I will be providing regular updates to you on the Government's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
As the Prime Minister stated, we are involved in a national fightback against the coronavirus, which means we need to restrict certain aspects of our everyday life to prevent the risk of exposure.
As you will appreciate the current situation is changing daily and I will be posting updates on this page as they are announced. If you have specific queries please do not hesitate to contact my parliamentary office on 0161 672 6855/ 0207 219 8091 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a disease that appeared late-2019. Common signs of infection include fever, dry cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome. Those who are older or have underlying health issues are more at risk.
Importance of hygiene
We must practice good hygiene which includes regular hand washing, sneezing/coughing into a tissue that is then thrown away. Follow advice to wash your hands frequently, for 20 seconds every time. You should also avoid touching your face, and food, without washing your hands immediately beforehand. To prevent infection, these measures are all recommended. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing and practice self-isolation if you show these symptoms. Click here for more information.
If you have a high temperature (37.8c) or a new continuous cough, the Government advises that you stay at home for 7 days. Should someone show any of these symptoms, the whole household must stay isolated for 14 days. This will help to others in our community while you are infectious. For further information and advice, please visit the NHS website.
Stay at home advice & social distancing
As of 23rd March, you should only leave the house for one of four reasons;
1. Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
2. One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
3. Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
4. Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
These four reasons are exceptions - 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. This position will be reviewed after every three weeks. Further details can be found here.
The Government advises to only use the NHS when it is essential. The Government recommends that those over 70, pregnant women, and those with health conditions participate in social-distancing for 12 weeks. Guidance on social distancing can be found here. A stay at home guide for those with confirmed or possible coronavirus infection can be found here.
If you are concerned that you or a family member may have symptoms of the virus, current government advice can be found here. To protect yourself and others, do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital. Instead of ringing 111, please visit here. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Stockport Council has introduced a dedicated Coronavirus helpline for vulnerable people. The most vulnerable people in Stockport will be able to access support Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm, on 0161 217 6046.
The helpline will provide advice and tell you how you can access support. You can call the helpline if do not have a network of family and friends you can call upon for support, particularly if:
- you're over the age of 70 and you are self-isolating
- you have received a letter from the NHS advising you are high risk and should stay at home
- you're medically vulnerable according to the government criteria and should stay at home.
Letters have been sent out to the most vulnerable and this information is being given to supermarkets and other organisations to ensure those being shielded have access to support via deliveries or food parcels. If you believe you are vulnerable and have not been contacted, please visit here.
Travel and returning from abroad
The Government has issued travel advice against all travel overseas and British Nationals overseas are strongly advised to return immediately.
To stay up to date on the latest advice, please subscribe to updates or visit here. Please respect the quarantine period that may be imposed upon you should you visit other countries, or indeed if you are returning to the UK. You should avoid all non-necessary travel until it is safe to do so and Government advice has changed.
The Department for Education is currently advising against all overseas educational trips for children under 18. All schools will be closed for the majority of pupils from the afternoon of the 20th of March until further notice. Schools will remain open to vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers. The Government has also released further details about exam cancellations and grades. Further guidance can be found here. For those on free school meals, food vouchers are being organised. Schools will begin to reopen in a phased way when it is deemed safe to do so.
The Chancellor has announced an extensive business support package which includes grants, loans, tax cuts, business rates suspension and payment of wages. The Job Retention Scheme (furloughing) has been extended until October. Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council are regularly updating their information here. Bounceback Business Loans are now available and Universal Credit has been strengthened. Visit here to see what you or your business may be entitled to.
An SK business recovery website can be found here.
In the wake of legislation being relaxed, many of our local shops and restaurants are now offering delivery, with some of them putting their details here.
Measures to help the self employed include a taxable grant of up to 80% of average monthly earnings.
GP and dental appointments, mental health
GPs are limiting face to face appointments. Telephone appointments and online consultations will be available. If you have an urgent health concern, or something that cannot wait, please reach out. Visit A&E for emergencies, or phone 111 or contact your GP for other concerns.
Dental information can be found here.
During this time, looking after our mental health is important. Many of us are experiencing low feelings, anxiety and loneliness that is being exacerbated by the ongoing situation. However, there is lots of support out there:
- You can contact Samaritans on 116 123
- Mind Charity have lots of information and support here.
- NHS Every Mind Matters has a wealth of online resources here.
- Stockport Council has lots of resources that can be found here.
If you are finding this time difficult, or have a friend or family member you are worried about, please reach out.
Mortgages and rents
Those with mortgages will be able to ask for a mortgage holiday should they need to do so.
A complete ban on evictions and additional protections for renters are in place, with more information here. Landlords should work with renters struggling to pay rent as a result of the pandemic in order to explore ways of managing the situation.
Statutory sick pay
If you are self-isolating because of coronavirus (COVID-19), or for those with the virus, you can claim SSP from the first day of sickness. You must be eligible for SSP. More information can be found here.
Many community groups have been set up in the wake of the virus. Please visit their pages for more information in Cheadle Hulme, Bramhall, Bramhall North and Gatley. Stockport Council has set up a grant scheme for local community groups, with more information here.
The NHS has also set up a national scheme for volunteers, you can sign up here.
Over 75s license fee
Changes to the free license fee for over 75s have been delayed until 1st August 2020. More information can be found here.
Opening hours and considerate buying of supermarket products
Many supermarkets have introduced limits to certain items, including Aldi and Sainsbury's. There is enough to go round - please do not buy more than you need unless you are donating to a food bank.
In addition to changed opening hours, shops are implementing social distancing measures such as queues and one-way systems.
Waitrose, Cheadle Hulme: NHS and the vulnerable 8-9am Monday-Saturday and 9:30-10:30 Sunday
Iceland, Cheadle: NHS 5-6pm, elderly and vulnerable 9-10am
Co-Op, Gatley: NHS and vulnerable 9-10am
Local sport funding
Sport England have set up a Community Emergency Fund for sport. For eligibility requirements and applications, please visit here.
There is charity funding for local charities that will be made available through the National Lottery.
Stockport Council have a dedicated web page where organisations can find out about funding, and are supporting groups with their applications. Do contact them for information about community-based funding and grants for projects like activities for young people, volunteer programmes and development of communal facilities. Further Government information can be found here.
Community radio - Cheadle FM
A local radio station has been set up in Cheadle, due to broadcast from the end of May. You can listen to Cheadle FM on 87.9FM. The radio station has been set up to broadcast information and updates during this time.
The Government’s roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis can be read here.
We continue to update this page and add details of local trusted organisations.
Latest News from Government
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