The Government has taken the very difficult decision to implement a national lockdown. This will be much like the lockdown we had in March, where the message is simple: Stay at home.
There are reasons you may leave your home, including:
- For work (unless you can work from home)
- To shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- Exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person outdoors.
- To seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- Attend education or childcare - for those eligible
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.
Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.
For the full guidance, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae#summary-what-you-can-and-cannot-do-during-the-national-lockdown
I am on hand to assist residents wherever needed, please do not hesitate to contact me: Andrea.Jenkyns.MP@Parliament.UK
New lockdown grants will help businesses to get through the months ahead. They will help protect jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen.
- Chancellor announces top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring
- £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses
- Comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme
Reasons for Hope
Another lockdown will be hard for us all, especially those already feeling anxious or lonely. But there are reasons for optimism. Unlike in March last year, we have a way out of these restrictions that is already being rolled out across the UK- two medically approved vaccines.
Already, more than 1 million people in the UK have received a dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and from Monday (4th) the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines are being also distributed in the UK
The UK government has pre-ordered 100m doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. This vaccine is a triumph of British science, and has other very real benefits over other types that will help speed up the roll out of protection. It can be stored much more simply than others, at higher temperatures, so more of our local health centres are able to be used to distribute it, and I welcome that hundreds more vaccination sites are opening up this week across our country to maximise our efficiency and reach.
I am genuinely hopeful that in the coming months, significant parts of the vulnerable people in our communities will have received a vaccination, and we will be soon able to remove the restrictions and embrace normality once again.
Some residents have asked if the new COVID strain, first discovered by our UK scientists, will work with the vaccines. I am encouraged there is no evidence to suggest that this particular variant causes more severe illness or higher mortality, or that the vaccine would be any less effective against it.