Coronavirus Update

I have been incredibly proud over the past few days of the fantastic spirit of community that I have seen across Wandsworth in response to the Coronavirus. As long as we work together, look out for each other and follow the advice from the Government we will get through this and not only survive, but thrive.

As the situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly developing the information provided here may be superseded very quickly so please use the following trusted sources of information for the most up to date advice:

Check your symptoms:
Health guidance:
All information on coronavirus:

Treasury guidance for individuals affected by coronavirus – including guidance on statutory sick pay.
Government guidance for businesses affected by coronavirus.
Department for Education website. There is also a Department for Education coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687 (8am-6pm weekdays, 10am-4pm weekends).

If you use social media, please follow the Department for Health on Facebook or Twitter and the UK Government on Twitter and Facebook.

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home if you have either:
  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
If you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days.
If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.
If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Social Distancing

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). They are:
  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  • Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
  • Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
  • Continue to wash your hands more often.
You should be trying to follow these important measures as much as possible.

Underlying Health Conditions

The Government are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

Support for Businesses

The Chancellor announced a package of support for businesses.
These measures include:
  • Any business who needs access to cash will be able to access a government-backed loan, on attractive terms.
  • To support lending to small and medium sized businesses, the Government are extending the new Business Interruption Loan Scheme announced at the Budget last week, so that it will now provide loans of up to £5m, with no interest due for the first six months. The self-employed may be able to apply for this, and it should be available from next week.
  • Every single business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector will pay no business rates whatsoever for 12 months, and if they have a rateable value of less than £51,000, they can now get a cash grant as well.
  • Last week the Government announced it would be providing £3,000 grants to the 700,000 of our smallest businesses. To support their cash flow, the Government are increasing those grants to £10,000.
  • Mortgage lenders will offer a three-month mortgage holiday – so that people will not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage while they get back on their feet.
There will be more measures announced in the coming days, and I particularly want to see more support for the self-employed and an acknowledgement that business rates are higher in London.

Support for Renters

The government has announced that no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home for at least three months.

Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on landlords, the Government have confirmed that the three month mortgage payment holiday announced yesterday will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus.

At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.

For further details, please see the Government’s recent press release. I expect we will have even more details when the legislation is published.

School Closures

After schools shut their gates on this (Friday 19th) afternoon, they will remain closed until further notice except for children of key workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus.
Examples of these workers include NHS staff, police and supermarket delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work to support the country’s fight to tackle coronavirus. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans – a legal document that describes a child’s special educational needs and the support they require.
To support children eligible for free school meals, schools will be able to purchase meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops.

Useful links

As the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly developing we recommend using the following trusted sources for up-to-date advice:

Renewers helping in their community

Although utterly devastating and life-altering, the comunity spirit demonstrated in the face of this pandemic has been both uplifting and inspiring.

Some of our fantastic members and friends have been involved in community efforts, helping the most vulnerable within society, and we wanted to share their good deeds with you:

  • Roger Burston, in North London, has been volunteering within his local community, collecting shopping and prescriptions for those who are most at risk and therefore self-isolating.

  • June Davies, all the way in Usk, Wales, has helped co-ordinate volunteer groups within her local community in Monmouth, helping the most vulnerable within her community. You can read more about her efforts here.

  • Dræyk van der Hørn, who lives in Devon, is a Parish Councillor, and has been working with the clerks to post news-sheets through the doors of the locals, as well as hosting a Facebook hub that coordinates volunteers and a weekly village zoom “drop in space”. His village is getting into the spirit by giving impromptu concerts (adhering to the social distancing regulations of course!) and socialising through shared food ordering and online dinners.

  • David Britten, based in Battersea, set up a community response team with the support of local organisations: St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Katherine Low Settlement. He and his team ordered and delivered 10,000 leaflets, seeking not only those self-isolating and in need of help, but also volunteers, in 48 hours. David also volunteers with the Coronavirus Angels, providing telephone support, as well as helping manage their database.

  • Julie Alexander-Cooper, in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, has been volunteering with Kenilworth COVID-19, a local initiative set up to help and support residents in isolation. Read more here.

  • Carla Burns, from Liverpool, works in the NHS, and shares how she has been supporting front-line staff within her role.

Have you been involved within your local community? We want to hear about it! Drop us an email.

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