The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced the country’s roadmap towards removing coronavirus restrictions. The national lockdown is to be eased in four distinct steps, gradually, when the evidence is clear that it is safe to do so. It has been made clear that the Government will continue to support businesses and livelihoods during the reopening.
In implementing this plan, the Government is to be guided by data, not dates. For that reason, all the dates in the roadmap are indicative and subject to change. There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the scientific data to reflect the changes in restrictions and to be analysed; followed by one week’s advance notice of the restrictions that will be eased.
The decision will be based on four tests: the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully; evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated; infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS; and our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
All government coronavirus guidance, including the assistance and support available, can be found here.
For guidance from Dover District Council and Kent County Council, see below:
Test and Trace
Crucial to controlling the virus is NHS Test and Trace, the system through which contacts of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are tracked down and ordered to isolate to prevent further infection.
For a full explanation of how NHS Test and Trace works, including what you need to do if you develop symptoms or test positive for the virus, click here.
Hands. Face. Space.
In order to protect yourself and others from the virus, you must follow Hands, Face, Space.
This involves three key measures:
• HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
• FACE – Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. For full guidance on face coverings, when to wear one and exemptions, see here.
• SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors). For full social distancing guidance see here.
The latest and most detailed health advice from the NHS can be found here.
Download the Contact Tracing App
Protect your loved ones with the official NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app for England and Wales.
It’s the fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk from coronavirus (COVID-19). The quicker you know, the quicker you can alert your loved ones, and your community.
The more of us that use it, the better we can control coronavirus.
Protect your loved ones. Please download the app.
You can find more information about the app here.
I am aware that this is a difficult time for many. I will continue to do everything I can to protect jobs and livelihoods and keep the residents of Dover and Deal safe through this extraordinary period, and please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can help with.
There is a huge amount of support out there for anyone struggling due to Coronavirus.
Please click here to find support for whatever issue you may be having.
While you should stay at home as much as possible, it is important that coronavirus does not prevent you from seeking medical attention for any other health concerns you may have.
As well as seeking support from the NHS, there is a range of trusted UK charities providing excellent advice for specific subject areas and COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Advice for people with asthma
Advice for people with cancer
Macmillan Cancer Support
Advice for people with cystic fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis Trust UK
Advice for people with diabetes
Diabetes UK – The British Diabetic Association
Advice for people with heart or circulatory disease
The British Heart Foundation
Advice for people with lung conditions
British Lung Foundation
Advice to help you stay mentally well
Advice for the elderly
Business and Self-Employed Support
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.
The Bank of England has temporarily reduced the Bank Rate to 0.1 per cent. It has taken further measures to help ensure that this rate reduction will translate through to the real economy and that capital will be available for new lending. As the virus progresses, and its impact understood, further updates will be provided.
Full details of government support for businesses can be found here.
Business which can stay open must make sure that their workplace is safe. Find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure here.
If you are worried about paying tax due to coronavirus, contact HMRC here.