Following the closure of bars and music venues, the Greater Manchester local
authority is launching a website
showing live performances every night.
The region’s night-time economy adviser, Sacha Lord, has helped set up the free United We Stream website, where from Monday users can watch free performances and donate to help affected businesses and local charities.
A spokesman added that the opening of gates would mean "passengers do not have to pass paper or season tickets through the barriers or present them to staff", though customers still required a ticket to travel.
Commercial and customer director Mark Powles said:
Our trains and stations remain open for business to help key workers get where they need to be across the north of England.
For those who have to make essential journeys – and for our staff who continue to work across the network – we want to make the railway as safe as possible [and] the measure we have introduced today further limit person-to-person contact.
Our ticket offices remain open to provide help and advice to passengers [but] we will only accept payment via card. Customers who want to pay by cash will be asked to use ticket machines if they are available.
Greater Manchester is between 10 days and two weeks behind London in its trajectory of coronavirus cases, the region's mayor has said.
The total number of people who have died in Greater Manchester after testing positive for COVID-19 now stands at 27 and Andy Burnham said there had been an increase in cases in the region "over the last couple of days", adding that the area's hospital capacity had also "dropped" in the same period.
However, he said he was "very confident in colleagues working to plan the capacity across the system".
We have to keep a very close eye on this day by day, but I’m confident that the NHS system is as prepared as it could be.
We are looking at every possible contingency. It’s not just a question of beds and buildings. This is a question of people.
It’s hard to say at this moment in time that everything is sorted because it’s a fast-moving situation. But what I can say is we are doing everything we possibly can.
He said "no decisions have been made yet" about the use of any non-medical buildings as temporary hospitals, as is being done in London.
He also said he expected "in the next 24 hours... [for] every police officer to be issued with a kit which will include a mask, gloves and wipes".
However, he added that for most officers, "a surgical mask is not required as standard".
'Is losing sense of taste and smell a coronavirus symptom?'
The major supermarkets are searching for 35,000 additional workers, but many other firms supplying essential goods or services are also looking for extra help so they can cope with the increased demand.
Home care company Cera has just created 10,000 new jobs for people to work as part of the home carer community.
Meanwhile, chemist chain Lloyds Pharmacy is seeking 1,500 workers across the country in the next few days. And Virgin Media says it needs 500 new people at Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Teesside.
Up to 1,000 homeless people across Greater Manchester will be put up in hotels to try and stop more people getting coronavirus, the region's mayor has said.
Andy Burnham said a £5m fund will help those most at risk of developing and spreading the disease – rough sleepers and people in shared accommodation.
Currently, 625 rooms have already been allocated in hotels across the region, with the combined authority hoping to secure a further 375 by Friday.
Food, sanitary products and dental supplies will also be provided, with mobile phones allowing those staying to contact support workers and access "extra emotional support".
Mr Burnham said:
We have identified 720 people in shared accommodation and 280 people sleeping rough on the streets who will need our support.
They have been identified as the highest risk group with regard to coronavirus infection, but also contributing to wider spread.
It’s absolutely crucial from a humanitarian point of view that urgent action was taken to put in place proper support for them.
However, the mayor criticised Britannia Hotels for removing people housed under the scheme from one of their hotels yesterday, leaving them with "nowhere to go".
While it’s right for me to praise those organisations stepping forward and doing the right, I think it’s equally important to say that we don’t accept that kind of response once an agreement has been reached to accommodate people.
[It was] a pretty major incident where people were put out with nowhere to go.
That was unfair on them and it was unfair on council staff who had to deal with a very challenging situation.
We’ve considered that to be an extremely disappointing approach from that particular organisation, and it’s only right that it’s brought to the public’s attention because we don’t think it is the way that things should be done.
Britannia Hotels has been contacted for comment.
Greater Manchester special constables 'doing a brilliant job'
Former police chief says public must accept 'absolutely vital' coronavirus rules
The former chief constable of Greater Manchester Police says there is "a huge amount of clarification needed" about the tougher rules on the movement of people during the coronavirus crisis.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning, Sir Peter Fahy said "clear outlines are needed" on a range of issues, such as the definition of a vulnerable person and what counts as exercise.
There is no way really that the police can enforce this using powers.
It has got to be because the public hugely support it, that there is peer pressure and there is continuing clarification from government about the message and going through all the individual scenarios and questions that people will have about what happens in this situation.
It feels like in the next few days, we will need an implementation period, but the key thing is that the public accept that this is absolutely vital if lives are to be saved.
'It's important to reach out to people living alone'
Coronation Street star Dan Brocklebank has been talking about living alone and how important it is to reach out to people during the coronavirus pandemic.
The actor, who plays Billy Mayhew in the ITV soap, said he is seeing "lovely community spirit".
The pair closed the Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester city centre and Hotel Football at Old Trafford at the weekend and are letting health workers helping with the coronavirus crisis stay there free of charge.
Giggs said the two hotels which have more than 170 rooms already have 35 NHS workers staying there and he said he believes it will be full in 10 days.