Message to members from the Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux 22nd February 2021

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covid 19 Member briefing
Roadmap out of lockdown
The government has announced a four-point plan to lift the coronavirus lockdown.

Under the timeline the first changes will see a return to schools in two weeks time and up to six people or two households will be allowed to meet outdoors.

The first date of note is 8 March when all schools will open with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed. Recreation in a public space will also be allowed between two people, meaning they would be allowed to sit down for a coffee, drink or picnic.

The next milestone is 29 March when outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen and organised adult and children’s sport, such as grassroots football, will also return.

Restrictions will be eased step-by-step across the whole of England, avoiding a return to the previous system of regional tiers.

The government has stressed that four tests must be continuously met for the country to progress to the next stage. They are:

1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
4. Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.

We will continue to analyse the data locally and hope to see continued drops in infection rates so the borough can reopen safely. In the meantime we encourage residents to stay at home unless for essential reasons until there are any changes.

Everyone can also continue to play their part by following the three W’s – watch your distance, wash your hands regularly and wear a face covering unless you have a medical exemption.
Haigh Hall hearing
 Members will recall that a break notice was served in 2019 to the occupier of Haigh Hall. The subsequent legal proceedings have now reached a court hearing stage.

While the case is heard, for legal reasons, we are unable to comment any further but we will provide updates as soon as it is possible.
500 days to go
 Next year will hopefully see another big sporting tournament welcomed to the borough with yesterday marking 500 days to go until Leigh Sports Village hosts UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.

Four games, including a quarter-final clash, are scheduled to take place at the stadium in Leigh.

With the competition set to be the largest ever women’s EURO to date, we want to ensure the tournament acts as a catalyst for new teams and facilities in the borough with lots more girls encouraged to take part.

New branding has been released to celebrate the rescheduled tournament with Wigan Borough one of the host cities that will welcome some of the best female football players in the world.

UEFA’s new ticketing portal is now open for fans to register for early access to tickets and stay up to date on all the latest information ahead of next year’s finals. 
Sign-up for information on tickets here
Q&A with Prof Kate Ardern
 Professor Kate Ardern is holding another live Covid-19 Q&A this Thursday. Questions can be submitted through a post on our Facebook channel.

Questions must be submitted before 5pm on Wednesday 24 February but if people do miss the cut off then Prof Ardern will take a few live questions on the night.
Submit a question here
Regards,
Councillor David Molyneux, Leader of Wigan Council.