Coronavirus: current advice

Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly in Halton and across the country.

Find out what you can and cannot do.

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare – for those eligible

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.

 

You must 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 if you have symptoms call 119 or visit nhs.uk/coronavirus. If you DO NOT have symptoms get a SMART test at Grangeway or Ditton Community Centre visit halton.gov.uk/SMART.

Click here for full government guidance.

We are currently awaiting further information from the Government, therefore the FAQs below may be subject to change.

 

Changes to council services

Council buildings

The following buildings are now closed to the public:

Leisure centres:

  • Kingsway Leisure Centre
  • Brookvale Recreation Centre (school activities will continue)

A programme of online fitness classes will continue. More information at www.activehalton.co.uk

Libraries:

  • Halton Lea Library (Runcorn Shopping City)
  • Widnes Library (Kingsway Learning Centre)
  • Ditton Library

A click and collect service will operate and Widnes Library and Halton Lea Library. In addition a Covid-secure home delivery service will continue to be provided to isolated residents. Other members of the public can continue to access digital services. More information can be found on www.halton.gov.uk/libraries

Community centres:

  • Castlefields Community Centre
  • Murdishaw Community Centre
  • Upton Community Centre
  • Ditton Community Centre (operating as a SMART no-symptoms test facility)
  • Grangeway Community Centre (operating as a SMART no-symptoms test facility)

Kingsway Learning Centre (adult learning courses will revert to online learning)

Day services at various locations (apart from Hough Green see below)

Inglefields short-break respite centre

Registration Service: weddings must only take place in exception circumstances, with up to 6 people. 

The following buildings remain closed to the general public:

The Brindley

DCBL Stadium

The following will remain open to the public with Covid-secure measures in place:

  • Halton Direct Link (but with reduced opening times of 9am to 1pm)
  • Children’s centres (all open for social care activity and early year’s support apart from Windmill Hill Children’s Centre which will be closed temporarily for a short period)
  • Shopmobility
  • Horticultural day service activity at Hough Green
  • Women’s Centre, Runcorn
  • Widnes Market (only traders selling essential items)
  • Parks, including playgrounds will remain open, however, café’s onsite will only be able to provide a take away service.
  • Public toilets in town centres
  • Halton Borough Council MOT Centre

Waste and collection services

Household waste recycling centres will remain open, operating as now, with current Covid-secure arrangements in place.

There are no changes to the waste collection timetable.

 

FAQS NATIONAL LOCKDOWN: STAY AT HOME

Why are the measures being introduced?

COVID-19 case numbers are rising significantly across the whole of the UK in recent weeks. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we reduce the spread of the infection.

  1. Stay at home, unless you have a ‘reasonable excuse’
  2. Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Close certain businesses and venues.

Click here for the full government guidance.

When can you leave your home?

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’.

 

A ‘reasonable excuse’ includes:

  • Work – you can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home, including but not limited to people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance
  • Volunteering – you can also leave home to provide voluntary or charitable services.
  • Essential activities – you can leave home to buy things at shops or obtain services. You may also leave your home to do these things on behalf of a disabled or vulnerable person or someone self-isolating.
  • Education and childcare – You can only leave home for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children where they are eligible to attend. Access to education and children’s activities for school-aged pupils is restricted. See further information on education and childcare. People can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart. This includes childcare bubbles.
  • Meeting others and care – You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble ( if you are legally permitted to form one), to provide informal childcare for children under 14 as part of a childcare bubble (for example, to enable parents to work, and not to enable social contact between adults), to provide care for disabled or vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, to attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or for respite care where that care is being provided to a vulnerable person or a person with a disability, or is a short break in respect of a looked-after child.
  • Exercise – You can continue to exercise alone, with one other person or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.You should maintain social distancing. See exercising and meeting other people.
  • Medical reasons – You can leave home for a medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies.
  • Harm and compassionate visits – you can leave home to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse). You can also leave home to visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home (if permitted under care home guidance), hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment.
  • Animal welfare reasons – you can leave home for animal welfare reasons, such as to attend veterinary services for advice or treatment.
  • Communal worship and life events – You can leave home to attend or visit a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or event related to a death, a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony. You should follow the guidance on the safe use of places of worship and must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble when attending a place of worship.Weddings, funerals and religious, belief-based or commemorative events linked to someone’s death are all subject to limits on the numbers that can attend, and weddings and civil ceremonies may only take place in exceptional circumstances.

There are further reasonable excuses. For example, you may leave home to fulfil legal obligations or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property, or where it is reasonably necessary for voting in an election or referendum.

 

Can I meet people outside?

You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).

 

 

 

You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

 

 

 

Do these measures affect childcare?

There are several ways that parents and carers can continue to access childcare:

  • Early Years settings (including nurseries and childminders) remain open
  • Vulnerable children and children of critical workers can continue to use registered childcare, childminders and other childcare activities (including wraparound care)
  • parents are able to form a childcare bubble with one other household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is under 14. This is mainly to enable parents to work, and must not be used to enable social contact between adults
  • some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble
  • nannies will be able to continue to provide services, including in the home
 
What about grandparents, i.e nan and grandad, who help with childcare?

Grandparents who live in the same household, i.e. nan and grandad, can link with one other household so that the parents of the children can work.

You can only link with one other household at any time- for example two sets of grandparents who live in different households can not provide childcare for the same set of grandchildren.

If you are a grandparent and you have different sets of grandchildren who live in different households, you will need to choose one set of grandchildren from one household to provide childcare for.

What are the changes for businesses and venues?
Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to close can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts,fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses.
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
  • animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
  • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes
  • community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services

Some of these businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities. A full list of exemptions can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • education and training – for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision
  • childcare purposes and supervised activities for those children eligible to attend
  • hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
  • to provide medical treatment
  • for elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
  • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
  • for the purposes of film and TV filming

 

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 secure guidelines. Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. The full list of these businesses can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
  • businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
  • petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical and dental services
  • vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
  • animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
  • agricultural supplies shops
  • mobility and disability support shops
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • outdoor playgrounds
  • outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
  • places of worship
  • crematoriums and burial grounds

 

 

Do these measures affect access to education?

Schools and Colleges

Colleges, primary (reception onwards) and secondary schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term.

The Government has stated that they do not think it is possible for all exams in the summer to go ahead as planned. They will accordingly be working with Ofqual to consult rapidly to put in place alternative arrangements that will allow students to progress fairly.

Public exams and vocational assessments scheduled to take place in January will go ahead as planned.

 

 

Universities

Those students who are undertaking training and study for the following courses should return to face to face learning as planned and be tested twice, upon arrival or self-isolate for ten days:

  • Medicine & dentistry
  • Subjects allied to medicine/health
  • Veterinary science
  • Education (initial teacher training)
  • Social work
  • Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled (your university will notify you if this applies to you).

Students who do not study these courses should remain where they are wherever possible, and start their term online, as facilitated by their university until at least Mid-February. This includes students on other practical courses not on the list above.

The Government has previously published guidance to universities and students on how students can return safely to higher education in the spring term. This guidance sets out how they will support higher education providers to enable students that need to return to do so as safely as possible following the winter break.

If you live at university, you should not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time.

For those students who are eligible for face to face teaching, you can meet in groups of more than your household as part of your formal education or training, where necessary. Students should expect to follow the guidance and restrictions. You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with wherever possible.

 

 

 

 

Does my child need to wear a face covering at school?

Unless exempt, in education settings where students in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by staff, visitors and students when moving around in corridors and communal areas.

Schools and colleges will remain open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers. 

What are the changes to travel?

 

You must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes). If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall. The list of reasons you can leave your home and area include, but are not limited to:

  • work, where you cannot reasonably work from home
  • accessing education and for caring responsibilities
  • visiting those in your support bubble – or your childcare bubble for childcare
  • visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
  • buying goods or services that you need, but this should be within your local area wherever possible
  • outdoor exercise. This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)
  • attending the care and exercise of an animal, or veterinary services

If you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practice social distancing while you travel.

Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble. See the guidance on car sharing.

If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance.

International travel

You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.

If you do need to travel overseas (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.

UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.

Foreign nationals are subject to the ‘Stay at Home’ regulations. You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted. This means you must not go on holiday.

If you are visiting the UK, you may return home. You should check whether there are any restrictions in place at your destination.

Staying away from home overnight

You cannot leave your home or the place where you are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed.

This includes staying in a second home or caravan, if that is not your primary residence. This also includes staying with anyone who you don’t live with unless they’re in your support bubble.

You are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you:

  • are visiting your support bubble
  • are unable to return to your main residence
  • need accommodation while moving house
  • need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event
  • require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services
  • are a child requiring accommodation for school or care
  • are homeless, seeking asylum, a vulnerable person seeking refuge, or if escaping harm (including domestic abuse)
  • are an elite athlete or their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside of the home for training or competition

If you are already on holiday, you should return to your home as soon as practical.

Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main residence, use that guest accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing. A full list of reasons can be found in theguidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England.

Accommodation providers are also encouraged to work cooperatively with local authorities to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups, including the homeless.

 

 

Are there restrictions on weddings, civil partnerships and funerals?

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance, and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious, belief based or ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance. Anyone working is not counted in these limits. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

Arrangements for Halton’s Crematorium/Cemeteries: The maximum capacity in the crematorium chapel is 16 people, additional mourners may stand outside the chapel and away from the graveside but they must social distancing guidelines. A maximum of 6 people will be allowed at the immediate graveside, for example you can have up to a maximum of six coffin bearers.

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 6 people. Anyone working is not counted in these limits. These should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.

Places of worship you can attend places of worship for a service. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should maintain strict social distancing at all times. You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.

Please stay at home where possible, a free webcast service is available for all cremations.

Can I go to the gym, gym class, leisure centre or a swimming pool?

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close, this includes leisure centres and gyms and sports facilities including swimming pools. Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools must also close.

Halton Borough Council leisure centres are closed. A programme of online fitness classes will be available. More information at www.activehalton.co.uk.

Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue.

Can I have someone in my house (or go into someone’s house) to do repairs or other work?

 

Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. The full list of these businesses can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, this list includes businesses primarily providing repair services.

The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must close. It is prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes.

What is a support bubble?

You have to meet certain eligibility rules to form a support bubble. This means not everyone will be able to form a bubble.

A support bubble is a support network which links two households. You can form a support bubble with another household of any size only if you meet the eligibility rules.

It is against the law to form a support bubble if you do not follow these rules.

You are permitted to leave your home to visit your support bubble (and to stay overnight with them). However, if you form a support bubble, it is best if this is with a household who live locally. This will help prevent the virus spreading from an area where more people are infected.

There is separate guidance for support bubbles and childcare bubbles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a childcare bubble?

If you live in a household with anyone aged under 14, you can form a childcare bubble. This allows friends or family from one other household to provide informal childcare.

You must not meet socially with your childcare bubble, and must avoid seeing members of your childcare and support bubbles at the same time.

What support is available for clinically and extremely vulnerable residents?

If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you should reduce social contacts as much as possible. You will minimise your risk of infection if you limit all your contacts, particularly with people that you do not live with.

However, if you feel it is essential, you can maintain an existing childcare bubble, or form a new one as per the guidance on changing your bubble. This is a personal choice and should be balanced against the increased risk of infection.

Those defined, on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus are people with specific serious health conditions.

While most clinically extremely vulnerable people in Halton will have in place arrangements through friends, family or volunteers, for things like shopping and collecting medication, the Council is still able to provide support and advice for those who really need it.

If you need help you should call 0151 907 8363 (8am to 6pm).

More information on support available can be found at www.onehalton.uk/shieldedsupport

 

 

Can I move home?

Yes you can still move home. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

 

Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings.

Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing, letting fresh air in, and wearing a face covering.

 

 

How do I book a test if I have symptoms?

If you HAVE symptoms; 

You need to get tested as soon as possible.

You can book online here or by calling NHS 119. You will then be invited to a test site – or you can order a home test kit if you can’t get to a test site.

How do I get a test if I DO NOT have symptoms?

If you DO NOT have symptoms;

You can visit either of the centres below during the opening times, but please remember, these sites are only for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

 

Grangeway Community Centre

Grangeway, Runcorn, WA7 5LY

Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm

Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm


​Ditton Community Centre

Dundalk Road, Widnes WA8 8DF

Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm

Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm

 

 

Click here to find out more about SMART testing.

Click here for FAQs about SMART testing.

 

 

I have symptoms, does the rest of my household need to book a test?

If someone in your household starts to have symptoms, then that person must get tested and the rest of the household should self-isolate with them whilst they wait for the results.

It is very important that people with symptoms and their household members self-isolate before the test and until they receive their results.

It is now an offence to fail to self-isolate.

You may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support payment of £500. If you have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for Coronavirus Covid-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period:​ ​apply online or see support for individuals section here.

Do I need to self-isolate even though my test result was negative?

A negative result means the test did not find coronavirus.

You do not need to self-isolate if your test is negative, as long as:

  • Everyone you live with (or your support bubble) who has symptoms tests negative
  • You were not told to self-isolate for 1 days by NHS Test and Trace
  • If you feel well – if you feel unwell, stay at home until you’re feeling better.

Full guidance on self-isolating can be found on the Government’s website here.

Where do I find information on infection rates?

You can see the latest data for Halton in the COVID-19 data section here.

Or you can find information (including data for your post code area) on the Government’s website here

Support for businesses

Liverpool City Region Local Business Support Grant February 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Liverpool City Region economy.  As a direct response to the new measures imposed by Government and the challenges that businesses are facing under the national lockdown, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has created a new fund called the Liverpool City Region Local Business Support Grant.  The Local Business Support Grant will be administered by each of the six local authorities that form the Combined Authority, namely Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

An initial “window” will open for receipt of applications for the Local Business Support Grant will open for applications from 10.00 am on Wednesday 10 February 2021 and CLOSE at 5.00 pm on Friday 26 February 2021

It is the applicant’s responsibility to complete the application form and attach the required evidence.  We will not be able to chase individual businesses for supporting information if it is not included in the original application.  Incomplete applications will not be appraised. An application made during the ‘grant application window’ does not guarantee approval for payment.  Complete and compliant applications will be appraised in order of receipt by the local authority.

ELIGIBILITY

  • All businesses must be a small or micro business (as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006) and be able to accept the grant under State Aid rules (see sections 4, 5 and 9 of the guidance notes).
  • All businesses must still be trading on 1 February 2021 i.e. continuing to trade with a view to making a profit or surplus (i.e. not a dormant company).
  • No business may make a claim against more than one category of the Local Business Support Grant
  • All businesses must be based in the Liverpool city region and have been trading on or before 31 October 2020.
  • All businesses must employ 1 or more people (a sole director, or self-employed counts as 1 staff employee).
  • A business is not eligible if it has previously received a Hospitality and Leisure Grant from Round 1 or Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grant (Expanded Scheme) Round 2; or has received or is eligible for a Taxi Driver’s Grant or a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) from its Local Authority.
  • A business is not eligible if it has been subject to Covid-19, environmental health or planning enforcement prosecution (by the Police or any other authority) since 1 April 2020

CATEGORIES OF BUSINESS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY (for full details see guidance notes)

  1. Businesses that have been ordered to close (as from 5 January 2021), are not in the business rates system, are based in commercial premises, and not eligible for Local Restrictions Grant (Closed).
  2. Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector or supply chain that either pay business rates or have commercial property related costs.
  3. Self-employed / sole trader / home based business (that predominantly works in or supplies the hospitality and leisure sectors) / licensed market trader
  4. Businesses in any sector that can demonstrate a loss of at least 40% in sales/revenue due to Covid-19 (including self-employed / sole trader / home-based businesses). The grant funding in this category aims to help small and micro businesses in any sector that are not eligible for other grant schemes and that are struggling with a loss of sales/revenue in the current financial year due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.  For the purposes of this scheme (which is funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant or Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)), a business is considered to be trading if it is engaged in business activity.  This is interpreted as where the primary purpose is “carrying on a trade or profession or buying and selling goods or services in order to generate turnover”.  To evidence the loss in sales/revenue of at least 40% and to show trading on or before 31 October 2020, a statement from a qualified, independent accountant using the attached proforma letter is required from businesses applying under category d only.

Rationale for Requesting an Accountant’s Letter

It has been decided to request an accountant’s letter from those businesses applying under Category d in order to help avoid fraud and to speed up the process of sending grants to eligible businesses.

Finding an Accountant

Many businesses will already use a suitably qualified accountant.  Applicants who do not have an accountant may wish to approach one via a professional accountancy organisation. or simply by searching on the internet.  Please refer to the proforma letter for the types of qualifications expected of an accountant.

GRANT PAYMENTS

The aim is that the funding will reach applicants within 10 working days of an application being approved, with payment by BACS (a BACS payment can take up to 3 days to be received). 

BUSINESSES IN COMMERCIAL PREMISES

A RATEABLE VALUE (RV) OR EQUIVALENT ANNUAL RENT VALUE

GRANT VALUES

SELF EMPLOYED, HOME BASED, SOLE TRADER, LICENSED MARKET TRADER

RV up to £15K

£6,000

 

RV £15,001 to £51K

£9,000

 

RV Over £51K

£13,500

 

   

£3,750

CHECKLIST FOR APPLICANTS

You must provide information and documents to support your grant application, so the checklist is to be used to help you gather the information BEFORE you start to complete the online application form.

It is essential that you read the Guidance Notes and Checklist

You must complete the online application form in one session as it cannot be saved.  Any missing or incorrect information will delay the appraisal and payment process.

IMPORTANT

You may encounter problems using the ‘Safari’ web browser.  We recommend that you use Chrome, Edge or Internet Explorer.

Apply Now https://lcrbusinessgrants.mendixcloud.com/link/round3

National Lockdown support for businesses

From the 5th January 2021 the country entered a National Lockdown and non-essential businesses have been mandated to close due to lockdown restrictions.

A full list of business mandated to close is available at  gov.uk.

Businesses which have been mandated to close can apply for a business support grant for the period of National lockdown depending on their rateable value.

Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or below are eligible for £667 per fortnight.

Business with a rateable value above £15,000 and below £51,000 are eligible for £1,000 per fortnight.

Businesses of £51,000 and over are eligible for £1,500 per fortnight.

As National Lockdown will last from 5th January 2021 – 15th February 2021 one payment will be made to cover the 42 day per period. The Council is awaiting further guidance from Government on grant support post 15 February, further updates will be provided here as and when the guidance is received.

Government have also announced a one of lump sum payment to help support effected businesses. This payment will be made in addition to the Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed) Addendum detailed above.

The Closed Business Lockdown Payment will be an additional lump sum payment as detailed below.

  • Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or below are eligible a lump sum payment of £4,000.
  • Business with a rateable value above £15,000 and below £51,000 are eligible for a lump sum payment of £6,000.
  • Businesses of £51,000 and over are eligible for a lump sum payment of £9,000.

Each of the above grants will be paid per hereditament and separate applications will need to be submitted should you be claiming for more than one premises. By completing an application you will be applying for both support grants.

Please complete and return the only application form to apply for the support grants.

STATE AID

The Local Restrictions Support Grant counts towards state aid. The rules are fully explained in the government state aid guidance https://www.gov.uk/guidance/state-aid. By accepting this grant you must confirm that you are not in breach of these rules.

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.

Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs

The Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs covering the period  supports pubs that predominantly serve alcohol rather than provide food and have been severely impacted over the festive season due to temporary local restrictions. This one of payment covers wet-led pubs which have been impacted by local restrictions for the period 2nd December – 29th December 2020.

Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of £1,000 from their local council in areas under Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions.

To qualify, a pub must:

  • be located within a Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions area for all or part of the period between 2nd and 29th December 2020
  • have been trading on 30 November 2020 (or prior to when the recent local / national restrictions come into force) for Halton this was 14th October 2020
  • meet the definition of a pub
  • derive less than 50% of its income from the sale of food
  • not exceed state aid limits
  • not be in administration, insolvent or have a striking-off notice issued against

Exclusions – The government has determined that the following venues are not eligible for support under this scheme: restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, hotels, snack bars, guesthouses, boarding houses, sporting venues, music venues, festival sites, theatres, museums, exhibition halls, cinemas, concert halls and casinos.

You can apply online for Christmas Support Payment for Wet-led pubs

PRIVACY NOTICE: Halton Borough Council is the Data Controller for the personal information you provide. You can view the full privacy notice

OTHER BUSINESS SUPPORT

The main source of information for all business support during the coronavirus crisis remains the UK Government web site at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support 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.

Support for individuals

Council Tax Support & Welfare Advice & Self Isolation Support Payments

​From 28th September 2020, you may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support payment of £500. If you have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for Coronavirus Covid-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period:​ ​apply online

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

 

Essential bills advice

The Government updated the advice for those in difficulty with utility bills, or repayment commitments on credit cards, loans and mortgages, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Mortgages and Coronavirus

If you’re struggling to keep up with mortgage repayments due to coronavirus, or you’re coming to the end of a payment holiday and wondering what happens next, find out what your next steps may be.

 

 

Mental Health & Well Being

 

Useful sources of information, advice and guidance

 

Halton Local Offer COVID-19 page

Support for clinically and extremely vulnerable

At all local Tiers we urge you to continue to access the care and support you need. You should continue to access NHS services, and you should contact the NHS if you have an urgent or emergency care need

The rules at Tier 3: Very High apply to everyone and state that you can only meet friends and family who are not in your household or support bubble in certain outdoor public spaces. You can find a list of these places in the Tier 3: Very High guidance.

At Tier 3: Very High, we still advise clinically extremely vulnerable people to continue to go outside for exercise, but to avoid busy areas to minimise the chance of coming into close contact with others. Otherwise, we advise you to stay at home as much as possible.

You may want to maintain social distance within your household if practical.

Work and education

As a general principle, working from home reduces the chance of you being exposed to the virus.

Where possible you are advised to work from home, because the rate of transmission of the virus in your area may be very high.

If you cannot work from home, and are concerned about going into work, you may want to speak to your employer about taking on an alternative role or change your working patterns temporarily (for example, to avoid travelling in rush hour).

If there is no alternative, you can still go to work. Your employer is required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. Your employer should be able to explain to you the measures they have put in place to keep you safe at work.

Where some employers are not managing the risk of coronavirus, the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities will take action which can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply with enforcement notices, this could lead to prosecution.

If you have concerns about your health and safety at work you can raise them with your workplace union, the Health and Safety Executive or your local authority.

If you cannot make alternative arrangements, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021. You should have a conversation with your employer about whether this is possible.

All pupils and students should continue to attend education settings at all local tiers unless they are one of the very small number of pupils or students under paediatric or other NHS care and have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend an education setting. Children and young people whose parents or carers are clinically extremely vulnerable should also continue to attend education settings.

Travel

At Tier 3: Very High, everyone may continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, as well as for work or to access education. However, everyone should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make and should avoid travel into or out of a Tier 3 area.

In general, we advise clinically extremely vulnerable people to stay at home as much as possible.

Going to shops and pharmacies

You are advised to significantly reduce your shopping trips including to pharmacies. Where possible, you should consider shopping online. If you do need to go to the shops, try to do so at quieter times and maintain strict social distancing.

You are advised to ask people in your household or support bubble to collect food and medicines for you. If you need more help with accessing food or medicines, NHS Volunteer Responders are still available to assist you.

You can register to request access to priority supermarket deliveries, if you do not have someone you can rely on to go shopping for you. If you have already got priority supermarket deliveries, you will keep them. When registering you will be asked for your NHS number. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you, or on a prescription.

Registering on the site just gives you priority. It does not mean you’ll definitely get a delivery slot. If you want priority supermarket deliveries, you will also need to set up an account with at least one supermarket and book slots yourself.

If you require additional care and support

You should continue to receive care at home, either from professional social care and medical professionals, or from friends and family within your support bubble.

You should continue to access the NHS services that you need, and you should contact the NHS if you have an urgent or emergency care need.

If you need other forms of help, including support to register for priority supermarket deliveries, you should contact us directly. 

Click here for more information.

While most clinically extremely vulnerable people in Halton will have in place arrangements through friends, family or volunteers, for things like shopping and collecting medication, the Council is still able to provide support and advice for those who really need it.

If you need help you should call 0151 907 8363 (8am to 6pm).

More information on support available can be found at www.onehalton.uk/shieldedsupport

Become a volunteer

 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

Covid Data
  • There have been 219 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Halton residents in the last 7 days (to 15th February).  
  • The 7 day rate is 169.2 per 100,000 population or 1 in every 591 people (to 15th February).
  • Our weekly rate of positive cases has decreased during the past week.
  • In total there have been 11,382 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Halton residents (as of 18th February).
  • The percentage of people testing positive has decreased from this time last week, and was 8.4% as of 13th February.
  • Sadly, there were 16 COVID-19 deaths in the week ending 5th February.

 

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

[ii] Source: Office for National Statistics

 

 

Vaccinations:

 

The weekly number of COVID-19 vaccinations provided by the NHS in England is available at a regional level here.

 

For NHS Halton CCG this number (for the period 8 December to 14 February) is:

 

 

1st dose

2nd dose

Cumulative Total Doses to Date

Under 70

70+

Under 70

70+

NHS Halton CCG

       15,263

         15,702

               350

            1,676

               32,991