Coronavirus Advice

This page has been designed to provide up-to-date information, guidance and advice with regards to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

In the event of an emergency, please call 999. Medical help is also available via the 111 online service if you have a problem and are unsure what to do. 

Please use the link below for the latest information from the Government about the Coronavirus: 

If you are a constituent, and you have any concerns yourself, or about others, please email julian.smith.mp@parliament.uk

April 2021:

Since the start of the pandemic, my team and I have worked flat out to help constituents – and will continue to do everything possible as we progress along the roadmap. As the restrictions ease further, I am looking forward to visiting more businesses as they reopen and I would also encourage people to safely take up the new freedoms to support businesses, particularly those in the hospitality industry which has been one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic. 

More than 33 million people in the UK have now been vaccinated by our brilliant NHS. Thanks to people abiding by the lockdown restrictions, alongside the success of the vaccination rollout and falling infections and hospitalisations, we are progressing along the roadmap for a safe and gradual lifting of restrictions.   

The roadmap sets out four stages for the easing of restrictions. At every stage, the government’s decisions will be led by data not dates, and subjected to four key tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully;
  • That evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths;
  • That infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS;
  • Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of Covid that cause concern.

There will be five weeks between each step to account for the time needed for data which will reflect the impact relaxations in restrictions will have and to give the country one week’s notice before any change. 

On the 12th April, we took another step forward towards a greater sense of normality. As we continue to meet the four tests, the Government has stated:  

  • non-essential retail can reopen  
  • personal care services such as hairdressers and nail salons can reopen, including those provided from a mobile setting  
  • public buildings, such as libraries and community centres, can reopen  
  • outdoor hospitality venues can reopen, with table service only  
  • most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts) can reopen  
  • some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds can take place  
  • indoor leisure and sports facilities can reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble  
  • all childcare and supervised activities are allowed indoors (as well as outdoors) for all children. Parent and child groups can take place indoors (as well as outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number)  
  • weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events can take place for up to 15 people (anyone working is not included in this limit), including in indoor venues that are permitted to open or where an exemption applies. Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people, but must take place outdoors, not including private gardens  
  • self-contained accommodation can stay open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble  
  • care home residents will be able to nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test)  

However, social distancing guidelines should be followed and you must not socialise indoors with anyone you do not live with, unless you have formed a support bubble with them, or another exemption applies. You should continue to work from home if you can and minimise the number of journeys you make where possible.   

For further information about the current lockdown rules, please use the beneath link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

Details of the further stages of the plan are available at: 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/963491/COVID-19_Response_-_Spring_2021.pdf

Over the last year, many people here in our community have joined the millions across the world who have died or become seriously unwell as a result of the virus – and if you have lost someone close to you, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Our NHS has done outstanding work during this pandemic – and our country owes an enormous debt of gratitude to health and social care professionals. Their commitment and resolve in the toughest of circumstances has been absolutely inspiring.

I am incredibly proud of all the key workers who have ensured that we continue to see food on supermarket shelves, packages delivered and urgent repairs made along with those doing extremely important work in the social services and emergency services. I also know that parents are grateful to teachers who have ensured our children keep learning and that disruption has been minimised as much as possible. 

Neighbours and local support networks have also done so much to support those who are vulnerable or in need during this period. The way that local communities across my constituency have pulled together is amazing. 

I would encourage everyone to:

1. Check your symptoms: 

If you are feeling unwell and believe you are suffering symptoms please see the link below. 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/

2. Follow the governments social distancing guidance and self-isolate if necessary:

Everyone should follow the government’s social distancing guidelines and stay 2 meters apart. If you live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive, you should self-isolate for ten days. If you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or the NHS COVID-19 app, you should self-isolate for ten days. If you have symptoms or tested positive, you should self-isolate for at least ten days, and then continue self-isolating if you have a high temperature or feel hot and shivery, have a runny nose or sneezing, feel sick or are being sick, or have diarrhoea.

If you are self-isolating because of Coronavirus and you cannot work from home you may be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. You should apply for this payment thorough your local council. For more details please see the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/test-and-trace-support-payment

3. Get the vaccine: 

I am delighted that three vaccines, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, have now been approved for use in the UK. If you are invited to receive a COVID-19 vaccine I would encourage you to do so.

The vaccine roll-out along with recent developments in testing and medical treatments have meant that we will – going forward into the summer – be able to rely less on economic and social restrictions and more on scientific solutions.

More than 33 million people in the UK have now received the Coronavirus vaccine. I understand a number of constituents have concerns about being called to be vaccinated. The JCVI have set out the vaccine priority list, details of which can be found below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-advice-from-the-jcvi-30-december-2020

You can now book your vaccination appointments online if:

  • you are aged 40 or over
  • people who will turn 40 before the 1st July 2021
  • you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
  • you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • you have a learning disability
  • you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus

If you are eligible, you can book your Covid-19 vaccine by using the link below:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

4. Check to see if your business is eligible for support:

All businesses have been impacted by the Coronavirus, I realise that some such as pubs and breweries have been impacted more than others. 

Business Support Helpline: 

5. Contact my office:

If you are unsure about what support might be available, please do not hesitate to contact my office at julian.smith.mp@parliament.uk.