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Advice on Coronavirus COVID-19

We'll use this page to share all the latest from us on Coronavirus COVID-19. Click or tap on the tabs towards the bottom of the page to view any previous messages we've shared. 

Please be mindful that Government guidance is subject to change.

Please click here for the latest Government guidance on Coronavirus COVID-19.

(Wednesday 8 September 2021) More in-person activities taking place and support available if you need it from 13 September

Following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in July, we’ve gradually been reopening more of our non-emergency services. We’re now pleased to confirm further positive changes taking place from Monday 13 September 2021.

Here’s a summary:

 

UCAN centres

You can continue to get support from our UCAN centre teams by phone or via their popular Facebook pages if you prefer, but you’ll now have the option to visit us again.

We’ll open most of our UCAN centres, as follows, to provide more services in-person:

  • Deane: Mondays and Tuesdays 9:30am to 12:30pm and 1pm to 3pm.
  • Johnson Fold: Tuesdays from 9:30am to 12noon and 12:30pm to 2:30pm.
  • New Bury: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays from 9:30am to 12:30pm and 1pm to 3pm.
  • Tonge Moor: Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30am to 12noon and 12:30pm to 2:30pm.
  • Withins: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays from 9:30am to 12:30pm and 1pm to 3pm.

For further details, go to www.boltonathome.org.uk/ucan.

 

Activities for tenants living in sheltered and extra care homes

Communal areas within our sheltered and extra care schemes will be open without social distancing requirements and we’re pleased to restart our in-scheme activities and social events programme.

Lesley Tyrer, our Activities Coordinator, will share more details for where you live.

 

Community spaces

All our outdoor community spaces, such as food growing sites, are open.

We’ll gradually reopen community buildings and reintroduce community investment activities at community centres too. This follows a successful roll-out of our summer holiday activities programme for families and collection points for lunches for local children without access to free school meals over the summer, with Urban Outreach.

 

Money advice

If you’re concerned about your finances and ability to keep up to date with rent payments and other financial commitments, please phone us on 01204 328000.

 

Repairs

We’re working on our backlog of non-urgent repairs. The backlog is significant and will take time to work through but if you previously had an appointment that was cancelled during lockdown our team will be in touch as soon as possible to arrange a visit.

If you haven’t heard from us yet, we thank you for your continued patience and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.

 

Valley House reception and our Contact Centre

Our Valley House reception is open for pre-arranged visits. Please contact us by phone or online to make an appointment. Please don’t turn up without an appointment until further notice.

Our Contact Centre remains your first point of contact for enquiries on 01204 328000.

During our office hours you can also use our Web Chat facility or direct message us on Facebook, and we’ll do our best to help these ways.

 

Let’s look after each other to stay safe

While the government’s requirement for us to wear masks and maintain social distancing is no longer in place, the threat of becoming ill with COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. So we kindly ask you to take reasonable and sensible steps to prevent the spread of the virus, as we will.

If you’re visiting us or we’re visiting you indoors, we still recommend you wear a face covering if you’re able to. Most importantly, it’s about mutual respect. At least have a face covering with you, which you can use to respect someone else’s preference for wearing them and we’ll do the same if that’s your wish.

We appreciate that wearing a face covering might not be possible in an emergency welfare situation.

If we need to visit your home to carry out a repair, safety check, improvement work, or for another reason:

  • please keep rooms well-ventilated;
  • if we need to work in a room, please stay in a different area of your home.  

We’re pleased to be getting back to delivering services fully, and confident the pandemic won’t disrupt us as much going forward, but we need to respect and protect each other along the way.  

Please follow the safety steps above and continue to act responsibly to avoid increasing the risk of transmission, which could give us cause to withdraw our services. A gentle reminder too that we’re not here to tolerate abuse or antisocial behaviour directed towards us. Our staff have the right to walk away in this situation.  

Please also let us know before an appointment if you or someone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms, has received a positive test result, or has been instructed to self-isolate. Please also do not attend our UCAN centres or other public areas in these circumstances.

Full information on updated self-isolation guidance can be found on the government’s website here: https://bit.ly/2UD5oj4

 

Thank you

Thank you again for your patience and support over recent months. We really appreciate it and wish you the best for the rest of this year.

See our previous messages on Coronavirus COVID-19 below

View our previous messages on Coronavirus COVID-19 below.

Please be mindful of the dates these updates were shared and that government advice is subject to change.

(Thursday 15 July 2021) What you can expect from us after 19 July

The latest stage in England’s lockdown easing is due to go ahead from 19 July, so we want to update you on how we’ll deliver services after this date and what you can expect from us.

Most of our services have remained available. This will continue and now we’ll open-up some services further, just in a measured way. Please bear with us we make these changes gradually.

We have a responsibility to keep each other safe, particularly as some of us have health conditions that make us vulnerable. So, with COVID-19 infection rates still high, we’ll keep most of our current safety measures as they are for the time being. These include the continued use of face masks and social distancing.

 

Appointments at our UCAN centres and Valley House office

Our UCAN centres and public reception at Valley House WON’T be open for walk-in help and information just yet. Please DON’T attend our UCAN centres or Valley House without an appointment.

Our Contact Centre phoneline remains your main point of contact for all types of enquiries from 19 July. If you need us, please phone us on 01204 328000 and we’ll help you with your enquiry.

If you’d prefer to speak with one of our UCAN centre teams for employment or wellbeing support, you can find more information and contact details here: www.boltonathome.org.uk/ucan.

We’ll continue with some pre-arranged, in-person appointments for those in urgent need of specific services. You’ll be advised where this applies in your enquiries with us and the COVID-19 safety measures we require you to follow.

We’ll also carry out visits for welfare reasons, safely, where other means of communication aren’t appropriate.

We’re sorry if ever you can’t get through to our main phone line quickly. We deal with hundreds of enquiries each day, so please bear with us and call us back a bit later if it can wait. Our line is open 8am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, then switches to an emergency only service.

During our office hours- you can also use our Web Chat facility or direct message us on Facebook, and we’ll do our best to help these ways.

 

Repair appointments

While we’re still prioritising emergency repairs, we’ve started working on our backlog of non-urgent repairs that were previously booked in.

Even after lockdown restrictions are fully eased, it’ll take time to work through the backlog of jobs that we’ve had to postpone and to appoint new repairs that you’ve been patient with. Thank you again for your understanding.

If you previously had an appointment that was cancelled during lockdown, our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

 

Home visits

We’ll visit homes for things like gas safety checks, repairs, welfare reasons, and to support our Careline community alarm customers.

To keep everyone safe, we’ll

  • ask you to confirm that you or family members aren’t experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms before we enter your home;
  • wear a face mask and other personal protective equipment when entering your home;
  • stay socially distanced from you.

 

What we ask of you and members of your household

Please:

1. Wear face masks for the duration of our visit. We appreciate this might not be possible for Careline customers who need the urgent help of our Careline Response Team in an emergency.

2. Ventilate the room where our staff will be, by opening windows, unless this negatively affects a health condition of anyone remaining in the room.

3. Stay in a different part of your home, away from the room we’ll work in, where this is possible and when we don’t require a conversation with you.

If we need a conversation with you, which isn’t confidential but can’t be carried out by phone, we’ll speak with you by socially distancing at your doorstep and without entering your home.

 

For most home visits, we’ll only come after we’ve already made an appointment with you and so you know to expect us. There can be some urgent and specific situations when we need to visit tenants unexpectedly, but in all cases we encourage you to ask to see ID. Please don’t worry, our staff won’t be offended. We want you to be confident we are who we say we are and understand the reason for our visit.

If you don’t want us to come into your home because of health vulnerabilities, such as a health condition that previously required you to shield, please contact us. If the repair isn’t an emergency and can genuinely wait, then we may be able to postpone your appointment. Any work that’s classed an emergency will still need to be carried out.

We follow these safety measures to protect each other. A gentle reminder that we’re not here to tolerate abuse or antisocial behaviour directed towards us, or where someone with COVID-19 symptoms hasn’t told us before we visit.

Thanks in advance for respecting these measures as not engaging with these precautions could increase the potential risk of transmission and give us cause to withdraw our services.

 

Help with urgent food needs

Bolton’s Humanitarian Response Team, which includes us, continues to provide urgent food support.

Please call the COVID-19 helpline for Bolton on 01204 337221. Or get in touch with our Community Investment Team at citeam@boltonathome.org.uk.

 

Support for money worries 

We remain committed to the National Housing Federation’s three pledges to support you if you experience financial difficulties caused by the pandemic.

If you engage with the support we offer to help you tackle rent arrears- we’ve pledged to keep you secure at home, help you get the support you need, and to act quickly and compassionately if you’re struggling.

We’re currently supporting lots of households who are struggling financially because of the pandemic and will continue to do so.

If you’ve got money worries or debt issues, please phone us on 01204 328000 and ask for our Money Advice Team.

We give confidential, independent advice on a full range of money matters all year-round.

 

Community centres and outdoor events

We plan to run a series of community events outdoors this summer and start opening-up community centres again in stages.

We’ll provide further updates on these.

 

Thank you

All of us here thank you for helping us during this pandemic, with your patience and understanding. We’re working as hard as we can to look after your needs and do things as safely as possible.

Rest assured that we’ll continue to follow advice from public health experts as we provide services over the coming weeks and months.

For now, you can expect us to work as we’ve been doing until all adults in the country over the age of 18 have had the opportunity to have been offered first and second dose vaccinations against COVID-19 and opening services further is safe for you and our staff.

We’ll review the situation in September, when we hope to open-up services further.

Ever since the pandemic struck and the government ordered its first lockdown in March 2020, we’ve rethought how we do things and found ways to keep essential services running safely. We’ve learned a lot from the last 17 months and embraced new ways of working that’ll make us more resilient to future conditions.  

 

Here for you

Please contact us if you’re feeling worried, lonely or unsure about how we’re working and how we can help you.

You can:

• phone us on 01204 328000;

• contact your Sustaining Tenancy Advisor if you have one;

• use our website and webchat;

• stay up to date with us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Take care and best wishes.

(Friday 4 June 2021) Support for self-isolating

Here you can download a self-isolation support pack and '10 ways to do your 10 days' checklist to prepare for self-isolation and be comfortable through it.

Self-isolation is when you have symptoms (you can find more information on the Government’s website here: https://bit.ly/2QT4AES) or have tested positive for COVID-19 and therefore must stay at home for at least 10 full days in order to prevent passing the virus on to others. You can pass the virus to others, even if you don’t show symptoms.

We know self-isolation can be challenging, but please remember you’re not alone. Support and advice is available.

Here’s a COVID-19 Self-Isolation Support Pack to help you through your self-isolation period:

Self isolation support pack.pdf [pdf] 5MB

It has information on financial support, useful contacts, wellbeing tips and lists of essentials and other things to consider to make sure you’re prepared should you be required to self-isolate.

If you need to self-isolate, you must do so immediately from when your symptoms started (or from the day of your test, if you have no symptoms) and the next 10 full days. This means you can’t leave home, so planning ahead, even before you’re told to self-isolate, can help you feel more in control and prepared.

To help you be more comfortable during isolation, here’s a ‘10 ways to do your 10 days' checklist for self-isolating safely:

10 ways to do your 10 days-checklist for self isolating safely.pdf [pdf] 461KB

You can get more information about self-isolation on Bolton Council’s dedicated questions and answers webpage, here: https://bit.ly/3vjD5Dl.

If you’re self-isolating and need support with essentials, food or medication, please contact the local Coronavirus Helpline on 01204 337221. It's open:

  • Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm
  • Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 1:30pm

We’re among those responding to people's needs, providing services and support for our communities affected by the pandemic.

Take care.

(Wednesday 2 June 2021) We've pledged to continue to support tenants whose lives have been affected by the pandemic

On Tuesday 1 June 2021, the government lifted their temporary suspension on bailiff-led evictions in England.

We remain committed to three pledges, below, to reassure tenants who might have experiences financial difficulties caused by the pandemic. We originally signed up to these pledges in August 2020.

The National Housing Federation (www.housing.org.uk) has coordinated these pledges. The federation represents housing associations across the country.

1. Keeping people secure at home:

No one will be evicted from a housing association home as a result of financial hardship caused by COVID-19, where they’re working (or engaging) with their housing association to get their payments back on track. 

2. Helping people to get the support they need:

Housing associations are helping residents to access benefits and other support to alleviate financial hardship, including supporting people to get work where possible. 

3. Acting compassionately and quickly where people are struggling:

Housing associations will work with any resident who’s struggling to  pay rent to make arrangements that are manageable for them in the long term. Legal action will only be taken in serious circumstances– for example as a last resort where a resident won’t agree a plan with their landlord to pay their rent, or where it’s needed urgently in cases of domestic abuse or antisocial behaviour that puts other residents or communities at risk. 

We signed-up to the pledges as both Bolton at Home and as one of the 26 social housing landlords that make up the Greater Manchester Housing Providers partnership (https://gmhousing.co.uk).

The pledges are in-line with how we work to support people to become more financially secure where needed. We know that anyone can have financial difficulties at times in their lives through no fault of their own.

Since the start of this pandemic, housing providers like us have been working closely with communities, local government, the NHS and others to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. We’re doing what we can to keep people safe, keep vital services running, and help communities to cope and recover. 

Hear from Craig Tyldesley (our Head of Revenue Services) and David Batten (Hoot’s Chief Executive Officer) on how we could support you if you have money worries, and why you should avoid illegal money lenders, here: www.boltonathome.org.uk/bah-on-air.

If you’re worried about getting into debt and being able to pay your rent, please phone us on 01204 328000.

Take care.

(Tuesday 11 May 2021) Answers to questions about testing, vaccinations and the response to rising COVID-19 infection rates in Bolton

Why is enhanced testing needed?

Enhanced COVID-19 testing is being done in parts of Bolton to stop the rising infection rates of COVID-19 and to understand where variants of concern are.

To achieve these things, it’s important that everyone who lives or works in Rumworth, Deane or Great Lever takes a PCR COVID test.

PCR stands for ‘polymerase chain reaction’ and the test is sent to a laboratory to get the results.

Enhanced testing by PCR tests at mobile testing units is for people who don’t feel any symptoms of COVID-19. There is more information on this below.

PCR tests check for Coronavirus and can identify any new variants through specific genome sequencing.

If you do lateral flow device (LFD) testing, continue with this and do a PCR test too. It’s really important.

 

Why is this form of testing a good thing?

PCR testing not only helps to identify someone who is positive, it can monitor any new strains and identify any new patterns in virus behaviour.

 

What does it mean when a virus changes or mutates?

All viruses can change over time and usually those changes are small and make little difference.

Sometimes the virus can mutate in a way that allows it to spread more quickly or makes it resistant to interventions.

That’s why we experts are constantly researching its behaviour, so that any changes can be identified and dealt with quickly.

 

What do we know about the new variants?

There is no evidence these variants cause more severe illness, though there is some evidence that the variant first discovered in India spreads more easily than other COVID-19 variants and so it needs to be stopped and contained.

 

Should I take the vaccine?

Yes. It’s important that we all take the vaccine when offered it. Having the vaccine is an important way to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Public Health England (PHE) and partners closely monitor the spread of variants in the UK, rapidly investigating variant mutations in the lab to determine their characteristics.

Efforts continue to understand the effect of the variants on vaccine efficiency and there is currently no evidence to suggest that vaccines will be ineffective.

If required, future vaccines could be redesigned and tweaked to be a better match to these variants, as is the case for seasonal flu vaccines.

 

How is enhanced testing being done in parts of Bolton?

Enhanced testing is increased PCR testing, which includes extra test sites and also door-to-door PCR testing.

Enhanced testing involves the testing of people who don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19.

Therefore, to help us better understand the variants and the way we respond to them, everyone living or working in the affected area is being asked to take part in surge testing.

 

How do I get a PCR Test if I have no symptoms of COVID-19?

If you live or work in Rumworth, Deane and Great Lever, you’re being asked to take a PCR test.

This includes if you:

  • have no symptoms of COVID-19;
  • have had a vaccination for COVID-19;
  • have tested positive for Coronavirus previously, but not within the last 90 days via a PCR test.

If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 with a PCR test within the last 90 days, you don’t need to be tested.

Mobile testing units (MTUs) are offering PCR testing at:

  • Memory Lane Wedding Venue, Gilnow Lane (BL3 5EL)
  • Makkah Mosque, Grecian Crescent (BL3 6QU)

The sites are open 10am to 4pm and no booking is required.

You can pick-up and drop-off a PCR test at:

  • Deane Road Temple (Shree Swaminarayan Mandir), 161 Deane Road (BL3 5AH)

More testing sites and additional measures to control the spread of the virus will be announced in the coming days.

 

How do I get a PCR test if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

If you have Coronavirus symptoms- please don’t go to a mobile testing unit, or any PCR testing facility without an appointment, to avoid potentially spreading the virus.

If you already have COVID-19 symptoms, you should order a PCR test kit to be sent to your home or book an appointment at a walk-in or drive-through test site. You can do this through the national portal. You can find details here: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. Or call the NHS on 119.

If you have symptoms, you and everyone you live with must immediately self-isolate. Please find the latest guidance on self isolating at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do.

Don’t leave home until you get your test results, except only to post a test kit or for a PCR test appointment.

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • A high temperature- this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
  • A new, continuous cough- this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste- this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

If you have any of these symptoms, please get a test to check if you have Coronavirus. Don’t visit a mobile testing unit and stay at home until you get your result.

 

I’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine, do I still need to have a PCR test?

Yes.

It can take a few weeks to build immunity to the virus and this is an extra precaution to be on the safe side.

It’ll also help to establish if and how the virus has spread in the local community.

 

What are all of the COVID-19 tests that are available in Bolton?

There are now three test options:

  • Enhanced Community Testing: Testing people who live and/or work in specific areas, which also looks to check for a new variant or strain of COVID-19. This is by PCR test and is sent to the laboratory to get the results.

PCR is short for polymerase chain reaction and is a swab test to the back of the throat and nose and results are sent for lab analysis. Results normally come back within 24 to 48 hours.

  • People who don’t have COVID-19 symptoms: Lateral flow device (LFD) tests are used for all residents over the age of 11. Children under 16 need parental consent. These are also swab tests and the results are available within 30 minutes because they don’t need to be sent to a lab. This approach is effective for testing at scale. You can find more information on testing at www.bolton.gov.uk/testing.

 

What else can we all do to help?

There is still a lot that we can all do to stop the spread of the virus:

  • Follow all of the public health measures including face coverings, handwashing, social distancing and fresh air or good ventilation.
  • Adhere to current lockdown advice.
  • Go to health and vaccination appointments, unless self-isolating.
  • Keep in mind that we’re all in this together and can help to keep others safe.

 

What if I have to self-isolate?

If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate immediately and pass-on your contact details to NHS Test and Trace to stop the spread of the virus.

You may qualify for a support payment if you can’t work and face a loss of income. More details on this at www.bolton.gov.uk/benefits/test-trace-payments.

You could also be eligible if you’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive.

 

Should I get vaccinated if I’ve already had COVID-19?

Yes.

Getting vaccinated is just as important for those who’ve already had COVID-19 as it is for those who haven’t.

Having the COVID-19 infection may provide temporary immunity in some people but it won’t last long and many people have caught COVID-19 twice or more.

 

Do I need to continue to follow the rules after I’ve received the vaccine?

While the evidence is currently mounting that being vaccinated helps prevent transmission between people, this is yet to be confirmed so we must take all precautions possible to protect each other.

Please remember ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ even if you’ve had the vaccine.

 

Can I get the vaccine if I’m not registered with a GP?

Yes.

You don’t need paperwork, GP records or even an NHS number. They will just need your name and date of birth.

 

Please keep yourself informed with the latest information and be mindful that guidance is subject to change.

Please click here for the latest government guidance on COVID-19: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

 

Stay sharp on COVID-19 matters as a Community Champion

If you’re worried that some of your fellow residents might not know the facts from the fiction on COVID-19, or perhaps their access to verified news is limited, be the reason they stay safe and well by pledging to become a Community Champion at www.bolton.gov.uk/communitychampions.

As a Community Champion, Bolton Council will give you expert, timely and accurate information to keep you up to date on COVID-19 matters and to pass-on to others. You can make all the difference by giving your family and fellow community members the benefits of having and understanding latest guidance and updates.

Anyone living in Bolton can apply. You don't need any experience or training, just a willingness to give some of your time to support people in your community.

At the very least you’ll be able to check if the people you care about know what to do to. Better-still, you’ll likely reach those more vulnerable to mistruths or the virus itself.

You’ll also be in a prime position to advise people further on support available, should they need it, as we all try to build-back-better after the pandemic.

 

Thank you. Stay safe.

(Monday 10 May 2021) How Bolton is responding to rising COVID rates and what we can ALL do to help

The recent substantial rise in Bolton’s infection rate is a stark reminder that COVID-19 has not gone away.

Enhanced testing and a vaccine drive are among the measures that have been rolled out in the most affected areas.

But there are simple steps EVERY Bolton resident can take to keep themselves and others safe:

  • Basic steps are our most powerful defence against the virus. Wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering, maintain social distance and let fresh air it.
  • Accept the vaccine when offered.
  • If you have symptoms, self-isolate immediately and book a COVID test via the national portal at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
  • We remain at Step 2 of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown: Do not meet indoors with anyone outside your household or support bubble.
  • Continue to work from home if you can.

If you live in Rumworth, Deane or Great Lever, additional measures are being introduced to control the virus in your community.

Enhanced testing

Anyone who is living, working or studying in Rumworth, Deane or Great Lever who does not have Covid-19 symptoms is strongly urged to attend one of our mobile testing unites this week for a PCR test.

Mobile testing units can be found at:

  • Memory Lane Wedding Venue, Gilnow Lane (BL3 5EL)
  • Makkah Mosque, Grecian Crescent (BL3 6QU)

Home PCR test kits will also be available for collection and return at:

  • Deane Road Temple (Shree Swaminarayan Mandir), 161 Deane Road (BL3 5AH)

The mobile testing units and Deane Road Temple will be open seven days a week, 10am until 4pm. You do not need an appointment to attend.

Vaccine

If you live in Rumworth, Deane or Great Lever and are eligible, someone will be in touch soon to offer you the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  

You will be eligible for a vaccine if you:

  • Are aged 40 and over
  • A carer
  • Are shielding
  • Have a long term health condition.

Engaging with the community

Teams are going door-to-door in Rumworth, Deane and Great Lever speaking to residents about the virus and the importance of taking part in the vaccine and enhanced testing programmes.

Leaflets, translated materials and interpreters are being used to share vital messages with everyone in the community.

We're also working with community leaders and voluntary organisations to ensure we can engage as many residents as possible.

Stay safe.

(Friday 7 May 2021) Enhanced testing to combat rising COVID rates

Enhanced COVID-19 testing will be rolled out in parts of Bolton from today (Friday, May 7), as part of a coordinated response to rising infection rates in the borough.

Everyone living or working in Rumworth, Deane or Great Lever areas is urged to attend a Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) in the coming days to help identify asymptomatic people who may be spreading the virus without realising it.

The rising infection rate serves as a reminder to everyone in Bolton that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over.

Health leaders have reminded all residents that we remain at Step 2 of the government’s COVID-19 roadmap and people should not be meeting indoors with anyone outside their household or bubble.

Meetings outdoors remain limited to six people or two households.

If you are able to work from home, please do so.

Continue with public health measures including regular hand washing, maintaining social distancing even when meeting others outdoors, wearing face coverings and letting fresh air in

Have the vaccine when invited to attend and book a test immediately if you do have symptoms.

These remain the best defence against the virus spreading.

Enhanced testing:

Anyone who is living, working or studying in Rumworth, Deane or Great Lever who does not have COVID-19 symptoms is strongly urged to attend on MTU this week for a PCR test.

MTUs will be deployed at:

  • Memory Lane Wedding Venue, Gilnow Lane (BL3 5EL)
  • Makkah Mosque, Grecian Crescent (BL3 6QU)

Home PCR test kits will also be available for collection and return at:

  • Deane Road Temple (Shree Swaminarayan Mandir), 161 Deane Road (BL3 5AH)

10am to 4pm each day, no appointment needed.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should book a test as normal through the national portal via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test and attend one of the regular PCR testing sites or, order a home test kit.

Anyone with a positive PCR test in the last 90 days does not need to attend an MTU.

Testing, in combination with measures such as hands-face-space and following national guidance, will help stop the virus spreading. 

Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate immediately and pass on their contacts’ details to NHS Test and Trace.

Financial help and other support are available for those asked to self-isolate.

Supporting the Bolton community

Bolton Council’s Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Lowey, said:

“The rising infection rate is a reminder for us all that COVID-19 is still with us here in Bolton

“We have seen and felt the devastating consequences of this virus and how quickly it can spread quickly across our communities.

“If you live or work in Rumworth, Deane or Great Lever, help keep everyone safe by taking a PCR test at one of our MTU’s or by taking a home test kit. And do attend for your vaccine if eligible.

“Further measures to reduce the spread of infection will be announced shortly. 

“In the meantime, continue to observe government restrictions and do not meet indoors with people you don’t live with and remember ‘hands, face, space’ and let fresh air in.”

(Friday 19 March, 2021) Time to reflect, one year on

You may know that on 23 March it’ll be a year since the first UK lockdown announcement and a national day of reflection will take place. We’ll be joining other organisations in Bolton and beyond to remember all those who’ve passed away, and those of us who’ve suffered or are still suffering from COVID-19.

As we reflect on the past year, we want to again say thank you. We’ve missed seeing as many of you in-person as we would have ordinarily. We really appreciate your patience and understanding as we’ve adapted throughout the Coronavirus pandemic to continue providing essential services.

Thank you for supporting us to work safely by following guidelines and meeting requirements. We’re working as hard and as responsibly as we can to look after you and your home when you need us. All while keeping you, other tenants, and our staff as safe as possible.

We’ve adapted to the operational challenges of the pandemic to provide essential services without disruption or downtime. These include emergency repairs and our Careline community alarm service. And we’ve kept other services running by working a bit differently, and often from home instead of at our UCAN centres and offices, to help keep people safe.

We’ve been able to help a number of you with different aspects of your lives and priorities during the pandemic. Here are some examples. Please get in touch with us if you could benefit from some support.

Since last March we’ve:

  • Helped 1,800 people increase their income by £8.4 million through ways to save and gain money.
  • Supported 66 people into work in areas such as transportation, retail and warehousing.
  • Enabled new tenancies, having allocated 979 homes- mainly through the Homes for Bolton choice based lettings system.
  • Rehomed and provided some furniture for individuals and families needing emergency moves for safety and stability. This includes supporting people dealing with homelessness, experiencing domestic abuse and with significant caring responsibilities for disabled loved ones.
  • Reassured and supported tenants who genuinely haven’t been able to pay full rent as a direct result of COVID-19 and reduced their worries by exploring affordable payment plans, Universal Credit claims and money advice to improve their financial situations.
  • Continued capital improvement programme work despite the challenges of lockdown and contractors having to furlough staff in many cases. We’ve invested over £10m on the capital programme, mainly focused on health and safety priorities and external refurbishments. Work has included reroofing, brickwork, disabled adaptations, communal boiler upgrades, fire safety measures and other essential heating, electrical and structural works to keep people sale and warm.
  • Added 87 new properties to the affordable homes market.
  • Done thousands of emergency repairs, put empty properties back into use, and carried out gas services, electrical safety tests and general electrical services. You can read more about how we’ve adapted to keep essential repair services running and the challenges here: www.readtap4.online/tap4-issue-6/keeping-essential-services-running.
  • Worked with volunteers and Bolton Family partners such as Urban Outreach and Bolton Council to provide emergency food aid to those who’ve needed it. Over the last 11 months we’ve delivered a total of 18,104 food parcels to an average of 3,144 local families per month. Each parcel has included a variety of food to feed a family for a week.

While the last year has been a challenge for all of us, we know that the pandemic has been particularly difficult for some.

Rest assured that we’ll continue to follow advice from Public Health experts as we plan how to provide services over the coming weeks and months.

In general, you can expect us to work as we’ve been doing until all adults in the country have been offered their vaccinations against COVID-19 and opening up more services is safe for you and our staff.

If you’ve been waiting for a repair appointment, thank you for your patience and understanding. We’ll keep working hard to keep you up to date with the progress of your repairs.

We’re still here for you. Please contact us if you’re feeling worried, lonely or unsure about how we’re working under the latest restrictions and how we can help you.

You can:

• phone us on 01204 328000;

• contact your Sustaining Tenancy Advisor if you have one;

• use our website and webchat;

• stay up to date with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Take care and best wishes.

(Thursday 21 January, 2021) A thank you from us

All of us at Bolton at Home would like to thank you for helping us through the Coronavirus pandemic. We’re working as hard as we can to look after your homes and do everything as safely as possible.

Thanks to your support, we’ve managed to complete over 24,000 emergency repairs and over 16,000 gas and electrical safety checks since the start of the first lockdown. All while keeping people safe from COVID-19.

 

Why prioritising emergency repairs has meant there are non-urgent repairs waiting for us to fix

Since March last year, the impact of the pandemic and the restrictions put in place by the government to slow the spread of Coronavirus have meant we’ve been unable to carry out some non-urgent repairs. The government has allowed us, and other housing providers, to continue doing emergency repairs throughout, so rest assured we’ll be there to help you if you need us. As an emergency repair could result in harm to people or property if it’s not fixed quickly, these continue to be our priority.

With approximately 300 members of technical staff looking after 18,000 properties, adapting how we do things to conform with government and health and safety guidelines has been a logistical challenge for us over the last ten months.

At any time some colleagues and contractors have needed to shield or self-isolate at short notice. We require building materials, and external supplies have been affected. And, while we’re well supplied with personal protective equipment (PPE), our operatives still need to maintain two-metre distancing when travelling and doing jobs. This can affect the type and amount of work we can do depending on the situation.

These are not only issues for Bolton at Home of course. All trades-people, contractors and other housing associations have faced similar difficulties.

It’s meant that when resources have been limited, we’ve needed to focus them on emergency repairs and vital safety checks of your home.

Recent changes in government rules have meant we’ve been able to provide a range of repairs and maintenance services that comes closer to pre-lockdown arrangements. However, like many other businesses, we have also had greater levels of sickness absence and other colleagues have needed to self-isolate. So technical staff that may have been available for less urgent repairs have had to be moved onto emergency work. This means that while we’re now allowed to carry out more and different types of repairs and maintenance work, the progress we can make still depends on the availability of staff.

We’re very sorry if you’ve been expecting a repair and we’ve had to postpone it. Please keep supporting us as we continue to work through the backlog of less urgent repairs. Keeping you, other tenants, and our staff all as safe as possible is our number one priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

What we need you to do if we’re visiting your home

If we need to carry out a repair at your home, we’ll generally phone you 48 hours before to make an appointment first. We’ll wear a mask and PPE, and stay socially distanced from you.

In return, we ask you to do the following. These actions apply to all reasons we might visit you at home.

In all cases:

1. You and all members of your household must wear face masks for the duration of our visit. The only exception would be if it’s not possible for Careline customers who need the urgent help of our Careline Response Team in an emergency situation.

2. Ventilate the room where our staff will be, by opening windows, unless this negatively affects a health condition of anyone remaining in the room.

If we visit for repair and maintenance purposes like a gas safety inspection, emergency repair or a general repair that can be done safely:

3. You and all members of your household must also move to a different part of your home, away from the room we’ll work in.

If we need to come into your home for another type of appointment with you:

4. All other members of your household not required for the conversation must also move to a different part of your home, away from the room we’ll meet you in.

If the conversation we need to have with you isn’t confidential, but can’t be carried out by phone, we’ll speak with you by socially distancing at your doorstep and without entering your home.

 

How you’ll know it’s us

For the vast majority of home visits, we’ll only come after we’ve already made an appointment with you and so you know to expect us. There can be some urgent and specific situations when we need to visit tenants unexpectedly, but in all cases we encourage you to ask to see ID. Please don’t worry, our staff won’t be offended. We want you to be confident we are who we say we are and understand the reason for our visit.

We’ll continue to work hard to keep you up to date with the progress of any outstanding repairs.

Thank you again for both your patience and for following guidelines while we work safely.

Stay safe.

(Thursday 7 January, 2021) How we’re working during the latest lockdown

We’re approaching the next two months with the same commitment we’ve had throughout the pandemic, which is to work responsibly to prioritise your health and safety.

We’re sure most, if not all, of you will be aware of the latest restrictions and guidance announced by the Prime Minister on Monday 4 January. Just in case you aren’t, or if you’d like to double check, you can read the details on the Government’s website here: bit.ly/3bfYRRh.

We’d also recommend you read the latest advice shared by Bolton Council here: www.bolton.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-1/local-restrictions-can-cannot/1. Please do so frequently, as Government rules and guidelines can change with the circumstances and sometimes differ locally.

 

What you can expect from us with home visits currently

We’re still able to visit homes for purposes such as gas safety inspections, emergency repairs and some general repairs (where these can be done safely), for safeguarding purposes, and for some other housing services, which include support from our Careline community alarm service.

We’ll update you if the situation changes.

The measures we take to keep people safe are consistent with the latest guidance. You can expect our staff visiting you to work responsibly, always wear a mask and other personal protective equipment (PPE) when entering your home, and stay socially distanced from you for the duration of our visit. Please note that our Careline Response Team can’t socially distance whilst attending to a customer in need, if they’ve had a fall for instance, but our team will wear full PPE.

 

Keeping the situation under review to adapt if we need to

We promise you that we’ll continue to work as effectively as we can during this period of lockdown to run services and provide any support should you need it, while we remain highly responsive to the Coronavirus situation.

Every day we’re taking advice from specialists working within Public Health, the Government, and the National Housing Federation among others. And every week, we’re reviewing the number of COVID-19 cases in Bolton, monitoring staff absences, assessing if our staff are catching Coronavirus due to contact with others during the course of their work, and contingency planning for if the situation requires us to move our face-to-face service provision to emergency services only.

We’ll update you if the situation changes.

 

Confirmation of what we need you to do if we’re visiting your home

In all cases:

1. You and all members of your household must wear face masks for the duration of our visit. The only exception would be if it’s not possible for Careline customers who need the urgent help of our Careline Response Team in an emergency situation.

2. Ventilate the room where our staff will be, by opening windows, unless this negatively affects a health condition of anyone remaining in the room.

If we visit for repair and maintenance purposes like a gas safety inspection, emergency repair or a general repair that can be done safely:

3. You and all members of your household must also move to a different part of your home, away from the room we’ll work in.

If we need to come into your home for another type of appointment with you:

4. All other members of your household not required for the conversation must also move to a different part of your home, away from the room we’ll meet you in.

If the conversation we need to have with you isn’t confidential, but can’t be carried out by phone, we’ll speak with you by socially distancing at your doorstep and without entering your home.

For the vast majority of home visits, we’ll only come after we’ve already made an appointment with you and so you know to expect us. There can be some urgent and specific situations when we need to visit tenants unexpectedly, but in all cases we encourage you to ask to see ID. Please don’t worry, our staff won’t be offended. We want you to be confident we are who we say we are and understand the reason for our visit.

 

Please note

If anyone refuses to cooperate with these requirements, our staff member may chose not to continue with the visit. We also reserve the right to charge tenants the appropriate amount of money to cover our costs for call outs where we’ve had to withdraw our services for these reasons.

We ask that you continue to respect our colleagues. Any abuse or antisocial behaviour directed towards our staff will not be tolerated. This includes instances where tenants experiencing COVID-19 symptoms don’t report them to us before our colleagues enter their home.

Thank you for your understanding and support during these challenging times.

 

Questions or concerns?

If you don’t want us to come into your home because of health vulnerabilities, such as a health condition requires you to shield, please contact us directly.

If the repair isn’t an emergency and can genuinely wait, then we may be able to postpone your appointment. Any work that’s classed an emergency will still need to be carried out.

We encourage anyone with any questions or concerns to phone our Contact Centre Team on 01204 328000.

Take care and stay safe.

(Monday 4 January, 2021) What happens if we need to come into your home

We hope you’re all well and have enjoyed a good break over Christmas and New Year. Of course, it continues to be a difficult and worrying time with the pandemic.

We’re all in this together and so it’s vital that we continue to look after each other.  

The health and safety of you and your family, and our colleagues, remains our top priority. And we’re sure you’ll join us in doing what’s required to protect one another if we need to visit you at home for an arranged appointment.

Here are some details on what we ask of you and why, and what you can expect from us.

 

Why we’re asking you to take even more precautions

Bolton, along with the rest of Greater Manchester, is following Tier 4 COVID-19 restrictions*. The latest restrictions are in place in response to a national rise in infections caused by a new variant of the COVID-19 virus, and the high risk of people spreading it to others.

As residents we must all be careful and not leave our homes except for specific purposes like for work, education, childcare or medical attention, or to get food or exercise outdoors.

If you haven’t already, we'd recommend you read the latest details of the restrictions shared by Bolton Council here: https://www.bolton.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-1/local-restrictions-can-cannot/1. Please do so frequently, as Government rules and guidelines change with the circumstances.

*Please note that the Prime Minister will address the nation at 8pm on Monday evening and further restrictions might be announced.

 

What we need you to do when we visit you at home in all cases

1. You and all members of your household must wear face masks for the duration of our visit.

2. Ventilate the room where our staff will be, by opening windows, unless this negatively affects a health condition of anyone remaining in the room.

If we visit for repair and maintenance purposes like a gas safety inspection, emergency repair or a general repair that can be done safely

3. You and all members of your household must also move to a different part of your home, away from the room we’ll work in.

If we visit for another type of appointment with you

4. All other members of your household not required for the conversation must also move to a different part of your home, away from the room we’ll meet you in.

 

Please note

If anyone refuses to cooperate with these requirements, our staff member may chose not to continue with the visit. We also reserve the right to charge tenants the appropriate amount of money to cover our costs for call outs where we’ve had to withdraw our services for these reasons.

We ask that you continue to respect our colleagues. Any abuse or antisocial behaviour directed towards our staff will not be tolerated. This includes instances where tenants experiencing COVID-19 symptoms don’t report them to us before our colleagues enter their home.

Thank you for your understanding and support during these challenging times.

 

What you can expect from us with home visits currently

We’re still able to visit homes for purposes such as gas safety inspections, emergency repairs and some general repairs (where these can be done safely). We’ll update you if the situation changes.

The measures we take to keep people safe are consistent with the latest public health advice. You can expect our staff visiting you to work responsibly, always wear a mask and other personal protective equipment when entering your home and stay socially distanced from you for the duration of our visit.

 

Questions or concerns?

If you don’t want us to come into your home because of health vulnerabilities, such as a health condition that previously required you to shield, please contact us directly. If the repair isn’t an emergency and can genuinely wait, then we may be able to postpone your appointment. Any work that’s classed an emergency will still need to be carried out.

We encourage anyone with any questions or concerns to phone our Contact Centre Team on 01204 328000.

Take care. 

(Wednesday 4 November) What happens if we need to come into your home

With a second national lockdown due to start on Thursday, here’s a reminder of the measures we’re taking to ensure we can continue working safely and responsibly, and how you can help too.

We’ll still be visiting homes during the lockdown for things like gas safety inspections, emergency repairs and some general repairs (where these can be done safely).

The measures we’re taking to keep people safe are consistent with the latest public health advice, and include:

·         we’ll always wear a mask and other personal protective equipment when entering your home;

·         we’ll ask you to confirm that you or family members aren’t experiencing any coronavirus symptoms before entering;

·         we’ll now ask you and family members to also wear a mask or suitable face covering during the visit;

·         we’ll stay two metres away and will ask you and family members to stay in another room while work is carried out;

·         we’ll ask you to ventilate your home by opening windows for the duration of the visit.

We thank you in advance for respecting these safety measures as not engaging with these precautions could increase the potential risk of transmission and give us cause to withdraw our services.

If you don’t want us to come into your home because of health vulnerabilities, such as a health condition that previously required you to shield, please contact us directly. If the repair isn’t an emergency and can genuinely wait, then we may be able to postpone your appointment. Any work that’s classed an emergency will still need to be carried out.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times. We ask that you continue to respect our colleagues. Any abuse or antisocial behaviour directed towards our staff will not be tolerated. This includes instances where tenants experiencing COVID-19 symptoms don’t report them to us before our colleagues enter their home.

We don’t anticipate a major impact on our services over and above what we’ve been dealing with in recent months but please be assured that the health and safety of you and your family, and our colleagues, remains our top priority.

We realise that for many people this will be another difficult time, so we encourage anyone with any questions or concerns to contact our Contact Centre Team on 01204 328000.

(Thursday 22 October) Testing for our tenants in extra care housing

Do you or a relative live in one of our extra care sheltered housing schemes?

As part of Government plans to control the spread of COVID-19, Bolton at Home is taking part in a pilot scheme to test tenants and staff in our extra care housing. This is being done to understand more about how the virus may spread in such settings.

It means tenants in our four extra care schemes – Merton (Deane), Eldon Street (Tonge), Maxton House and Campbell House (Farnworth) – will be given the option of having a COVID-19 test.

What is extra care housing?

Our extra care schemes offer older people their own home, together with access to care and support services. As these services are provided by dedicated on-site teams, extra care can help older people to continue living independently within the setting of their own home.

How will the testing pilot scheme work?

Bolton Cares staff will be managing and carrying out the testing, either by supporting tenants to self-test, or by carrying out the test for tenants if necessary. The testing is optional, and we hope that tenants will take up the offer so we can work together to control the virus.

What happens next?

Over the next few weeks our Sustaining Tenancy Advisors and Bolton Cares staff will be discussing and advising our tenants at the schemes when the test will be carried out and whether they wish to participate. Tenants who agree to a test will have to sign a consent form. All the tests will be completed on the same day to enable them to be collected immediately and processed as soon as possible.

If you have any queries or concerns about this testing pilot scheme, please contact:

Paula Macleod for Campbell House 07770 481 621

Rebekah Wiseman for Eldon St 07776 160 793

Geraldine Pawson for Maxton House 07748 321 245

Janet James for Merton 07766 443 136

 

Or our Housing Services Admin Team can take your details and arrange for someone to contact you. Phone 01204 328062.

(Monday 5 October) Help with antisocial behaviour

Affected by antisocial behaviour? Want help but not sure what to do? 

Our Neighbourhood Safety Team sensitively investigates reports, supports victims and takes appropriate action against offenders.

If this is new for you, please don’t worry. Our team’s experienced and working as close to full speed as is possible at this time.

The current Coronavirus situation calls for patience with our service. Our team’s safely working through 170 cases at the moment and, if it’s needed, will also support the police to crackdown on those involved in illegal household gatherings at this time.

The situation also calls for some perspective, so we don’t take away an exaggerated view of things.

The overall number of antisocial behaviour cases represents less than 1% of the total number of tenancies with us. And the overwhelming majority of neighbours live in harmony in their communities and are united against spreading Covid-19.

But if your quality life has been affected- we’ll do our best to help so you can start feeling safer, more secure and happier at home.

Please contact us if you’re a tenant and impacted by antisocial behaviour, noise nuisance, a hate crime, domestic abuse or a dispute with a neighbour where our Resolve mediation service could help.

Phone 01204 328000

Email Bhtenancy.enforcementservice@boltonathome.org.uk

Please report any criminal activity, for example drug dealing, to the police.

Take care. Stay safe.

(Thursday 10 September) An update on our repairs service

We're working to get the full repairs service up and running while keeping you safe.

We take the safety of you and your family very seriously. We’re continuing to follow government guidelines and best practice across the housing sector to minimise the risks posed by COVID-19. 

While it feels like some things in life are getting back to normal, we all know that the virus will be with us for some time. At the moment we’re only carrying out emergency repairs, but we’re working to get the full repairs service up and running soon. We hope to be able to give you a further update on this in a few weeks’ time.

For those of you with outstanding non-emergency repairs, we’d like to assure you that resuming the service is a big priority for us and we thank you for your patience and understanding over the last few months.

Emergency repairs – what you need to know

If we need to visit your home to carry out an emergency repair, we’ll take every precaution to keep you safe. As part of these important safety measures, we’ll:

• ask you if you’ve had any symptoms of COVID-19 when you report a repair

• sanitise our hands before entering and leaving your home

• wear full personal protective equipment if you have symptoms or are self-isolating

• stay a safe 2-metre distance away from you, and we might ask you to move to a different room while we carry out the repair.

Your repairs questions answered

Some of you have called our contact centre to ask how our operatives will work safely in your home. Here are some of the common questions asked together with our responses.

Why are operatives only wearing masks and not full personal protective equipment (PPE)?

In line with the government’s safe way of working guidance, our operatives aren’t required to wear PPE. However, they’ll wear masks or a visor and will santise their hands before and after every visit. If you’d like an operative to wear gloves, please ask them to do so when they arrive.

If I or someone in my household has COVID-19, what additional PPE is worn?

Depending on the work that needs doing, we may postpone the visit.  If the work is an emergency or essential, the operative will wear a mask or visor , disposable gloves and a disposable paper suit.

Can I ask the operative to wear additional PPE?

If you’d like an operative to wear additional PPE, please tell us when you report your emergency repair. Please be aware though that there is still a global PPE shortage, and we’re carefully monitoring our stocks to ensure that staff have appropriate PPE when situations require them to wear it.

Do I need to ventilate my home for the appointment?

Where possible we ask that you ventilate your home by opening windows for the duration of the visit.

What if I refuse access to my home?

We ask that you co-operate with us and allow operatives into your home to carry out any necessary repairs. Government guidelines state that, after 1 August, those who’ve been shielding because they’re clinically vulnerable no longer need to. If you’ve been shielding, we understand that you might feel nervous having people come into your home. But we want to reassure you that our operatives have received all the necessary training to keep you safe in your home.

I’ve been shielding – will you be doing a gas safety check now?

You might have received a letter to say that we’ll be carrying out a gas safety check in your home – even if you were shielding. This is an automated process that we should have stopped so we apologise for any confusion this might have caused. However, we contacted everyone on the shielding list to say that we’d only begin the safety checks after 1 August (in accordance with government guidelines). Now that shielding has ended, it’s a legal requirement for us to carry out these important checks. If your home is due for a gas safety check, we’ll be in touch with you to arrange an appointment.

You can still report an emergency repair 24/7. An emergency repair is one that might result in harm to people or property if it’s not fixed quickly. Please phone us on 01204 328000. If you smell gas, call the National Grid emergency number 0800 111 999.

Take care and stay safe.

(Friday 21 August) We've pledged to continue to support tenants whose lives have been affected by Coronavirus

We’ve pledged to continue our work to support tenants whose lives have been affected by Coronavirus.

On Sunday 23 August, the government’s temporary suspension on evictions across the country is due to be lifted (update: ministers have announced this will be extended until 20 September).

We’ve signed-up to the three pledges below to reassure tenants who might have financial difficulties caused by Coronavirus.

The pledges have been coordinated by the National Housing Federation (https://www.housing.org.uk). The federation represents housing associations across the country.

1. Keeping people secure at home:

No one will be evicted from a housing association home as a result of financial hardship caused by coronavirus, where they are working (or engaging) with their housing association to get their payments back on track. 

2. Helping people to get the support they need:

Housing associations are helping residents to access benefits and other support to alleviate financial hardship, including supporting people to get work where possible. 

3. Acting compassionately and quickly where people are struggling:

Housing associations will work with any resident who is struggling to find arrangements to pay rent that is manageable for them in the long term. Legal action will only be taken in serious circumstances – for example as a last resort where a resident will not agree a plan with their landlord to help them pay their rent, or where it is needed urgently in cases of domestic abuse or of anti-social behaviour that is putting other residents or communities at risk. 

We’ve signed-up to the pledges as both Bolton at Home and as one of the 26 social housing landlords that make up the Greater Manchester Housing Providers partnership (https://gmhousing.co.uk).

The pledges are in-line with how we work to support people to become more financially secure where needed. We know that anyone can have financial difficulties at times in their lives through no fault of their own.

Since the start of this pandemic, housing providers like us have been working closely with communities, local government, the NHS and others to respond to the Coronavirus crisis. We’re doing what we can to keep people safe, keep vital services running, and help communities to cope and recover. 

If you’re worried about getting into debt and being able to pay your rent, please contact us on 01204 328000.

(Friday 17 July) Homefinder Services update

Wanting or waiting to move?

Steps to take to apply for a home with us or another social housing provider in Bolton:

1. Make sure you're registered with Homes for Bolton.

2. You can register, see all available properties and apply for them here: www.homesforbolton.org.uk.

When you apply for a Bolton at Home property listed on the Homes for Bolton website, it’s our Homefinder Services that deals with your application. The team manages the allocations, lettings and ending of tenancies with Bolton at Home.

Our Homefinder Services fully resumed on Wednesday 8 July. Tenants who had been waiting to move because of lockdown are now settling into their new homes.

We’ve made some changes to how we work to keep all involved safe, including:

  • Phone interviews first to limit physical contact and speed up the process.
  • Checks to ask if people have had any symptoms of COVID-19 before meeting for viewing appointments and sign-ups.
  • Sensible viewing appointments and sign ups that involve limited numbers of people, social distancing and our staff wearing face masks to reduce the risks of catching and transmitting Coronavirus.
  • Also, we’ve now got a central location for tenants to drop of their keys when ending their tenancy with us.

A big thanks to everyone we’ve supported and currently helping, for your understanding that we need to work a bit differently now.

We appreciate your complete respect for keeping viewing appointments, social distancing, wearing face masks during your appointments if you can, and providing references quickly so we can do everything that’s needed to get you into your new home as efficiently as possible.

(Thursday 16 July) Repairs update

Thanks for your patience and understanding with any outstanding repairs. We’re still carrying out emergency repairs and working to get our full repairs service up and running as soon as we can, all in ways that will keep the risk of infection to a minimum.

If you need us to do an emergency repair, we’ll be careful and take precautions if we need to come into your home. We’ll:

  • ask if you’ve had any symptoms of COVID-19;
  • sanitise our hands before entering and leaving your home;
  • wear full personal protective equipment if you have symptoms or are self isolating;
  • stay a safe distance away from you - we’ll be sticking to social distancing of 2 metres and we might ask you to move to a different room while we carry out the repair.

If you’re wondering how soon we can safely return to doing less urgent repairs too, we’re well on with the planning of this in line with Government’s safe way of working guidance and our own risk assessments. Resuming our full repairs service is a big priority for us and we’ll be sure to update you on this very soon.

While it feels like some things in life are getting back to normal with the gradual easing of lockdown, we all know that the risks of catching and transmitting Coronavirus will remain for some time. So there’s lots for us to consider to provide you with a responsible, reliable and effective repairs and maintenance service during a pandemic when it involves hundreds of employees visiting tens of thousands of homes and delivering millions of pounds worth of work each year.

We know that for many tenants, the repair and maintenance of your home is the most important service we provide so it’s essential that we get it right and do it safely.

If you had a repair appointment postponed previously due to the impact of Coronavirus, we’ll contact you and arrange a new appointment that’s convenient for you when we’re able to resume a full service.

We’ll update you on here on our website and Facebook and Twitter, so you know when we can take new reports to respond to less urgent repairs.

You can still report an emergency repair 24/7. An emergency repair is one that might result in harm to people or property if it is not fixed quickly. Please phone us on 01204 328000.

If you smell gas, call the National Grid emergency number 0800 111 999.

(Tuesday 21 April) We’re here to help

A huge thanks to all of you for saving lives by staying at home these last few weeks.

With the lockdown expected to last at least another three weeks, we just wanted to remind you we’re here to help if you need our support.

Help with money matters

If you’re concerned about your financial situation, contact us to discuss the support we may be able to offer. Please phone us on 01204 328000.

Our Money Advice Team helps people to reduce living costs, lower bills, access available benefits and prevent debt. In the last 12 months our team has supported 1,351 Bolton at Home tenants and helped them make financial gains in excess of £6million.

More information about our money advice service and tips on looking after your money, what benefits may be available, and other sources of support and advice is available on our website here.

Government has a range of guidance on its website if your work has been affected by coronavirus or if you’re struggling with COVID-19. The information includes financial support available and starts from this page on its website.

Receiving Universal Credit?

If you receive Universal Credit please be aware that you need to keep your Universal Credit journal updated with any rent changes. Please update your journal before your deadline date otherwise you’ll be responsible for paying any shortfall.

If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to phone us on 01204 328000 and ask to speak to a member of our Money Advice Team.

Help for those worried about domestic violence

Staying at home for long periods can put some people at increased risk of domestic abuse or violence.

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse or violence, or are worried about someone else, more information about local and national support can be found on our website here.

Remember, dial 999 if you or your children are at immediate risk of harm.

Emergency repairs and gas safety checks

We’re continuing to carry out emergency repairs and gas safety checks providing these can be done safely. We may also be able to do external repairs where access to your property isn’t needed.

If you need to report an emergency repair, please phone us on 01204 328000.

If we need to come into your home to carry out an emergency repair, as a precaution we’ll need to ask you if you’ve had any symptoms of COVID-19. Our operatives will sanitise their hands before entering and leaving your home, will wear full personal protective equipment if you have symptoms or are self-isolating, and will stay at least two metres away from you. They might ask you to move to a different room while they carry out the repair.

We’re doing all of this in line with Government’s safe way of working guidance and our own risk assessments.

Help for older people and those most vulnerable

We’re making welfare phone calls to tenants living in sheltered housing, extra care schemes and those aged over 70 living in our general let housing. If you’re a Careline customer living in our general let housing and would benefit from welfare calls during this time, please phone us 01204 328000.

We’re mailing a printed newsletter to 4,343 households. You’ll receive it if you live in a Bolton at Home extra care scheme, sheltered housing, in general let with Careline or if you’re aged over 70 and live in our general let housing without Careline. It’s the fourth issue of our Quarter Turn newsletter and includes information on staying safe during the pandemic and details of available support, particularly important to someone who can’t access the internet. Quarter Turn should be delivered next week and you can find a copy of it on our website here.

We also remain in contact with our partners in the Bolton Family to co-ordinate food deliveries to those who’ve been identified to us as being vulnerable and struggling to get their shopping due to COVID-19 shielding or self-isolating and without a support network.

You can find all our COVID-19 updates to-date here on our website. Detailed official advice can be found on the government website.

If you have any specific concerns - please phone us on 01204 328000, use our Web Chat facility or direct message us on Facebook - and we’ll do our best to help.

Please stay safe and positive.

(Thursday 9 April) Delivering essential services over Easter weekend

Tenants can still report emergency repairs and our Careline and Concierge services will operate as normal.

Emergency repairs will be carried out responsibly to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. If we need to come into your home to carry out an emergency repair, as a precaution we’ll need to ask you if you’ve had any symptoms of COVID-19. Our operatives will sanitise their hands before entering and leaving your home, will wear full personal protective equipment if you have symptoms or are self-isolating, and will stay at least two metres away from you. They might ask you to move to a different room while they carry out the repair. We’re doing all of this in-line with Government’s safe way of working guidance and our own risk assessments. Report an emergency repair on 01204 328000.

Careline remains on hand for urgent assistance. Our community alarm call handling service will continue to run as normal, 24 hours a day, as will our emergency mobile response service as long as this can be done safely. If you become unwell or have a fall, our team will make sure emergency help comes to you either through ourselves or the emergency services. Contact Careline using the equipment provided to you to alert our operators if you need urgent assistance day or night. Please remember to wear your Careline pendant at all times.

Concierge will continue to support communities 24 hours a day. These services include communal door access control, CCTV monitoring and an out-of-hours response to incidents of antisocial behaviour.

Also, caretakers from Starts with you, Bolton at Home’s social enterprise, will continue to provide cleaning services in several under one roof sheltered housing schemes and extra care sites.

We wish you a good bank holiday weekend. Keep yourself, your loved ones and others safe.

(Friday 3 April) Rent support during the pandemic

During the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, all our staff are working to ensure that as many people as possible remain safe and secure within our communities and neighbourhoods.

We understand the coronavirus has also led to money worries for many people. Government has introduced measures to support employees who can’t work and people who are self-employed. However, we recognise that one of the largest payments at this time is rent.

If you’re worried about rent payments because the pandemic has led to reduced working hours or unemployment, or left you struggling in other ways, please get in touch with us on 01204 328000 and we’ll do what we can to help.

If you’re sick, caring for others, or can’t work for another reason due to coronavirus, we can discuss how we might be able to help you.

Please share with us how the pandemic has affected you and we’ll be as flexible as we can with the collection of rent at this time.

Our Money Advice page on our website also contains tips on looking after your money, what benefits may be available, and other sources of support and advice.

Nobody will lose their home during the pandemic for failing to pay their rent as a result of financial hardship caused by coronavirus.

This is a challenging time for all of us, but we’ll get through it by being responsible and supporting each other.

Stay safe.

(Thursday 26 March) Our shared responsibility to keep people safe

We hope you’re all managing to stay as healthy and happy as possible while we’re being advised to stay at home.

We appeal to all of you to make sure you continue to observe the social distancing rules set out by Government.

Most of you are doing a fine job to #StayHomeSaveLives. However, we’ve been made aware of several instances where people haven’t been taking the advice seriously enough.

We’ve heard reports of people continuing to invite people into their homes and even holding barbecues and garden parties because of the warmer weather in recent days. This kind of behaviour puts people at risk at a time when we should all be working together to protect ourselves and others.

Please be aware that we’ll work with organisational partners and the police to ensure the rules are observed.

Please also note that any communal areas in our properties are not exempt from the social distancing measures.

To recap, social distancing means you should:

  •        Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home);
  •        Stay 2 metres away from other people;
  •        Wash your hands as soon as you get home.

Thanks for your support and patience during these challenging times.

You can find all of our COVID-19 updates here on our website. Detailed official advice can be found on the government website.

If you have any specific concerns - please phone us on 01204 328000, use our Web Chat facility or direct message us on Facebook - and we’ll do our best to help.

(Wednesday 25 March) An update on our services

Following our update on Monday 23 March, we just wanted to offer further information on how some of our services are being delivered differently and to let you know some of the other ways we’re trying to keep people safe during this difficult time.

We’re still running essential services such as Careline, emergency repairs, gas safety checks, supporting hospital discharges and helping vulnerable customers. We’re doing all of this in-line with Government’s safe way of working guidance and following risk assessments.

Of course, what matters most is that we’re all observing the safe social distancing measures and generally staying at home to save lives. A reminder that the latest official advice can be found on the government website.

Here’s some more information on the action we’re taking and how to get support.

Help with paying your rent

If you’re concerned about how the current situation may impact your finances, including your ability to pay rent and bills or buy food, you can contact our Money Advice Team via the main number on 01204 328000 or email moneyadviceteam@boltonathome.org.uk.

If you’re sick, caring for others, or can’t work for another reason due to coronavirus, we can discuss how we might be able to help you through this difficult time.

Our Money Advice page on our website also contains tips on looking after your money, what benefits may be available, and other sources of support and advice.

Support for older tenants

Staying at home can be a challenge for us all, but we understand it may cause specific concern among some of our older tenants and those with specific needs. While we’ve had to suspend face-to-face support visits for those who use our support services, we’ll continue to contact those who need our support and we’re doing this by phone.

Our Careline community alarm and response service is still running and will continue to do so, offering advice, support and an emergency response for those who need it.

If you’re considering visiting someone, please don’t unless it’s absolutely essential. We urge you to follow Government’s latest advice to protect yourself and others – and the NHS - through social distancing, shielding and self-isolating as appropriate. The latest information on this is here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Help for those worried about domestic abuse

One of the concerns that’s been raised nationally is the potential for the country to see an increase in domestic abuse and violence. For some people, staying at home could put them at increased risk.

If you’re experiencing this, or are worried about someone else, you can find more information about support that is available by visiting this dedicated page on our website.

Always dial 999 if you or your children are at immediate risk of harm.

Finding a home with us

Please note that property viewings and property moves won’t be available until further notice. We’re contacting everyone who was planning to move and we’ll honour the offers we’ve made to them.

We advise tenants to hold-off from seeking to terminate your tenancy now, unless it’s an emergency or you’re not safe, as the practicalities of moving will be extremely challenging at this time.

Stay safe

Thanks for your support and patience during this unprecedented time. We’ll continue to add updates and information on COVID-19 on our website here.

If you have any specific concerns, please phone our main number of 01204 328000, use our Web Chat facility or direct message us on Facebook. We’ll do our best to help and we’re sorry if you find it takes longer to reach us than normal.

(Monday 23 March) Reducing the risk of Coronavirus COVID-19

We understand you’ll have questions about the impact of Coronavirus COVID-19 on our range of services.

We’re working each day to put the right measures in place for you, which also follow the latest official advice, and we’ll do our best to keep you informed.

Please be assured we’re taking this seriously as we consider the health and safety of tenants, staff, suppliers and others. Reducing the risk of coronavirus is our absolute priority and we want to protect everyone.

Whilst this is a challenging time for all of us, we’ll get through it by being responsible and working together.

We’ll be doing our utmost to maintain essential services. We just need to do some things a bit differently for the time being.

Continued services

We’re still providing, amongst other things:

  • emergency repairs;
  • support services through our Careline community alarm service and at sheltered and extra care housing schemes;
  • new build works where possible;
  • health and safety related planned improvement works by contractors;
  • money advice and rent support over the phone;
  • help for people experiencing antisocial behaviour or domestic abuse.

Here’s some more information on the action we’re taking.

Help for money worries

We understand many of you will be worried how current events will affect you financially and whether your home may be at risk if you fall behind with rent payments. Please be assured we won’t allow anybody to lose their home as a direct result of these events. We share the same position as Government and the National Housing Federation on this and we’re working through the details of how this is put into effect. We’ll do our best to keep you updated on this.

If you’re concerned about how the current situation may impact your finances, including your ability to pay rent and bills or buy food, you can contact our Money Advice Team via the main number on 01204 328000. Our Money Advice page on our website also contains tips on looking after your money, what benefits may be available, and other sources of support and advice.

Supporting those most vulnerable

We’re always working with our partner agencies in Bolton to see how we can mobilise urgent support for the people who need it most.

We’re seeing what we can be done at this time. As it remains a fast-developing situation we’ll continue to work in partnership and follow guidance from Public Health England, Bolton Council and the local NHS, so we take the most appropriate course of action to safeguard local communities.

Anyone with urgent concerns about food provision can contact us on 01204 328000 for more information about local support available.

We’re also following guidance from Public Health England and taking precautions to help protect local communities in our sheltered and extra care schemes against the risks of Coronavirus COVID-19.

Before visiting tenants, we urge people to follow Government’s latest advice to protect themselves and others – and the NHS - through social distancing, shielding and self-isolating as appropriate. The latest information on this is here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Repairs and maintenance

From 8am Thursday 19 March, we moved to an emergency repairs service only.  

We won’t be registering or appointing less urgent repairs for the time being and we’ll be in touch if you have a pre-arranged repairs appointment to let you know it will need to be postponed for the foreseeable future. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. These are unprecedented times and we hope you’ll understand.

We’ll still attend your home to carry out emergency repairs and servicing for gas safety. We’ll also continue to do some external repairs where face-to-face contact or access to your property isn’t necessary.

UCAN centres and office receptions

Like other organisations we’re taking steps to minimise risk to tenants, colleagues and members of the public.

The social distancing measures we’re taking mean that we’ve had little choice but to temporarily close our UCAN centres and other offices, including our Valley House reception area, to visitors.

When we’re able to reopen, we’ll let you know through our website and social media channels. If you need support from one of our services while our centres also closed, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help you as appropriate.

Community events and groups

Unfortunately, we’ve had to postpone the community events we had planned in the near future due to social distancing measures. 

We remain committed to supporting groups, charities and social enterprises currently in receipt of grant funding or with contracts in place from our voluntary, community and social enterprise (VSCE) organisations. You can read more information about our latest commitments to, and what we ask of, VCSE partners at this time by clicking here.

Following Government advice

Due to the fast-changing nature of these events, it’s best to follow the official health advice from Government. This is what we’re encouraging all of our staff to do too, so we’re each doing our bit behind the scenes to take precautions and work responsibly.

The most up-to-date guidance can be found on Government’s dedicated coronavirus page. Health information from the NHS, including what to do if you have symptoms, can also be found on the NHS website here

There is a quite a lot of fake news and bogus health advice about coronavirus circulating on social media and messaging platforms like WhatsApp, so news should be taken only from government and authoritative news sources.

Current events also have the potential to leave us all feeling anxious and lonely. Advice and support around looking after your mental health in relation to the coronavirus outbreak is available from trusted mental health charities. The charity Mind and the Mental Health Foundation have some useful tips on their websites. The BBC also has a useful summary with tips from the experts.

We’re here to help

If you have any questions about services and support available to you at this time please phone our contact centre team on our main number of 01204 328000, use our Web Chat facility or direct message us on Facebook.

(Wednesday 18 March) A change to our repairs service

As most of you will already be aware, the government recently announced additional measures to reduce the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19. We’re taking this situation very seriously as we consider the health and safety of tenants, staff, suppliers and others. We want to protect everyone.

We’ll be doing our utmost to maintain essential services during this time, but we have little choice but to do some things a bit differently for the time being. One of these areas is repairs as it usually requires our staff to come into your home.

From 8am Thursday 19 March, we’ll be moving to an emergency repairs service only. We won’t be registering or appointing less urgent repairs for the time being and we’ll be in touch if you have a pre-arranged repairs appointment to let you know it will need to be postponed for the foreseeable future. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. These are unprecedented times and we hope you’ll understand.

We’ll still attend your home to carry out emergency repairs and servicing for gas safety, if you and the people living with you have no symptoms. We’ll also continue to do some external repairs where face-to-face contact or access to your property isn’t necessary.

If we do need to enter your home to carry out an emergency repair, please don’t be scared or offended if we ask if you’ve had any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, or if our staff wear facemasks. Also, please rest assured that all our staff have been asked to self-isolate at home if they, or anyone in their family, has any symptoms of the virus.

If you have a pre-arranged appointment in the next few days, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll be in touch to cancel the appointment. We’ll also let you know as soon as this situation changes and our repairs service can return to normal.

We understand you’ll have some questions about the impact of Coronavirus COVID-19 on our range of services. We’re working each day to ensure we’re putting the right measures in place for tenants, which also follows the latest advice from Public Health England. We’ll share more information with you online as soon as we can to clear things-up and keep you updated.

This is a challenging time for all of us, but we’ll get through it by being responsible and working together. Stay safe and thanks for understanding.

(w/c Monday 16 March) Letter: Advice on Coronavirus COVID-19

We've sent a letter containing advice and guidance on Coronavirus COVID-19 and it should've arrived with all tenants by the end of the week beginning Monday 16 March.

Here’s a version of the letter than you can view on our website. We’ll update you as appropriate going forward.

Please be mindful that Government guidance is subject to change.

We advise you to check www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public for the latest public guidance on what to do if you have symptoms, and what the Government is doing about the virus.

                                  

We hope that you’re well.

We want to let you know that we’re closely monitoring the situation around Coronavirus COVID-19 and we can reassure you that it hasn’t affected us delivering our services to-date.

We will continue to follow guidance from Public Health England, Bolton Council and the local NHS, who are working together so we’re well prepared to deal with it in Bolton and safeguard local communities.

More generally, the UK is well prepared for these types of incidents and there is rapid and effective testing undertaken by Public Health England for this virus. The NHS has expert teams of highly-trained staff and specialist hospital units around the country ready to receive and care for any patients with any highly infectious disease.

Based on current evidence Coronavirus COVID-19 presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. Most cases appear to be mild.

Our main concern is your health and safety, and that of our employees. All of us are encouraged to take preventative measures to reduce our potential exposure to this and other viruses.

Preventative measures

Please do:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds;
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work;
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water aren’t available;
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze;
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards;
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Please don’t:

  • don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.

More advice and information about health symptoms is available online at www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public.

We are here if you need us.

It is also important to let us know if you think you have been in contact with the virus, have the virus or need to self-isolate. In this instance please do not attend our offices.

Please contact us on 01204 328000 in case we have a reason to visit you and we will make alternative arrangements to provide the necessary support. Please also phone NHS 111.

We will contact you if we need to rearrange an existing appointment.

Our lines are open from 8am until 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, switching to an emergency service at other times.

 

Yours sincerely and best wishes,

Jon Lord - Chief Executive (Bolton at Home)

Public Health - What to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination (several languages)

Decorative thumbnail displaying the cover of the "COVID-19 vaccination - What to expect" leaflet from Public Health England.

If you've had the vaccine, check out this leaflet from Public Health England. It's designed to run you through everything you should expect after having your COVID-19 vaccination and answers these questions:

  • What are the side effects?
  • Can I catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?
  • Can I go back to normal activities after having my vaccine?
  • What do I do next?
  • What should I do if I am not well when it is my next appointment?
  • Will the vaccine protect me?
  • Can I give COVID-19 to anyone, now I have had the vaccine?

 

It's available in several languages and shouldn't take long to read:

PHE-What-to-expect-after-your-vaccination-(English)-[pdf]-551KB

PHE-What-to-expect-after-your-vaccination-(Kurdish)-[pdf]-363KB

PHE-What-to-expect-after-your-vaccination-(Farsi)-[pdf]-936KB

PHE-What-to-expect-after-your-vaccination-(Arabic)-[pdf]-958KB

PHE-What-to-expect-after-your-vaccination-(Turkish)-[pdf]-999KB

Bolton Council/NHS - Wellbeing & mental health during COVID-19

Decorative screenshot 1 of the 'Wellbeing & mental health during COVID-19' booklet Decorative screenshot 2 of the 'Wellbeing & mental health during COVID-19' booklet Decorative screenshot 3 of the 'Wellbeing & mental health during COVID-19' booklet

Why not take a couple of minutes to check out this fantastic booklet created by Bolton NHS and Bolton Council? It contains plenty of advice around wellbeing and mental health during COVID-19, such as:
  • Beating coronavirus anxiety
  • Making plans and having a routine
  • Supporting young people
  • Working well from home

Wellbeing-&-Mental-Health-during-COVID-19-[pdf]-2MB

British Islamic Medical Association - Taking the vaccine during Ramadan

It's likely that many Muslims will be invited to take the first or second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine during Ramadan. Check out these graphics from the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) if you're unsure about taking the vaccine whilst fasting:

If you'd like more information and myth-busting from BIMA, click here to visit their website.

  Poster headed with "Q&A for Muslim communities - Fasting and COVID vaccinations". A full text version of this poster is available below.

Text-based:
"1. Can I take the COVID-19 vaccine whilst fasting?
Taking the COVID-19 vaccines currently licensed in the UK does not invalidate the fast, as per the opinion of Islamic scholars. Individuals should not delay their COVID vaccinations on the account of Ramadan.

Subcutaneous, subdermal, intramuscular, interosseous, or intra-articular injections for non-nutritional purposes whilst fasting do not invalidate the fast, regardless of the injected content entering the blood circulation. These routes are not classed as entry sites that would invalidate a fast. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as an intramuscular injection, the only route for the vaccines currently available, therefore does not invalidate the fast.

2. What if I experience intolerable side effects?

Most side effects are mild, lasting a few hours, and self-limiting. However, should an individual become more unwell after receiving the vaccine then the general principles pertaining to illness and fasting apply."
 

Poster headed with "Can Muslims take COVID vaccines in Ramadan". A full text version of this poster is available below.

Text-based:
"1. Can Muslims take COVID vaccines in Ramadan?
It is likely that Muslims will be invited to take the COVID vaccine (either their 1st or 2nd dose) during Ramadan. BIMA has reviewed fiqh opinions from different schools of thought below.

Taking the COVID-19 vaccines currently licensed in the UK does not invalidate the fast during Ramadan as per the opinion of the majority of Islamic scholars."

If you'd like more information and myth-busting from BIMA, click here to visit their website.