A number of essential retail and hospitality outlets have remained open in two of the region’s largest shopping centres under Tier 4 restrictions.
Greater Manchester was placed into Tier 4 restrictions following the second official review of the UK government’s system last Wednesday, which has seen all Greater Manchester residents told to “stay at home” and not leave / be outside of their home except for specific purposes.
All hospitality and non-essential retail has thus closed – except for takeaway, drive-through or delivery services – as well as all indoor leisure and entertainment venues having closed too.
But a selection of businesses in Manchester Arndale and the Trafford Centre have remained open.
This “partial opening” of the two shopping centres is permitted under Tier 4 restrictions to provide visitors with a range of services deemed essential.
Manchester Arndale is currently open to provide access to a number of essential retail services.
Additionally, a selection of retailers have also chosen to provide a Click & Collect service, and a number of food outlets are also offering takeaway and delivery services in line with Tier 4 regulations, with the mall asking shoppers to consume takeaway food and drink outside the centre as sitting inside the centre is not permitted.
Shoppers are encouraged to check the website of the stores they wish to visit as opening times may vary.
In line with government guidelines, visitors are required to wear face coverings upon entry to the centre, and in all stores and communal areas throughout, except fo those with medical conditions and disabilities who are exempt to the rule, along with children under the age of 11.
Customers will also be required to wear face coverings when ordering takeaway food and drink from shops.
The list of shops and hospitality businesses currently open in Manchester Arndale are:
Apple (Click & Collect)
Argos (Click & Collect)
Cafe Nero (Takeaway Only)
Chopstix (Takeaway Only)
Costa Market Street & Winter Garden (Takeaway Only)
Currys PC World (Click & Collect)
Euro Change Lower & Upper Mall
Five Guys (Takeaway Only)
Greggs Lower & Upper Mall (Takeaway Only)
Hasty Tasty (Takeaway Only)
Holland & Barrett
Krispy Kreme (Takeaway Only)
KFC (Takeaway Only)
Lush (Click & Collect)
McDonalds (Takeaway Only)
Nespresso (Click & Collect)
Next (Click & Collect)
Over the Rainbow
Pandora (Click & Collect)
Starbucks (Takeaway Only)
Subway Upper Mall (Takeaway Only)
Taco Bell (Takeaway Only)
Vodafone (Takeaway Only)
You can find more information via the Manchester Arndale website here.
The Trafford Centre is also “partially open” as Greater Manchester kicks off the new year in Tier 4.
The shopping centre will be giving customers access to essential services including pharmacies, opticians and the M&S Foodhall, and several food outlets will also be staying open to offer takeaway, as well as Click & Collect, and virtual services.
Mirroring that of Manchester Arndale and according to government regulations, face coverings must be worn at all times – unless exempt – and all food and drink must be consumed outside the centre.
Opening times of each store may vary.
A statement on the Trafford Centre website writes: “We’ve always put the safety of visitors and staff first and we’d like to say an enormous thank you to our customers for doing their part and our amazing staff for keeping The Trafford Centre clean and safe.”
The list of shops and hospitality businesses currently open in the Trafford Centre are:
Holland and Barrett
Frankie & Benny’s
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Three entrances to the Trafford Centre will remain open in Tier 4 – the lower entrance next to Debenhams, the entrance next to Namco Funscape, and the lower entrance next to John Lewis.
You can find more information via the Trafford Centre website here.
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Iceland is giving pensioners £30 food vouchers to help with cost of living crisis
Iceland is giving pensioners in Greater Manchester vouchers worth £30 to help with food and essentials amid the rising cost of living crisis.
With inflation now at a 40-year UK high and the rising cost of living crisis continuing to make it its impact felt nationwide, Iceland has partnered with The Rothesay Foundation to launch a new voucher scheme aimed at supporting pension-aged people following the release of findings from a shocking new study.
According to The Rothesay Foundation, research by Age UK showed that 1.7 million pensioners were living in poverty in 2020/2021 – which is 15% of all pensioners.
On top of that, it’s thought that more than 770,000 pensioner households- either single people, or couples – are also missing out on Pension Credit payments too, which are worth around £1.5 billion every year.
So to help lessen the financial burden, the discount supermarket retailer has now launched the Summer Cheer campaign with over £1 million of funding from the Rothesay Foundation to provide pensioners with a voucher worth £30 that can be used to buy food and essentials.
It’s expected to help around 40,000 pensioners across the UK save on their shopping.
The voucher scheme is running up until 16 September, and additionally, it can be used in conjunction with the 10% discount for people over 60 that’s already available every Tuesday with valid ID.
Iceland’s Summer Cheer £30 voucher scheme will be available at 269 shops in 17 areas across the UK where there are said to be the “highest numbers of pensioners living in material deprivation in the country,” according to The Rothesay Foundation – and Greater Manchester has been highlighted as one of those areas.
“Since the launch of the partnership last Christmas, the cost-of-living crisis has taken hold of the UK, and now more than ever, people are struggling to access the food they need,” explained Richard Walker – Managing Director of Iceland.
“No one should ever have to worry about how they are going to eat or drink, and we hope that the support we can offer across the UK will help pensioners access and enjoy a worry-free meal during this difficult time.”
Who is eligible? And how do I apply?
Those who are eligible to take advantage of the £30 discount voucher scheme up until 16 September are people of pension age who live independently or with a carer, and who rely solely on state pensions and benefits in the UK.
To claim the £30 voucher, those eligible should call the Summer Cheer hotline on 0800 098 7877 from 9am to 5pm between Monday and Friday.
UK told to brace for ‘worst’ wasp invasion in years as heatwave arrives
Brits are being told to brace for an invasion of wasps that could be the “worst for years” ahead of another expected heatwave.
With summer officially here, the sun shining, and temperatures set to get progressively hotter as the days go on, the Met Office is forecasting that another heatwave is set to arrive in the UK this week, and although we’re not likely to see record highs of 40°C again like we saw a couple of weeks ago, it is expected that this period of warm weather will stick around for longer.
Unfortunately though, with that warm weather is set to come an influx of wasps that pest controllers have already warned will likely be “sugar-crazed”.
The wasp population is known to fluctuate year on year dependent on the season and weather changes, and due what has been an increased numbers of the insects throughout the year already thanks to the warm weather, 2022 has been dubbed the ‘Year of the Wasp’.
Wasps build their nests during the spring in trees, attics, and sometimes underground, and this means that if there is bad weather, their homes stand higher risk of being destroyed which decimates their survival rates, however this year, the record-breaking high temperatures combined with less rainfall have instead given wasps the ideal environment to multiply.
Sebastien Pommereul – Manager of Stop Wasps – spoke to BFMTV and explained that: “This year, we are doing between 10 to 12 interventions a day.
“But last year, we were at five.”
Pest controllers say that later months of summer are when wasps can become “sugar-crazed”, as their larva grow into full sized wasps and they need to find a new source of energy – but this is unfortunately when many of us will be spending more time outside.
As well as warnings by pest controllers, medics have also issued fresh advice to those of us who end up unlucky enough to be stung by a wasp this summer, with the NHS stating: “Insect bites and stings will usually cause a red, swollen lump to develop on the skin. This may be painful and in some cases can be very itchy.
“The symptoms will normally improve within a few hours or days, although sometimes they can last a little longer.”
They say it’s vital to pluck out the stinger left in the flesh immediately as it’s packed with venom.
After removing the sting – which can be scraped away from the skin, but never with tweezers – it’s advised that you should wash the affected area with soap and water, reduce swelling by applying ice or a cold compress for up to 10 minutes, and avoid scratching the area to reduce the risk of infection.
The NHS website states: “Dial 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone else has symptoms of a severe reaction, as emergency treatment in hospital is needed in these cases.”