My office has received an unprecedented amount of correspondence seeking help and advice. To ensure you get the right help as quickly as possible please check www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Anyone in England and Wales who has symptoms can now ask for a test, to get a test click here.
Latest Update on Economic Support
- Chancellor announces one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring
- £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses
- This comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme
This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement last night that these business will be closed until at least February half-term in order to help control the virus, and, together with the wide range of existing support, provides them with certainty through the Spring period.
The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK.
MORE INFORMATION HERE
Latest Update on Rules
The Prime Minister has announced a national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
The decision follows a rapid rise in infections, hospital admissions and case rates across the country, and our hospitals are now under more pressure than they have been at any other point throughout the pandemic.
This drastic jump in cases has been attributed to the new variant of COVID-19, which our scientists have now confirmed is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible.
On 4 January, there were 26,626 Covid patients in hospitals in England, an increase of over 30% in one week, and the April 2020 hospital admissions peak has now been surpassed by 40%.
The case rate in England up to 29 December was 478.5 per 100k, three times higher than on 1 December when the case rate was 151.3.
On 3 Jan, 454 deaths were reported, with 4,228 over the last 7 days – a 24% increase on the previous 7 days.
This afternoon, the four UK Chief Medical Officers have advised that the COVID threat level should move from level four to level five, indicating that if action is not taken NHS capacity may be overwhelmed within 21 days.
The Prime Minister praised everyone’s collective efforts to get this virus under control, emphasising the great national effort to fight Covid. Despite this, the pressure on our NHS, rapidly rising infection rates and hospital admissions due to the new variant mean that another national lockdown is sadly necessary.
From tomorrow, people will only be allowed to leave their homes for the following reasons:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person.
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home.
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one.
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse).
- attend education or childcare - for those eligible.
From tomorrow, all primary schools, secondary schools and colleges will move to remote learning, except for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. While children are still very unlikely to be severely affected by COVID-19, the government recognises that schools must be included in the restrictions in order to have the best chance of getting the virus under control as schools can act as vectors of transmission, causing the virus to spread between households when rates are high. Schools will be required to provide remote education for those learning at home.
YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ON WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT DO HERE
Further to this, it is also critical that everybody continues to observe the following key behaviours:
- HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
- FACE – Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
- SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.
The NHS COVID-19 app, now available in England and Wales, is the fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk from coronavirus. You can download the app at:
- Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details...
- Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1520427663
- Find out more: https://covid19.nhs.uk/
These measures apply to England – but there may be different rules if you live in an area under local lockdown: and you should check local lockdown rules. If you are in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, different rules may apply.
More information can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus