Manchester will maintain some measures when Plan B ends, council says


Some local restrictions will stay in place when Plan B measures are lifted across the country tomorrow (January 27), according to Manchester council.

Schools and universities across the city are expected to continue requiring students to wear face coverings while in corridors – but not in classrooms.

The local authority is also asking people to continue wearing face coverings in crowded spaces and on public transport even when it is no longer compulsory.

READ MORE: Face masks encouraged in public with Plan B restrictions ending tomorrow

It comes as mandatory mask-wearing on public transport and in shops, work-from-home guidance and the need for Covid passes are set to be scrapped.

However, Manchester’s director of public health David Regan said there is a ‘disconnect’ between some of the national messaging and the local approach.

He said: “We’re taking a very pragmatic approach. We’ve already been in really good dialogue with our universities, for example, who are going to retain a lot of the mask-wearing measures on campus and when moving about.

“And we’ll also be supporting our schools around wearing masks in communal areas. This is advice and support we give to schools, but our schools have always been really receptive.

“We’re just trying, while we’ve got these really high rates, certainly until half term, to limit the onward transmission.

“Because as we know, if our primary school children are affected and it goes back into the household, that affects our health and social care workforce.

“We’re trying to make sure, at a local level – and this is across Greater Manchester – we retain some mitigation measures that will help with limiting the spread.”

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It comes as the Covid infection rate continues to rise among primary school age children despite falling dramatically in the rest of the city’s population.

The overall Covid infection rate in Manchester at the moment is 799 cases per 100,000 people during the most recent seven days for which data is available.

For over-60s, the infection rate was 423 falls per 100,000 in the same period.

However, most of the new Covid cases are among children aged five to 10.

Deputy council leader Joanna Midgley addressed the residents of the city at a health and wellbeing board which she chaired this morning (January 26).

Joseph Timan, Local Democracy Reporter for Salford and Wigan at the Manchester Evening News

Jo is a Local Democracy Reporter covering councils, the NHS and other local authorities in Manchester and Greater Manchester. He has previously covered local government in Bolton, Bury, Salford and Wigan.

You can read more of his stories here and follow him on social media on Facebook or Twitter.

If you want to contact Jo directly, you can email him at [email protected]

She said: “As the restrictions end tomorrow, as a city we want to try and encourage people to continue wearing masks in crowded spaces on public transport and to get that message across about looking out for each other, caring about each other.

“Because it isn’t over and there are lots of vulnerable people out there that we need to look after and care for. That’s our message for the city of Manchester.”

Anyone experiencing Covid symptoms should take a PCR test immediately.

The legal requirement to self-isolate for at least five full days after testing positive for Covid – including through a lateral flow test – will remain in place.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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