I will be providing regular updates to you on the Government's response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
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 upon medical advice and I will post 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, a taste in sense of smell or taste, 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.
Current restrictions in our area
Greater Manchester is currently under Tier 3 restrictions, which will be reviewed in several weeks. You must not meet socially with anyone indoors unless they are in your support bubble. Those who are able to work from home should do so. You must not travel in the UK or overseas unless for a specific reason.
Gyms, places of worship and personal care are all open, however hospitality remains takeaway and delivery only in Tier 3.
In education settings where pupils/students are Y7 and above, face coverings should be worn when moving around corridors and communal areas where social distancing is more difficult to maintain.
More detailed information can be found here.
Christmas restrictions can be found here. Three households may bubble together between 23rd and 27th December.
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.
When leaving the house, try to keep a two metre distance from people who are not in your household. If this is not possible, measures should be taken to keep you and the people around you safe, such as face coverings. You must wear face coverings on public transport and in shops unless you are exempt. Further details can be found here. You must not gather in groups of more than six people, except in very specific situations.
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
A two-week quarantine is in place for those returning from specific countries.
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.
Testing has been massively expanded, however please only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to by the local council or hospital. The NHS Covid telephone line is 119.
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 2020. After this, the Job Support Scheme will contribute a proportion of the wages of employees and those who are self-employed.
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council are regularly updating their information here. Bounceback Business Loans are 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.
Healthcare, mental health, flu jabs
Telephone appointments and online consultations are 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.
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.
Free flu vaccines have been expanded. Please check here to see if you are eligible. Even if you are not eligible, flu jabs are widely available at local pharmacies and protect against this illness as we work to ensure the NHS is not overwhelmed this winter.
Mortgages and rents
Those with mortgages will be able to ask for a mortgage holiday should they need to do so. 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. There is also a £500 grant for those self-isolating that are eligible under the Test and Trace Support Scheme.
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.
Please do consider donating any extra that you are able to purchase to a food bank.
In addition to changed opening hours and opening hours specific to certain groups, shops are implementing social distancing measures such as queues and one-way systems. Unless you are exempt, you must wear a face covering.
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.
You can continue to use early years and childcare providers including childminders and before/after school clubs etc for children. You may also continue to employ nannies or form a childcare support bubble. Your childcare support bubble should be as close to your home as possible and consistently be the same household.
We continue to update this page and add details of local trusted organisations.