COVID-19: GOVERNMENT ADVICE

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.

Alec is advising all constituents to follow Public Health England advice for their own safety and the safety of others.

UPDATE

On 11th May HM Government announced the first stages of a controlled easing of ‘lockdown’ rules, which will be regularly monitored according to scientific advice on the rate of infection.

You can now:

1. Continue to shop for necessities whilst respecting a 2 metre distance from others;
2. Work from home if you’re able to but if you are unable to work from home and your workplace has adopted COVID-19 Secure Guidelines then you can go to work (with the exception of retail, leisure and hospitality*);
3. Avoid using public transport where possible;
4. Use a homemade face covering in enclosed spaces where a 2 metre distance cannot be maintained;
5. Continue to send your child to school only if you have a vulnerable child or you are a critical worker;
6. Utilise child care facilities such as childminders if they can meet COVID-19 Secure Guidelines;
7. Exercise outdoors with those from your household or one other person not in your household if maintaining a 2 metre distance;
8. Drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance so long as you respect social distancing guidelines and do not do so with people from outside your household.

*A full list of businesses and venues that must remain closed to members of the public is available here.

Find out how to protect yourself or check if you need medical help on the NHS website.

Please read, share and regularly check the Government guidance as the situation and the response to it is changing daily.

What about future easing of lockdown rules?

HM Government is following a science-led, evidence-based response to easing the lockdown so the timing will depend on the success of the first stages of easing the rules. But, at present, if the rate of infection continues to fall and we see a sustained fall in COVID-19 related deaths, thereby easing the pressure on our NHS, the Government expects to follow the draft timetable below.

Not before 1 June 2020:

– A phased return for early years settings and schools, starting with Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in primary schools and Years 10 and 12 in secondary schools;
– The phased reopening of non-essential retail outlets providing they can adopt COVID-19 Secure Guidelines. Hospitality and personal care outlets will have to remain closed for a while longer in order to minimise the risk of transmission;
– Permitting sporting and cultural events to take place behind closed-doors but for public broadcast;
– Increasing the use of public transport, subject to strict measures to minimise the risk of transmission.

Not before 4th July 2020:

– The reopening of most personal care outlets (hairdressers and nail bars etc) and remaining hospitality outlets (bars, restaurants etc) providing they can adhere to COVID-19 Secure Guidelines and it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, there are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

* washing your hands more often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser when you get home or into work, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food
* avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
* avoid close contact with people who have symptoms
* cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands
* clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home

Support for families and businesses.

The Government has announced a number of scheme to help people and businesses financially throughout the crisis:

Job Retention Scheme – click here.
Universal Credit – click here
Self-Employed Support – click here
Business Support – click here

Testing

NHS and Social Care workers are able to get a COVID-19 test at the ‘drive-thru’ testing site at Temple Green in Leeds. Additionally, those over 65 with symptoms and those who cannot work from home and have symptoms can also access a test. To book a test click here.

Volunteer Support

Alec is working with local Leeds City Councillors to best co-ordinate volunteer efforts in our community. If you’re able to offer help please go to www.doinggoodleeds.org.uk