Read MP Robbie Moore’s Coronavirus update

Silsden’s MP, Robbie Moore, writes for SilsdenToday about the ongoing pandemic.

“The spread of Coronavirus has heightened over the last week, so it is vitally important that we all stay safe, as best protected as we can and help those around us. The level of support and the generosity from people across the Keighley and Ilkley constituency wishing to lend support for those self-isolating since recent measures have been announced has been incredible. I have been contacted by a significant number of individuals, businesses, community groups, elected officials and voluntary personnel who are all offering help and are putting plans in place to assist the most vulnerable in our communities. My thanks go out to all who are going above and beyond to help one
another in this difficult time.

The Prime Minister has this week progressed our Coronavirus response. If you have either a new persistent cough or a high temperature you should stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. If you live with multiple people and either yourself or a member of your household shows such symptoms, the entire household should self-isolate for 14 days. You do not need to contact NHS 111 unless your symptoms worsen, and you feel you cannot cope at home.

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading. It is particularly important for people who are 70 or over, for pregnant woman; for those with some health conditions, and people with a weakened immune system.

It is the little things that will make a big difference to combatting the spread of Coronavirus. The following measures are important;
– like wash your hands with soap and water often and for at least 20 seconds;
– always washing your hands when you get home or into work;
– use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available;
– cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or
sneeze;
– put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards;
– avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus;
– only travel on public transport if you need to;
– work from home, if you can;
– avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas;
– avoid events with large groups of people;
– and use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services.

Little things like this – if done in mass – will have a huge impact on our overall national response to this virus and will save lives.

It is important that you do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean and to avoid where possible to not have visitors to your home, including friends and family. I appreciate that measures like this seem extreme, however they will help protect us, and vulnerable people around us, against Coronavirus.

In the budget last week, the Chancellor set out a £20 billion package of temporary measures to support public services, individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by Coronavirus. These were enhanced by the Chancellor in a statement released yesterday, on 17 March to include:

– increasing the amount businesses can borrow through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £1.2 million to £5 million, and ensuring businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as Government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments;
– support for liquidity amongst large firms, with a major new scheme being launched by the Bank of England to help them bridge Coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans;
– giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months;
– increasing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000;
– providing further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.

Mortgage lenders have agreed they will support customers that are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of Coronavirus, including through payment holidays of up to 3 months. This will give people the necessary time to recover and ensure they do not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage in the interim. Confirmation that government advice to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres etc. is sufficient for businesses to claim on their insurance where they have appropriate business interruption cover for pandemics in place.

All of these measures amount to a financial package of £350 billion to assist public services, individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by Coronavirus.

To support the food industry and the food supply system, the government is in active talks with supermarkets to ensure the food supply system remains robust. It is significantly important that people do not panic buy as this creates an unnecessary strain on the food supply system. The government is relaxing planning regulations to allow pubs and restaurants to start providing takeaways without a planning application.

Advice and guidance from government on both health precautionary measures and the financial support mechanisms that are being put in place are constantly being updated Please do visit www.gov.uk and follow the appropriate link at the top of the page for the latest advice.

On a local level, I have set up a volunteer’s database on my website to encourage people from all around the constituency to sign up and support the most vulnerable in our communities. Since being launched, I have had a significant level of interest. The volunteer’s database will be passed to local voluntary groups who are organising food collections, deliveries and support services to the most vulnerable in our society. You can register as a volunteer on my website at www.robbiemoore.org.uk/coronavirus-volunteer.

My team and I will be doing whatever we can to provide help, advice and assistance to all constituents and I am working hard with stakeholders to ensure we are as prepared as we can be, and able to adapt to the changing circumstances. If you do wish to contact me with any concerns or issues, please call my office on 01535 600538 or drop me an e-mail to robbie.moore.mp@parliament.uk.

I appreciate we are in difficult and unprecedented times, but by working together we will get through this.”

Robbie Moore is the MP for Keighley & Ilkley.

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