The Government is leading a cross-government drive to defeat the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) and has promised to keep the public informed every step of the way. This includes new daily press conferences to be held by the Prime Minister, Chief Scientific Adviser and the Chief Medical Officer.
The Prime Minister has made it clear that Covid-19 is the worst public health crisis in a generation and will continue to spread over the coming months. Both the virus and measures protecting the public will cause severe disruption for many months, but support is not only going to be provided economically but in many other forms and to communities directly. This includes giving the Government the temporary powers it needs to help everyone.
The Government has now advised that if yourself or anyone in your house has symptoms, including a fever or new persistent cough, then you all self-isolate for 14 days.
Even if you do not have symptoms, stop non-essential travel and contact with others, including social visits to pubs, theatres and other community spaces. If you can work from home, it is recommended you do so.
Advice For Concerned Parents And PUpils
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to all staff, parents and pupils who have questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care on 0800 046 8687 8am-6pm weekdays and 10am to 4pm weekends.
Advice For Vulnerable Groups And The Elderly
The Government is currently prioritising protecting the most vulnerable in society, namely the elderly, where there is a maximum risk of exposure. The new adult social care guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-adult-social-care-guidance-to-protect-the-most-vulnerable-against-covid-19. This includes recommending those who show any symptoms, including a fever or persistent cough, to not visit care homes and should self-isolate at home.
The Government is also advising that those with underlying health conditions or over 70s self-isolate.
Age UK have also issued their own advice: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/conditions-illnesses/coronavirus/.
If you have any concerns about anything else, including welfare, care or housing, they can contact Age UK’s free advice line, 8am-7pm : 0800 055 6112.
Call To Action For Ventilators
The Prime Minister has called for any business that can help increase ventilator production to contact the Business Government Helpline on 0300 456 3565 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shopping And Stockpiling
Please follow the recommendations of shops and the Government and do not panic or stockpile from our shops. A joint letter from supermarkets across the country, including Lidl, Tesco, Aldi, Waitrose, Sainsburys and ASDA has asked that everyone is considerate in the way that they shop, ensuring that people do not buy more than they need which leaves others to be left without.
Consular Hotline For British Citizens Abroad
If you are a British citizen living abroad and have any concerns, the hotline number is 02070081500.
Effect On Face-To-Face Assessments
From the 17th March the Department for Work and Pensions is suspending all scheduled face-to-face assessments for the next three months and will be contacting claimants to let them know. Alternative arrangements will be put in place, asking claimants to seek assessments over the phone or on paper when possible.
Up To Date Guidance
The NHS and Government are constantly updating their guidance online. I recommend that all constituents keep up to date with the daily recommendations and follow the expert guidance.