There are a few common questions people in Tameside have been asking and here are a few answers that might help…
Q.When am I allowed to leave the house during the current restrictions in place ?
A. The government says we can only leave our homes –
1.To exercise once a day – either alone, or with members of your household.”Stay local” and use open spaces near home for exercise, where possible
2.Shopping for basic necessities, although this should be done as little as possible
3.Medical need, or to provide care for a vulnerable person
4.Travel to or from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary
If you have to go outside you must stay more than 2m (6ft) apart from others.
Q.Who shouldn’t go out at all?
A.Vulnerable groups that should not be going out include:
Certain types of cancer patients
Organ transplant patients
People with certain genetic diseases
People with serious respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis and severe chronic bronchitis
People receiving certain drug treatments which suppress the immune system
Pregnant women with heart disease
The government says it will work with local authorities, supermarkets and the armed forces to ensure they get supplies of essential food and medicines.
Q. What shops are still open in our towns ?
A. The shops allowed to open include:
• Supermarkets and other food shops (This includes stores such as B&M & Home Bargains that retail food items and local market food stalls)
• Medical services (such as opticians and audiology clinics, physiotherapy clinics, chirpody and podiatry clinics, and other professional vocational medical services)
• Pharmacies and chemists, including non-dispensing pharmacies
• Petrol stations
• Bicycle shops
• Hardware shops and equipment, plant and tool hire
• Veterinary surgeries and pet shops
• Agricultural supplies shops
• Corner shops and newsagents
• Off-licences and licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries
• Laundrettes and dry cleaners
• Post offices
• Vehicle rental services
• Car garages and MOT services
• High street banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points
• Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off points where they are on the premises of any of the above businesses
• Shopping centres may stay open but only units of the types listed above may trade.
Please be aware that social distancing will be in operation and you may need to queue safely to enter the above venues if required.
Q. Are we voting in the Local Elections this May ?
A. This years local elections have been postponed to 2021
Q. What is the opening times for the Recycling Centres in Tameside ?
A. All local recycling centres have been closed until further notice. Please do not fly tip your waste. Do not leave any of your waste beside street bins and recycling banks, on the floor of communal bin areas, outside closed recycling centres and charity shops
Q. Can I take my dog out for walks as normal ?
A. Walking your dog should be part of your allowed time to exercise during the current advice. Ensure your keep your required distance from other people when you walk the dog or exercise.
Q. With Tameside Council offices closed where do I go to enquire about council services?
A. For council tax enquiries please call 0161 342 2015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For housing benefit enquiries please call 0161 342 3708 between 8.30am and 1.30pm or email email@example.com
For any other council enquiries please telephone 0161 342 8355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Foodbank vouchers can be requested by emailing email@example.com or by calling the welfare rights advice line on 0800 074 9985 between 9.30am and 12.30pm Monday to Friday.
Q. Can I catch the virus when I’m shopping ?
A. Going shopping and mixing with other people does carry a risk. That is why social distancing – keeping at least 2m (about 6ft) from others – is so important, and many shops are enforcing it.There are ways to offset these risks:
Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, or with alcohol-based hand sanitiser before and after shopping
Treat surfaces as if they may be contaminated, meaning you avoid touching your face after handling shopping trollies, baskets, packages and produce Use contactless payment methods.
Q. Is there a time limit on how long we can be outside for once-a-day exercise?
A. The government made no indication of time to exercise but most people are judging upto an hour to be enough.
Q. The MOT is due to run out on my car, what should i do ?
A.Your car, van or motorcycle’s MOT expiry date will be extended by 6 months if it’s due on or after 30 March 2020 – but you must keep your vehicle safe to drive.
Q. Will the restrictions be lifted on April 13th ?
A. The government will review the situation on Easter Monday and decide if the restrictions will remain. Following guidelines to stay at home will ensure the restrictions are in force for as little time as possible to help the NHS and save lives.
Q. Can I visit my local library ?
A. Tameside Libraries are closed. During this period libraries will still provide the following services:
Access to digital services, which includes e-books, e-audio books, digital magazines and newspapers, and other online resources.
Access to your library account online. From this you can renew any items, manage your reservations, and change personal details.
Telephone enquiry service. You can get help and advice with your information or library enquiries by phoning Ashton Library on 0161 342 2029 or 0161 342 2031 Monday to Friday 8.30am-5pm. You can also renew your library items over the phone.
Email enquiry service. You can get help and advice with your information or library enquiries by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are not currently a library member but wish to join you can do this by completing the online application form on the website or by telephoning Ashton library.
Keep safe Tameside and we will make it through this challenging period. Thank you to Tameside Council, our local NHS and those in the care sector.
Answers courtesy: HM Government/Tameside Council/NHS/BBC