Updated 28th March 2020. For the latest medical advice, visit NHS.uk/Coronavirus.
Latest updates from Katherine:
***New measures for the Self Employed announced***:
The Chancellor has announced a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme – helping many of our country’s self-employed workers: the musicians, the sound engineers, the plumbers, the electricians, the taxi drivers, the hairdressers, the childminders, the driving instructors, and many others.
Through this scheme, the Government will pay self-employed people a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month – that’s unlike almost any other country and makes our scheme one of the most generous in the world.
Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a three-week lockdown in the UK to fight the spread of coronavirus. In a nationwide address, Mr Johnson told the public to stay at home during the pandemic, as the NHS will not be able to handle too many people becoming "unwell at one time." He said the lockdown was "vital to slow the spread of the disease" and "save more lives."
The new measures placed upon the public which we must all stick to are:
- shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently 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, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
- travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
Delivering these measures
These measures will reduce our day-to-day contact with other people. They are a vital part of our efforts to reduce the rate of transmission of coronavirus.
Everyone is instructed to comply with these new measures.
The Government will therefore be ensuring the police and other relevant authorities have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings where people do not comply.
These restrictions will last for the three weeks from 23 March, at which point the Government will look at them again and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.
We are ensuring that frontline NHS staff get the tests they need to keep safe and treat patients. Working with universities, research institutes and businesses, we will start rolling out staff testing across the NHS from next week, with plans for a full roll-out for health, social care and other frontline workers.
More than half a million people have already signed up to volunteer with the NHS, double our original target, demonstrating that the British people are pulling together to support the national effort to combat coronavirus.
We have also ramped up delivery of Personal Protective Equipment to our frontline medical staff so they are fully equipped to tackle Coronavirus - the best thing everyone else can do is to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
Critically for business the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has also been made available through participating lenders. The scheme will provide government-backed loans of up to £5 million to small and medium businesses.
Our overarching plan:
- Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel
- We need people to start working from home where they possibly can, and you should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other social venues
- This advice is particularly important for people over 70, for pregnant women and for those with some health conditions
- If you, or anyone in your household, has either a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, then you should stay at home for fourteen days
- That means that if possible you should not go out even to buy food or essentials, other than for exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others. If necessary, you should ask for help from others for your daily necessities. And if that is not possible, then you should do what you can to limit your social contact when you leave the house to get supplies
- The Government will no longer be supporting mass gatherings with emergency workers as it normally would
The new measures announced by government are dramatic, but are needed to save lives and protect the NHS. Britain will get through this - but we've got to work together. You can find out more by clicking here.