What does this mean for Waveney?
As you will be aware, we are currently living in truly unprecedented times.
Being a new virus, Covid-19 means we must learn as the situation unfolds and crucially, follow the scientific advice provided by the Chief Medical Officer.
In order to minimise the impact of the virus, we must change the way we live and work for a period of time.
Myself and my office will be working throughout this challenging time to ensure that constituents have access to all the relevant advice and help available, in particular ensuring local public service leaders have any assistance required and ensuring the NHS and other public services have the support they need.
Most importantly, I will continue to liaise with Parliamentary and Ministerial colleagues to make sure that the Government and all agencies are aware of the challenges and reality that Waveney faces during the spread of coronavirus.
I outline below details of current social distancing guidance, in addition to the Government’s support for workers and business.
As with any system brought in at pace under exceptional circumstances, there will be constituents who fall through the gaps and I understand this is a deeply worrying time for many employees and businesses.
If you have any questions or need assistance regarding your personal circumstances please do email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Myself and my staff are following Government advice on isolation and working remotely.
As a result, there are currently no planned constituency surgeries and my staff are unable to meet constituents at the constituency office.
Despite this, we are working to ensure that all enquiries, correspondence and casework is handled appropriately.
I would like to thank all those who work in the NHS and in front line services including carers, police and prison officers for the vital role in serving Waveney and Suffolk.
Key workers across vital sectors are putting themselves at risk to protect us. We must honour the work of those on the front line by following guidance and staying at home.
Stay safe and with best wishes.
Peter Aldous MP
Member of Parliament for Waveney
Current advice states you must only leave your home for the following four reasons:
• Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
• One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
• Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
• Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
These 4 reasons are exceptions and even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
Do not leave your home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Do not leave your home if you have either:
• 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 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
• To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
• Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.
Do not leave your home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does. This is called self-isolation.
If you are self-isolating, you must:
• not leave your home for any reason, other than to exercise once a day – but stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people
• not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home
• not have visitors, such as friends and family, in your home
You can use your garden, if you have one.
How long to self-isolate
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you'll need to self-isolate for 7 days.
After 7 days:
• if you do not have a high temperature, you do not need to self-isolate
• if you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal
• You do not need to self-isolate if you just have a cough after 7 days. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.
If you live with someone who has symptoms
• If you live with someone who has symptoms, you'll need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.
• If more than 1 person at home has symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days from the day the first person started having symptoms.
• If you get symptoms, self-isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms start, even if it means you're self-isolating for longer than 14 days.
• If you do not get symptoms, you can stop self-isolating after 14 days.
If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:
• For health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website.
• For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online.
• For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.
How to stop infection spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus.
• wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
• use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
• wash your hands as soon as you get back home
• 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 immediately and wash your hands afterwards
• do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
The virus is characterised by:
• A high rate of transmission between those in close proximity to one another or exposure to contaminated surfaces.
• Most of those infected will experience mild to severe flu symptoms but will make a full recovery.
• Clinical respiratory intervention is most often required in those patients who have underlying health, respiratory and immune conditions.
At present, the largest threat coronavirus poses is the overwhelming of the NHS if a large number become infected with the virus at one time.
Thus, it is important we follow the public health and Government guidelines to prevent a simultaneous wave of patients needing respiratory support in hospitals.
The NHS has been preparing for an increase in demand by creating additional respiratory and treatment space, as well as postponing all non-essential operations.
It is crucial that everyone is aware of the latest and follows the most up-to-date medical advice.
Isolation in rural areas.
The coronavirus pandemic creates several challenges for Waveney. As a rural area, isolation for the elderly and vulnerable is already a challenge. We must all make a conscious effort to ensure the elderly and vulnerable are not isolated further and have access to any support they require.
I would like to make you aware of a new Suffolk-focused community service that has been set up to support people who need help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Called ‘Home But Not Alone’, the service has been launched to help connect people who want to volunteer in their communities with neighbours who are most in need.
The service will mean willing volunteers, charities, town and parish councils, community and religious groups can all log their details and offers of support on an app, while people who need help can phone to request support. As the number of offers and requests grows, they will be matched so that the right help can be given where it’s most needed.
The free app, called Tribe Volunteer, can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The telephone number for those in genuine need of help is freephone 0800 876 6926 and will be staffed from 09:00 to 17:00, seven days a week.
Local Business and Employees
The Government has announced an unprecedented £330 billion Covid Bailout package to help make sure people do not lose their jobs, livelihoods and businesses.
This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:
• a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Click here
• deferring VAT and Income Tax payments: Click here
• a Self-employment Income Support Scheme: Click here
• a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs): Click here
• a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England: Click here
• small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief: Click here
• grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000: Click here
• the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank: Click here
• a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans: Click here
• the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme: Click here
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Click here
• Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
• This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise known as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant.
• The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.
Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments: Click here.
• We will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.
• If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to defer the payment until a later date or pay the VAT due as normal.
Self-employment Income Support Scheme: Click here
• This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.
Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs: Click here
• We will bring forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.
A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England: Click here
• Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues for assembly and leisure for hospitality, as hotels, guest & boarding premises or self-catering accommodation
Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief: Click here
• The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief.
• This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.
Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000: Click here
• Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 may be eligible for a grant of £10,000.
• Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 may be eligible for a grant of £25,000.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank: Click here
• The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.
• The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans: Click here
• Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.
• This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.
The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme: Click here
• All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
• If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.
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