Winter Funding Package To Fight Possible Second Wave As Restrictions Lifted

Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage has welcomed this afternoon’s announcement that further restrictions can be lifted from August 1st as Britain looks to bounce back and return to a ‘new normal.’

Caroline has been in contact with many local beauty salon owners in recent weeks, many of whom were delighted that salons could reopen, but remained concerned by the limits placed on close-contact services like facials and eyebrows shaping.

From August 1st, remaining leisure settings can reopen including indoor ice rinks, bowling alleys and casinos. Close contact beauty services can resume, as can indoor performances, and wedding receptions can take place with up to 30 people.

Caroline also this morning held a Gosport Google Digital Marketing event, where she spoke to many local business owners about the impact of COVID-19 and the next steps as we get the economy moving again.

Also 1st August, employers will also have the discretion to decide whether their employees should physically return to work, as long as the workplace is COVID-19 Secure. Employers have been asked to consult with their workforce to ensure that their decision is safe. This is coupled with the announcement that people can use public transport, while considering alternative methods of travel.

Looking forward to the autumn, the Prime Minister has further announced that he is hopeful that conferences, business events and stadium audiences can reopen from October following pilots.

Local Authorities from tomorrow will be granted the powers to ensure localised lockdown measures, including closing public spaces, premises and cancelling outdoor events which will allow them to react quickly to an outbreak. The Government will also release draft regulations next week on how central government will be able to intervene at a local level to ensure that the outbreak is contained within individual communities.

As further restrictions are lifted, it is clear that they are contingent on the rate of transmission. As the Government looks towards the autumn months, they have also released further information about the plans to prevent a possible second wave.

Alongside the extensive measures already in place, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has this morning announced an immediate £3 billion funding boost for the NHS to prepare for winter.

The funding boost will help healthcare services provide additional capacity for coronavirus patients, while ensuring that they can continue to remain open for routine treatments and procedures. The biggest flu vaccine programme in the history of the UK will also be rolled out, as the symptoms of COVID-19 and flu are so similar and the virus may be more prevalent in winter months.

Together with the funding boost, the Prime Minister plans to increase the testing capacity to half a million antigen tests a day by the end of October. This is key to supporting the NHS Test and Trace programme, which protects communities from the spread of Covid-19 as it contains isolated outbreaks.

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, commented:

“It is good news that our rate of transmission means that we can continue to slowly reopen businesses, workplaces and venues in August. It is vital for our local economy to try and establish a ‘new normal’ as soon as safely possible. 

But many of my constituents have also raised concerns also about a potential second wave, so the funding announcement and the preparations being made are welcome and reassuring.”