Local restrictions are set to change in parts of the Greater Manchester region, it has been revealed today.
All nine boroughs have been subjected to tighter measures since the end of July, and whilst these guidelines are will remain intact in many towns – some changes are being made to the worst and least affected areas.
Here’s what’s been happening in a nutshell.
The Government is set to release Wigan from the restrictions currently imposed on Greater Manchester.
Out of all GM boroughs, Wigan has recorded the lowest number of positive tests by some distance.
The Health Secretary has obliged, which means Wigan residents will once again be able to mix with other households both indoors and outdoors.
Restrictions will be lifted on Wednesday 26 August.
A GMCA spokesperson said it was “right” that the Government has lifted the restrictions for Wigan “given the consistently low infection rate.”
They warned: “The situation remains challenging and everyone in Greater Manchester must continue to observe social distancing, handwashing as well as wearing a face covering in indoor spaces.”
Oldham, meanwhile, has narrowly evaded a local lockdown – but restrictions have been tightened.
Whilst cases have gone down in the past week, the town continues to have one of the highest infection rates in the UK.
From today, residents are being warned to:
not socialise with anyone from outside their household indoors or outdoors
not use public transport unless it is an essential trip
keep weddings, civil partnerships and funerals limited to 20 people with only household members and close family in attendance
Restaurants in the area are also being told to stop walk-ins and encourage every customer to book ahead.
A GMCA spokesperson said: “Greater Manchester’s Leaders main objective this week was to avoid a local lockdown in Oldham so we are glad we have been able to agree this with the Government.
“We have all been concerned about the situation in Oldham and this is why we have sought to work in partnership both with the local council and the Government to agree the most suitable and effective measures, as set out by Oldham Council.
“Increased measures to restrict the mixing of households are a much more sensible approach than local lockdown. We are pleased that the Health Secretary has listened to what Leaders said in their letter to him yesterday.
The ban on meeting other households indoors currently remains intact in every other Greater Manchester borough.
Some reports have suggested the Government could adopt a new approach moving ahead and release individual neighbourhoods upon the recommendations of council leaders and local MPs.
However, the GMCA have stated that the current strategy “is showing signs of progress”.
The combined authority added: “We believe cases will continue to decrease in the borough and across Greater Manchester if we all follow the guidelines and collectively protect the health of everyone in Greater Manchester.”
A further update will be made next week.
Rudy’s is opening a new pizzeria and pizza school in the former Dawson’s Music site
A year on from the initial news that Rudy’s would be taking over the old Dawson’s Music site on Portland Street, bosses behind the chain of neighbourhood pizzerias have finally hinted towards the new site’s opening date.
Revealing it is set to open in Manchester city centre this spring, they also shared the news that the new 8,000sqft location will be home, not just to another restaurant, but also to Rudy’s very own pizza school.
Billed as a ‘world-class destination for pizzaiolo talent’, the new pizza academy will take just over half the space – providing a structured training programme to both experienced pizza chefs and novices. It is set to welcome over 100 pizza chefs in this first year.
The restaurant, meanwhile, will span the rest with room for 120 covers. It will be Rudy’s sixth pizza restaurant in Manchester.
The new location at Portland Street will also be the HQ for Rudy’s Bake at Home, back by popular demand.
Serving the perfect and classic Neapolitan pizza since 2015 from its original Rudy’s in Ancoats, the acclaimed pizzeria has since opened 16 sites across the UK, with the new 120-cover pizzeria in Portland Street being its sixth location in Manchester.
Born out of passion for pizza, Rudy’s follows the authentic Neapolitan tradition of pizza making, serving classic recipes such as Marinara, Margherita and Calabrese – all originating from Naples, the birthplace of pizza.
Rudy’s has been praised by many as one of the best pizzerias in the UK, it is renowned for its consistency and quality in Neapolitan pizza making. On a mission to pave the way in pizza making all accordance to a truly authentic Neapolitan technique, Rudy’s is proud to open Rudy’s Pizza Academy at the new Portland Street location.
Jos Goncalves, manager at Rudy’s Portland Street, said: “We are delighted to announce that our next Rudy’s pizzeria will be located on Manchester’s bustling Portland Street.
Manchester has been home to the Rudy’s famiglia since we first opened in Ancoats in 2015, and we can’t wait to open our latest pizzeria, with the addition of our first Pizza Academy in the city this spring”.
Featured image – Rudy’s
Watch as Ed Sheeran debuts new music for the first time ever at ‘intimate’ Manchester gig
Now normally, when an artist chooses to take some brand new material out on tour for the first time, they’ll test the waters with a few intimate shows.
Just recently, we’ve had both Fall Out Boy and Blossoms at Band on the Wall, The 1975 at Gorilla, and Jason Manford in a beer garden.
But for Ed Sheeran, his idea of ‘intimate’ is… the AO Arena. That super cosy 21,000-capacity venue. Ah.
After selling out FOUR nights at the Etihad Stadium last summer, though, the chance to see Ed on stage in an arena again is a novel one, and it sold out the venue in minutes.
The ‘Shape of You’ singer announced this surprise arena tour just weeks before he took to the stage, in support of his upcoming sixth album Subtract.
This mini tour kicked off in Manchester last night – meaning our city got to hear new track ‘Eyes Closed’ live for the first time ever.
You can watch the highlights from Ed Sheeran at the AO Arena in the video below