Covid 19 update
As I suspect you have heard by now, the new 3-tier system for determining Covid-19 restrictions has been introduced, and we are to be in Tier 2.
That means the present measures will be relaxed slightly to allow people to meet one another outdoors with social distancing in place, in groups of no more than six people.
I am really pleased we have not had our restrictions increased, and that people are able to meet outdoors. That will make a big difference to many.
I want to address a few things I am being asked about repeatedly:
First, a lot of people are contacting me who live alone, talking about how not seeing others is taking a toll on them mentally, and understandably so. That is why the support bubble system is in place. If you live alone, or are the only adult in your household, please do consider forming a support bubble with another household. You can find out more about that HERE. There are also a number of exemptions that folk don’t seem to be aware of, which would allow household mixing under some circumstances, especially in relation to caring for a vulnerable person. Please do have a look HERE. The vast majority of people posing specific questions about their situations are finding they would qualify.
Second, you may recall that when these restrictions came into effect in the north east, I was clear I would look to have parts of Northumberland removed, once cases in our area start to fall. I have spoken to the Health Secretary about this several times in the past few days. He is clear he is very open to that, once cases start to travel in the right direction. A lot of people in Rothbury and Berwick in particular are making the case for their removal even on a ward basis. I am very sympathetic to that, however, these are not isolated communities. People work, shop and are educated in other towns in the area, where cases are still stubbornly high.
I also need to let everyone know that Alnwick Infirmary is presently closed to new admissions as a result of a covid-19 outbreak. This week we have had confirmed new cases in Rothbury and Bellingham. Our rural communities are not immune from covid and are perhaps more at risk from the effects of our hospitals filling with covid patients. It is not simply covid patients who will be affected. Cancer treatment, major operations, things that make a real difference to our health and wellbeing cannot take place if the wards are full of covid patients. I was talking to a doctor this week who explained to me there are some forms of cancer treatment that have been delayed since March because they need to be administered alongside immunosuppressant drugs. Those cannot be administered if our hospitals continue to fill up with covid patients once more. I do understand how tough these measures are for everyone, but the decision on when they are lifted are in our hands – we have the ability to get these case numbers and hospitalisations down.
Cultural Recovery Fund
The Government’s £1.57bn support package for cultural, arts and heritage sites has begun to be awarded. I am really pleased that includes a number of sites in my constituency including:1. Alnwick Playhouse – £197,668
2. Alnwick Gardens – £90,000
3. Aln Valley Railway – £21,300
4. Berwick Malting Theatre – £230,000
5. Berwick Barracks – £60,000
6. Etal Castle – £16,000
7. Cragside – £21,600
8. Brinkburn Mill – £43,776You can find out more about this vital support scheme HERE.
This week I have received several hundred emails about the Agriculture Bill and various amendments to it. These largely revolve around food standards. UK consumers have high standards and rightly so.
You can read my thoughts on the amendments HERE.
If you have any questions about the restrictions, please do have a look at my FAQs HERE. If you can’t find the answer to your question, please do email me on email@example.com
c. Anne Marie Travelyan