

People who are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable were advised to take additional action to prevent themselves from coming into contact with COVID-19 when transmission of coronavirus in the community is high.
From 1 August, the government will pause shielding unless the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly. This means:

• the government will no longer be advising you to shield
• the support from the National Shielding Service of free food parcels, medicine deliveries and care will stop
• NHS Volunteer Responders will carry on delivering the food you buy, prescriptions and essential items to you if you need it. Contact them on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm)
• you will still be eligible for priority supermarket slots (if you have registered by 17 July)

You may still be at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so stay at home as much as you can and continue to take precautions when you do go out. You can do this by washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face and keeping 2 metres away from people outside of your household or bubble wherever possible.

From 1 August, you’ll be advised you could go out to more places and see more people, for example, the advice is:

• you can go to work, as long as the workplace is COVID-secure – but carry on working from home if you can
• children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can go back to school (when the rest of their class goes back)
• you can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise – keeping 2 metres away wherever possible

NHS Volunteer Responders can support you with:

• Collecting shopping, medication (if your friends and family cannot collect them for you) or other essential supplies;
• A regular, friendly phone call which can be provided by different volunteers each time or by someone who is also shielding and will stay in contact for several weeks; and
• Transport to medical appointment.

Please call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm to arrange support or speak to your health case professional for transport support. A carer or family member can also do this on their behalf. More information is available at


Other things you can do to stop the infection spreading


wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds

use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

clean objects and surfaces you touch often (such as door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products

consider wearing a face covering when in shared spaces

keep windows open in the room you’re staying in and shared spaces as much as possible

Wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it’s hard to stay away from people – see staying safe outside your home on GOV.UK


do not share towels, including hand towels and tea towels


Advice and Information

We are all working closely with NHS England, Public Health England and all our health and care partners to prevent further spread of the virus.

A set of Government guidelines have been put together as FAQs on what you can and can’t do for advice and guidance.

Online learning is available here to help navigate the NHS website.

Please refer only to official sources for updates. The latest national information and advice is available at:

Looking after your health and wellbeing

To help yourself stay well while you’re at home:

  • stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media
  • try to keep yourself busy – you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
  • do light exercise at home or outside – see NHS fitness studio: exercises you can do at home
  • consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day if you’re indoors most of the day – this is to keep your bones and muscles healthy

The government has issued specific advice for:


Further information

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