I do hope everyone is well, and coping with the new measures. Thank you for staying home when you can and maintaining social distancing when you need to leave your home. The video above shows why it is so important in our fight against this coronavirus.
Below are answers to the most common questions I am receiving, but you can find more on my website and on the Government’s Coronavirus website.
Care homes and testing
We know that people in residential care are among the most vulnerable to coronavirus, and we are doing everything we can to keep workers, residents and their families safe.
That is why, as our testing capacity increases every day, we will ensure that anyone in a care home who develops symptoms, or is due to be discharged from hospital into a residential care setting, will be tested for the disease – helping to protect other residents and giving peace of mind to residents, staff and family members.
Thousands of care home staff have already been tested and lab capacity is increasing every day to accommodate tests for everyone who needs them. Testing is key in our battle against coronavirus. By ramping up testing capacity and providing tests to everyone in social care that needs one, we can prevent the spread of coronavirus, reduce pressures on the NHS and save lives. You can read more about that HERE.
PPE (personal protective equipment)
There is unprecedented demand globally for high-grade PPE especially for front-line NHS and care staff, and the Government is working around the clock to ensure everyone who needs PPE is able to access it.
New national supply and logistics networks for PPE have been created from scratch in a matter of weeks, and over 761 million pieces of PPE have already been delivered as part of a 24/7 military operation. You can read all the details HERE.
Lifting the present restrictions
Clearly we want to ensure we get everyone who is able to, back to work as soon as it is safe to do so. I am receiving a number of emails from people wanting to know how and when the restrictions might be lifted. We have, at every turn, been guided by the science and the data, to ensure we keep people safe and protect the NHS. We will be able to plan how to lift the measures, once we can be sure we are at, and are passing the peak of infections.
I do appreciate that everyone is frustrated, and of course we need to get the economy up and running again as soon as we can, but rest assured the Government will be doing that as soon as it is safe to do so.
I am a great advocate of transparency, as is the Prime Minister. Every decision being taken by the Government throughout this crisis is based on the science of our experts.
All the data and studies they are using is published and everyone can read it for themselves HERE.
Who can work
I continue to receive emails from people unsure about who should be working, and who is a “key worker”. To be clear, the term “key worker” only applies in determining who can send their children to school.
Everyone who can work from home should be doing so. There will be large numbers of people who cannot work from home (for example in construction) and they can continue to work, as long as they do not exhibit symptoms of Covid-19. Employers should take all measures possible to enable social distancing and hand hygiene measures.
You can read more about who can go to work HERE. There is extensive advice for employers HERE.