I am writing to you with the latest information about the measures that the Government is introducing to tackle the Coronavirus crisis.
Firstly, the detail on the announcements restricting movement outside your home. The guidance notes published by the Government are here:
There will undoubtedly be many questions about this and if you contact me, I will do my best to answer them for you. But the simple summary is that if you don’t have to do it, then don’t.
Stay at home unless you really must leave for work or another very important reason, like buying food or going to a medical appointment. And please do not meet your friends, either out or in any of your homes. Talk electronically instead.
For those wondering why these measures are necessary, I was sent this letter yesterday by a leading doctor in South London.
I wanted to send you an open letter to be passed on to as many people as possible. I am writing as a doctor in a front-line hospital battling the greatest challenge in the history of modern healthcare.
I am writing on behalf of my colleagues in the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Units of hospitals nationwide. Many hospitals are just days away from being overwhelmed.
We are pleading with everyone at risk to isolate at home, and everyone else to keep as far distance as possible from others if they are not able to isolate. We have got to break the chain of transmission. By taking this responsibility, every person who does this will be responsible for saving lives.
The patients dying today got infected two weeks ago or more. By taking a decision to isolate today and to distance yourself from today, you will be saving lives which will otherwise be lost in two weeks. Please do this today, without any further delay.
You may think the majority of the population are heeding Government advice – but the truth is that many are not, and lives are going to be lost as a consequence.
Doctors, Nurses and all health professionals will stay at work, but we need you to stay at home. Thank you.
Professor Stephen J.D. Brecker, Chief of Cardiology, St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
I know that this will be very unsettling for many people, particularly the elderly. I think that the dedicated time for them to go food shopping now seems to have settled down and stocks are reasonable – so people do not need to worry unduly about being able to obtain food. But if you have been advised to stay at home even for food shopping, and many elderly people have already been, and you do not already have help, then please contact one of the following helplines which will be able to help you sort out getting shopping collected for you.
Age Concern Epsom & Ewell – 01372 732 456
Age Concern Mole Valley – 01306 899104
Age Concern Banstead – 01737 352156
Surrey County Council has set up a help line for people needing help more broadly. They will provide information about where to get help. The number is 0300 200 1008.
Worried residents can also visit the dedicated Surrey County Council Coronavirus website for community support for more information.
I have two further pieces of information for those of you with businesses:
Firstly, some of you may wish to know that the British Business Bank has launched the Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Further detail on how to apply is set out in the link below:
Secondly, the Government has established a new website with the full range of advice for businesses. You can find it at https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/
I hope to have more information about support for the self-employed this week.
Finally, many local restaurants which are not able to open at the moment are doing takeaways and can deliver to your home. If you are running one of these restaurants, please let me know your contact details and I will publicise a list of those which can deliver in one of these bulletins.
With best wishes