New Restrictions

Across Halton, Merseyside and Warrington regulations will enforce the following restrictions from Tuesday 22 September:

  • Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens*;
  • Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only; and
  • Late night operating hours will be restricted, with leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, required to close between 10pm to 5am.

* Informal arrangements for childcare of children under the age of 14 or vulnerable adults are allowed, when it’s necessary for caring purposes (such as grandparents picking children up from school) – this does not extend to playdates or parties.

Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:

  • Only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
  • Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.
  • Avoid socialising with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue.
  • Avoid visiting friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances.

You should also continue to :

  • Wash hands keep washing your hands regularly
  • Cover face wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
  • Make space stay at least 2 metres apart – or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions
  • Get tested but only if you have symptoms

FAQs

What do these new restrictions mean

What are the new control measures and restrictions?
  • Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens*;
  • Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only; and
  • Late night operating hours will be restricted, with leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, required to close between 10pm to 5am.

* Informal arrangements for childcare of children under the age of 14 or vulnerable adults are allowed, when it’s necessary for caring purposes (such as grandparents picking children up from school) – this does not extend to playdates or parties

 

Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:

  • Only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
  • Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.
  • Avoid socialising with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue.
  • Avoid visiting friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances.
Why are the measures being introduced?
  • These measures will help to address the significant rise in coronavirus cases in Halton and the wider region in recent weeks. We are doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable, keep businesses open and children in school, which these measures will help with – and you have an important part to play by following the new restrictions.
When are the new restrictions being introduced?

They come into force on Tuesday 22 September.

How long will they be in place?

The new restrictions will be monitored closely and reviewed on a weekly basis. The next steps will depend on the impact these measures have.

What kind of venues have to close between 10pm-5am?

The following must close from 10pm to 5am:

  • Pubs
  • Bars and restaurants (including hotel dining rooms and members’ clubs)
  • Cafes including workplace canteens (but not including cafes or canteens at hospitals, care homes, prisons, establishments intended for the use of naval, military or air force purposes and for providing food or drink to the homeless)
  • Social clubs
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Casinos
  • Bingo halls and concert halls
  • Amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities
  • Static/fixed funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks, and adventure parks and activities

During opening hours (5am to 10pm), there should be table service-only, including ordering drinks and food.  As elsewhere in the country, venues must also take details of customers for NHS Test and Trace from September 18.

From 22 September businesses and venues can still sell food and drinks for consumption off the premises between the hours of 22:00 to 05:00 but only for delivery service in response to orders received:

  • through a website, or otherwise by online communication
  • by telephone, including orders by text message
  • by post
Why can I visit the pub but not my someone else’s house?

This is because the hospitality industry has enhanced measures, such as risk assessments and test and trace, which private homes don’t have. Houses are like boxes, and these enclosed spaces increase the risk, with people being in close proximity to each other.

Evidence also clearly shows that households are the most likely setting for the virus to be passed to other people.

Does my household include close family members?

Your household – as defined in law – is only the people you live with. If you are living on your own and have formed a support bubble these can be treated as if they were members of your household.

Children of parents who are separated can move between households while the restrictions are in place.

What is a household support bubble?

A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size. Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in a single household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household.

Can I meet people outside?

You must not meet or host people you do not live with in private homes or gardens unless they are in your support bubble.

 

In addition to these restrictions, we advise that you should not:

  • Socialise with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue. This applies to inside and outside of the affected areas. Examples of public venues include pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions.

  • Visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.

 

If you operate a business or organise events within the affected areas you should take steps to ensure people do not socialise with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 secure guidance.

Do I need to shield if I am classed as extremely clinically vulnerable?

The government is not currently changing its guidance on shielding, and so residents in Halton are not being asked to shield. Find out the latest information on shielding from government.

Can I still go to work?

Yes – people living inside or outside areas with restrictions in place can travel in and out for work. Your workplace should implement COVID-19 secure measures and guidance.

If you normally take public transport to work, you should try to work from home. If you need to take public transport to work, make sure to wear a cloth face covering, unless exempt on medical grounds.

Can people from areas without new restrictions visit my home or garden?

No, you are not able to have visitors in your home or garden regardless of whether they live within or outside of the areas affected by new restrictions.

Can I still visit a place of worship?

Yes, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (e.g. face coverings). Government recommends at this time that if possible prayer/religious services take place outdoors.

Do these measures affect childcare?

No. You can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders and providers offering before or after school clubs or other out-of-school settings for children.

You can also continue to employ nannies, including those living outside of the region. 

Children of parents who are separated can continue to move between households.

Informal arrangements for childcare of children under the age of 14 or vulnerable adults are allowed, when it’s necessary for caring purposes (such as grandparents picking children up from school) – this does not extend to playdates or parties.

Latest advice

The latest Government guidance can be found here.

Go to NHS.UK/coronavirus for information about the virus and how to protect yourself.

HALTON BOROUGH COUNCIL RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Halton Borough Council’s priority is on protecting the most vulnerable living in our community and those who are at most risk – all of our efforts are being focused on the priority services we provide to support these people.

We will be keeping our community up to date with any further changes to Council services via the local media, online at www.halton.gov.uk; on Twitter @haltonbc and on Facebook. If you do not have access to the internet, you can call us 0303 333 4300 

Business support

Support for Business During the Current Coronavirus Crisis

Business Recovery Grant

In response to the demand for increased support for SMEs, government has committed an additional £30m from the England European Regional Development Fund. £10m to support visitor/ tourism economy and £20m for the wider economy businesses.

Self employed income support scheme

If you are self employed, the Government has released the link for applications for grants.  For those who are eligible the scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.

You will need your UTR (Unique Tax Reference) number and National Insurance number to begin the application process

Other Business Support

The main source of information for all business support during the coronavirus crisis remains the UK Government web site at www.businesssupport.gov.uk or alternatively Liverpool City Region Growth Platform site at https://growthplatform.org/business-covid-19-advice/

Please refer to the above websites in the first instance for up to date information.

If, however, you’d rather speak to someone locally please call Halton Borough Council’s Business Development Team on 0151 511 7825 or email business@halton.gov.uk

We appreciate that this is a very difficult time but we are assured by government that they are exploring every possible avenue to provide support to businesses and to that end the Council and other public sector organisations are working hard to put in place the systems necessary to make that happen.

Children’s Centres

Currently closed

  • Upton
  • Windmill Hill
  • Halton Brook
  • Ditton

We will take the decision to reopen the buildings based on the Government advice at the time.

Community Centres

Community centres have now reopened with restrictions in place. Contact the centres for further details. https://haltoncommunitycentres.co.uk/

  • Upton Community Centre, 0151 511 6161
  • Ditton Community Centre,  0151 511 8210
  • Castlefields Community Centre, 0151 511 7474
  • Grangeway Community Centre, 0151 511 8610
  • Murdishaw Community Centre,  0151 511 7910

 

Council Tax Support & Welfare advice
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a significant impact on our economy and services and we would like to reassure residents who are struggling to pay their Council Tax bill at this difficult time.

Your Council Tax bill pays for essential services that are delivered to all Halton residents. If your circumstances have not changed, you should continue to pay in accordance with the details shown on your bill so we can continue to provide essential services.

If your income has been affected as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak you should submit a claim for Universal Credit with the DWP on their website here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

You should also claim Council Tax Reduction direct from the Council on our website here: or https://www3.halton.gov.uk/Pages/CouncilandBenefits/Housing-Benefits.aspx

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax please contact us by email at council.tax@halton.gov.uk

Covid Data
COVID-19 DATA FOR HALTON
  • There have been 134 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Halton residents in the last 7 days (to 16th September)i
  • Our weekly rate of positive cases has increased, as we have seen across the region.
  • In total there have been 956 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Halton residents (to 16th September)
  • The percentage of people testing positive has increased during the past week
  • There have been 0 COVID-19 deaths in the week ending 4th September. ii

[i] Data for the last 4 days may not be complete. Source: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

[ii] Source: Office for National Statistics

 

Following the announcement that across Halton, Merseyside and Warrington new restrictions will come into force from Tuesday 22 September, Councillor Rob Polhill, Leader Halton Borough Council has recorded  a video message to residents of the borough.

 

 

 

Halton Direct Link

The Halton Direct Link offices in Runcorn and Widnes will reopen from Wednesday 26 August.

Opening times are now Monday to Friday, 9am–4.30pm (this is a temporary closing time).

The offices will remain closed on Saturdays until further notice.

Social distancing will be in place throughout the buildings and customers will be required to queue outside. You will be asked to wear a face covering.

Please visit Halton Direct Links on your own unless you need to be accompanied by a carer.

There will be no Benefits Officers in the shops – for benefits enquiries please call 0151 511 7772 or visit the Council website www.halton.gov.uk and go to Council Tax & Benefits.

*There is so much you can do on our website, such as pay bills, report environmental issues, view planning applications, check bin collection dates, and use our Contact Us page to get in touch. Check out the website – www.halton.gov.uk – or call us on 0303 330 4300.

Please note that the Municipal Building, Runcorn Town Hall and Rutland House are not open to the public.

Homelessness

If you are homeless or likely to become homeless in the next 56 days,

Please contact the Housing Solutions Team:

Email: Housing.Solutionsteam@halton.gov.uk

Telephone: 0151 511 7979  (9am – 5pm Mon to Fri) or 0333 000 4300 outside these hours

Leisure Centres
  • Brookvale Recreation Centre is now open.Customers can book the following activities:
    Gym, Classes, Astro Football, Badminton, Table Tennis and Swimming.
  • Kingsway Leisure Centre will reopen on the 14th September dry side only, followed by the swimming pool on the 21st

    Customers can book the following activities: Gym, Classes, Badminton and Table Tennis.
    Swimming will be available from 21st September; Squash from 28th September.

  • Runcorn Swimming Pool will remain closed. This is due to the current social distancing guidelines and staffing resources. Work is ongoing to reopen this facility as soon as possible. Brookvale will be opening up their pool throughout the day (Mon-Fri) to provide more swimming opportunities.

     

  • Learn To Swim Members –All direct debit fees will remain frozen (until further notice). We will contact customers with further updates as and when we look to reopen the swimming lesson programme.
Libraries

Halton’s Libraries are reopening, visit the website for further information https://library.haltonbc.info/

Mental health and wellbeing

There are lots of things you can try to do to help with your mental health and wellbeing during this difficult and stressful time whether you are self-isolating or distancing yourself socially

You can find more information on health and wellbeing.

Nurseries, Schools & Colleges

Halton schools will not open before 8th June and only then if deemed safe, following detailed risk assessments being undertaken and social distancing and other measures being put in place by each school.

Riverside College and Cronton Sixth Form College

The College would like to reassure all applicants who have been offered a place on a course starting September 2020 that your place at College is still secure.

The College will continue to work with you and your school over the coming months to ensure transition to College is as smooth as possible in these uncertain times.

As a College, it will do everything we can to ensure the right student is on the right course whatever happens regarding GCSE examinations.

The Admissions Team are working in College and are there to answer any questions on 0151 257 2022 or courses@riverside.ac.uk unless we are instructed differently by the Government.

Open Spaces

Parks

All parks remain open. 

Car parks are now open.

Bowling Greens

All bowling greens have received basic maintenance during the closure period and therefore they are not in a condition suitable for play. They will be brought back into a playable condition over the coming week and will reopen on 26 May 2020. Pavilions will not reopen and social distancing rules will have to be observed.

Tennis Courts

Tennis courts are now open. Social distancing rules will have to be observed.

MUGAS, Skate Parks and BMX tracks will remain closed for the time being, this decision will be reviewed weekly.

Allotments

On 23 March the Government, stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives. All non-essential premises must now close. You can still visit your allotment however as long as ensure a social distancing of two meters and follow the Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance.

Scams relating to coronavirus

Halton’s Trading Standards are issuing advice having been made aware of a number of scams relating to coronavirus.

Scammers are already exploiting the coronavirus situation, cashing in on people’s concerns and fears.

These are current scams here and abroad: 

  • Doorstep callers ‘checking for coronavirus’.
  • Companies selling ‘fast COVID-19 tests’.
  • Companies selling products that they claim can treat, cure or prevent the virus, including face masks.
  • Companies selling fake cleaning products and hand sanitisers.
  • Fake charities asking for donations to help with the coronavirus.
  • Fake emails pretending to be from a government department.
  • Companies claiming to have or to be on the verge of producing a vaccine and requiring payment to reserve a batch.
  • Companies phoning to offer to clean and sanitise homes, pre-payment is required over the phone or with gift cards.
  • Scammers pretending to be from the UK government, advising that a new tax refund programme has been introduced to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and that you are due a refund.
  • Emails pretending to be from the World Health Organisation with attachments on how to stay safe – the attachments contain malware which will infect your computer, steal your information and result in a request for ransom.
  • Scammers have circulated fake maps via email which claim to show virus outbreaks but, again, they are malware.
  • Scammers offering fake investment opportunities in companies working to produce a vaccine

 

Don’t get caught out:

  • Scammers want to steal your money or your personal information. They do this by calling unannounced at your door, phoning, texting or emailing. They will also advertise online and via social media.
  • The only test available is through the NHS – you cannot buy a test kit or pay for a test from anybody else.
  • There is no vaccine or cure.
  • Only buy from companies that you have dealt with before and type in their online address if you want to order – don’t respond to a link in an email or find them by an internet search because scam websites could be imitating a genuine company.
  • Charities must be registered with the Charity Commission (https://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk/)  – check they are legitimate before you donate

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133.

The only reliable information on how to protect yourself, and measures to take if you think you have the virus, is available from the NHS and the UK government websites: 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Supplier Invoices

Halton Borough Council is committed to supporting all of its suppliers in order to help them to maintain cash flow and to protect jobs.  In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Council took the decision in March to accelerate payments ahead of terms for all supplier invoices.  This temporary arrangement will continue until 20 July 2020 when the Council will revert to standard contractual payment terms. 

To help us to pay you quickly, please submit your invoice electronically to avoid paper copies sitting in office buildings potentially unattended.  Invoices should be submitted to hbcinvoice@halton.gov.uk 

For information, the Council offers a Supplier Incentive Programme which can provide cash flow benefits to your business.  This programme enables your invoices to be paid ahead of contractual payment terms in exchange for a pre-agreed rebate.  For more information about this offering please email sipenquiries@halton.gov.uk or visit our website https://client.oxygen-finance.com/halton-suppliers/

Please note that adult social care providers will continue to receive accelerated payments ahead of terms until further notice.

The Brindley Theatre

Closed until further notice

If you have purchased tickets for events taking place at The Brindley Theatre during this time, you will be offered an exchange of tickets, or a full refund. We kindly ask that customers do not contact the Box Office, as our teams will be contacting you soon with further details regarding cancelled and postponed events.

We will take the decision to reopen the buildings based on the Government advice at the time.

Volunteers

 

If you want to help the most vulnerable across Widnes and Runcorn there are a variety of opportunities you can register to help for with Halton and St Helens Voluntary and Community Action.

You may be able to deliver much needed supplies to the vulnerable and self-isolating; provide telephone support; share information and updates, and many other tasks .

You can register online or call them on 01744 457100, visit their website

Waste services

At present there are no changes to the waste collection timetable.

 

In line with national guidance, the Council recommends that households where waste that has been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, or is displaying symptoms and therefore self-isolating, should take extra precautions when securing waste for disposal.


Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

Household Waste Recycling Centres

Restrictions are in place at the Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres. Find out the details here.

 

 

Widnes Market

Please visit https://widnesmarket.com/ for latest updates