Important Update from Steve on Covid-19
I know people are extremely concerned about the coronavirus, how it might affect their loved ones and the impact on all of our lives in the coming weeks and months.
We must protect and support those most vulnerable which will mean us pulling together and helping our communities. I am working with local charities, groups and advice services about how we can help each other through the difficult months ahead.
We must all play our part and take every precaution to prevent the spread of the virus, please follow advice from NHS England.
Latest advice as of 17 March
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
How long to stay at home
- if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
- if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
DO NOT go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home, for further information visit 111 Online Service:
The Government have also advised people against non-essential contact with others, non-essential travel and to work from home where you can. They are asking that people avoid places with large numbers of people like pubs, restaurants and theatres. The Government have also advised that by next weekend pregnant women, people over the age of 70 and those with serious health conditions will be asked to socially isolate for 12 weeks.
I know this will be a very worrying time for self-employed people, small businesses, particularly those in the hospitality and events industry. I will be calling on the Prime Minister and the Government to introduce immediate support for businesses and people affected by the latest advice, we must protect people’s livelihoods and look at all possible options like suspending mortgages and deferring rent and bills.
The latest guidance from the Government can be found here and you can also email me if I can help in specific cases.
Going forward my office will be focusing on the most urgent casework enquiries. I am sure you will agree we do not want to put unnecessary pressure on our public services who are rightly doing everything they can to help delay the spread of coronavirus, protect the most vulnerable and ensure services can keep going.
Following the advice from the Parliamentary Authorities and given the new restrictions the Government have introduced I have taken the difficult decision to cancel my Advice Centres as a precautionary measure. I will keep this under review over the coming weeks. You can continue to email me or phone my office on 0121 443 3878 if you need any help and I will be shortly be setting up telephone and video link advice centres, look out for more details on my website.
We will try and respond to all enquiries as quickly as possible but we will all need to be patient in what is going to be a difficult period.
I know people across the constituency will want to do all they can to support their community and vulnerable neighbours. Do you know someone nearby that is self-isolating and think that you can help? If you would like me to send you copies of a ‘Neighbour Postcard’ for your street please click here.
I am also going to be setting up a ‘Phone a Friend’ service to help keep in touch with vulnerable people or those who live alone. I am talking to local organisations about how we can work together and I will share further details about how it will work shortly.
I will continue to update constituents on my Facebook Page here and my website here