I have received the latest advice and information about Coronavirus from Ministerial colleagues in the Department for Health, including what to expect for you, your family and/or business and how to stay safe in the coming months.
General advice from the Government about Coronavirus and what action you should be taking can be found here.
Government guidance suggests self-isolation for a minimum of fourteen days if you or a member of your household is experiencing:
- A new, sustained cough, often with shortness of breath or
- An elevated temperature or fever
All social contact and travel should be avoided unless necessary and you should work at home where possible.
If symptoms become unbearable, or last for more than 7 days, you can access medical support by dialling NHS 111 or NHS 111 Online.
I’m sure that you’ve already heard a lot of general advice on how to protect yourself and those around you. The Chief Medical Officer has provided essential advice, including washing your hands with hot water and soap or hand gel for 20 seconds and staying away from vulnerable individuals, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible.
Advice for businesses and employees
The latest and regularly updated details for employees, businesses and employers, including newly announced financial measures to help businesses, can be found here.
A concern many constituents have is about their working rights and protections in the event of them having to self-isolate. The Government's priority is to ensure people are not penalised for doing the right thing if they feel unwell and are worried about contracting Coronavirus. People who self-isolate can receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from day one of isolation. Those on zero-hour contracts may also be eligible for SSP and should contact their employer directly for more information.
If you are self-employed, including in the gig-economy, welfare payments from the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC) are now also available from day one of isolation. In addition, we’re including provisions for childcare support and work allowances within UC and have temporarily removed the Minimum Income Floor for claimants.
For those with friends and family who are in foreign countries, and who may be experiencing problems in getting back to the UK, you can contact the Foreign Office consular hotline on 0207 008 1500 for advice. General advice on travel restrictions in specific countries can be found here.
The Government’s response will continue to evolve as new information comes to light and we can each do our bit to reduce the harmful effects of Coronavirus and keep ourselves safe. As always, please do get in touch with me at email@example.com if you need assistance.