Stay ALERT, CONTROL THE VIRUS, save lives

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) LINKS & ADVICE

The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation. It calls for decisive action at home and abroad, of the kind not normally seen in peacetime.

The Government is acting to tackle the pandemic and mitigate the impact. Every part of Government is being mobilised to defend our people and our country, businesses, councils and communities across Lincolnshire are coming together to help in this national effort.

The overriding objective is to save lives, protect our most vulnerable and support the NHS so it can help those who need it the most. Our science-led action plan is delivering to contain, delay, research and mitigate the outbreak. Our world-leading scientists continue their work to understand the virus and we are now attempting to delay its spread to minimise harm. Everyone will need to help to ensure people get the support they need to stay alert. This will mean we can protect our NHS and save thousands of lives.

YOU & YOUR FAMILY

You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms. Stay at home and away from others. The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

Do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family.

EDUCATION & CHILDCARE

On 18 March 2020, the Education Secretary announced schools would be closed for the vast majority of pupils until further notice. In order to allow health and other critical workers to continue working, their children, and those who are vulnerable, will continue to attend school.

Exams will not take place as planned in May and June, but the Government has committed to ensuring that students get the qualifications they need and deserve.

Children should not be looked after by older grandparents or relatives who may be particularly vulnerable to the virus.

SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • A Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
    A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

SUPPORT FOR WORKERS

The Government has instructed all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises to close as part of further social distancing measures. The Government’s advice is to work from home where possible and avoid unnecessary travel.

If you’re self-isolating because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re eligible. You should tell your employer as soon as possible. You’ll be able to get SSP from the first day you’re self-isolating and cannot work.

If your employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19, they may be able to access support to continue paying part of your wage, to avoid redundancies.

If you are liable for self-assessment and cannot pay due to Coronavirus, HMRC has set up a specialist helpline.

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19, and can provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships.

TRAVEL ADVICE

Following on from the Government’s guidance on social distancing in relation to Coronavirus, people should avoid travelling within the UK unless absolutely necessary.

Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People should remain in their primary residence.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect from March 17th and applies initially for a period of 30 days.

The Government and UK airlines are continuing to work closely together to ensure British passengers overseas are able to return home through commercial means in light of the impact on overseas travel.

PUBLIC SERVICES

Boston Borough Council, East Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire County Council are all offering dedicated Coronavirus support and services, which you can find at the links below.

If you need to check which council you belong to, you can do so here.

HEALTHCARE

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy, or hospital. Stay at home and use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

Visiting hours at Skegness and District General Hospital and Pilgrim Hospital Boston are currently suspended. Their latest information can be found below:

HOMEOWNERS & RENTERS

The Government has announced a series of measures to support homeowners, renters and landlords who may be impacted by Coronavirus:

  • Introducing emergency legislation to protect renters, so that no one gets evicted if they cannot pay their rent
  • Introducing a three month mortgage holiday for those in difficulty due to Coronavirus – so that people will not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage while they get back on their feet
  • Extending the three month mortgage holiday to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulty due to Coronavirus

A £500 million Hardship Fund will provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households to help those affected most, and the Government has also reached an agreement with energy suppliers to ensure vulnerable customers who may fall into debt remain supplied with energy while in self isolation.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Lincolnshire County Council operates a Community Help and Volunteering portal for those seeking or looking to help in the local area.

The Royal Voluntary Service has set up NHS Volunteer Responders to support the NHS during the COVID-19 outbreak, with over 400,000 already signing up to help the 1.5m people in England who are at most risk from the virus.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is looking for organisations who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the United Kingdom as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19.

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN THE UK

You can find more information on the latest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and the risk level in the UK, as well as Public Health England’s dashboard of reported cases, at the links below:

"In this time of unprecedented national challenge it is vital that whilst we stay apart to protect our NHS we work together to defeat this virus. Together we will come through this, and the government stands ready to do whatever it takes to protect our people, our businesses and our economy."

Matt Warman MP