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This is a very worrying time for many of us and our families, and I want to reassure you that my ministerial colleagues and others are working around the clock to ensure the public is protected from Covid-19.
The NHS is doing a fantastic job, and I have been heartened by the many people who have stepped forward to help others.
I must stress that the single most important action we can all take in fighting Covid-19 is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:
* shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
* one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
* any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
* travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.
To keep up-to-date with the latest guidance, please visit: [link removed]
I have also included below some further links and information, which I hope prove helpful. Meanwhile, in these trying times, it is important to stay healthy, to sleep and eat well, and to look after each other.
With every good wish,
The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath
If you think you have Covid-19
The most common symptoms of coronavirus are recent onset of:
* new continuous cough and/or
* high temperature
If you think you have it, please stay at home and do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Please use the 111 online coronavirus service ([link removed]) to find out what to do. You can also find further guidance on self-isolation here ([link removed]) .
The Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures:
* help or advice for business: more information can be found on the COVID-19: support for businesses ([link removed]) page.
* help or advice for employees: more information can be found on the COVID-19: guidance for employees ([link removed]) page.
* help or advice for self-employed people: more information can be found on the COVID-19: Self-employment Income Support Scheme ([link removed]) page.
* help or advice for business and self-employed people in financial distress who have outstanding tax liabilities: more information can be obtained through HMRC’s Time To Pay service ([link removed]) , or please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.
If you have any business related questions, please contact the Government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice:
Business Support Helpline
Telephone: 0300 456 3565
Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
If you are worried about your Council Tax Bill, click on the following sites which will have information about the help available to you:
Surrey Heath Borough Council ([link removed])
Guildford Borough Council ([link removed])
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) is an independent public body that works with millions of employers and employees every year to improve workplace relationships.
ACAS has a dedicated webpage regarding coronavirus, providing the latest advice for employers and employees ([link removed]) . ACAS also has a helpline:
Telephone: 0300 123 110
Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm
Help with shopping and other supplies
I know that many people are struggling to book a delivery slot, as demand is very high, but I understand that supermarkets are trying to prioritise slots for the elderly, disabled and vulnerable, and are working hard to increase the number of delivery slots available. So please check back with supermarkets when you can.
Many supermarkets are also offering dedicated shopping times at their stores for those who are NHS workers or who are elderly or vulnerable.
If you are concerned about getting the supplies you need and require help, please contact the team at Surrey Heath Prepared:
If you live in the Ash area, however, please contact the Ash, Ash Vale & Ash Green Coronavirus Support Group via this Facebook page ([link removed]) .
Surrey County Council has also set up a new community helpline to direct you to services that can help during the coronavirus pandemic:
Telephone: 0300 200 1008
Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 2pm
This community phone line assists with two things:
1. To help direct residents who need support, if friends and family are unable to help with such things as picking up shopping, prescription collections or having someone who can be a telephone friend, and other services that can help.
2. To provide advice on where to register your offer of help to support your community.
There is also a very helpful webpage ([link removed]) with a wealth of information.
Those who are extremely vulnerable
There are some people who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus ([link removed]) because of certain underlying health conditions, and the NHS has now contacted those people directly to provide further advice.
If you require any help, please visit gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable ([link removed]) to register for the support that you need. This includes help with food, shopping deliveries and additional care you might need.
For family and friends stranded abroad
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) strongly urges those British nationals who are currently overseas but living in the UK to return as soon as possible.
The FCO travel advice ([link removed]) remains the best and most up-to-date way to remain informed of travelling internationally and is currently being updated daily for many countries. Further instructions on how to get home are available on Travel Advice pages for each country, particularly the ‘Return to the UK’ page. Those wishing to return home should subscribe to travel advice email alerts, and continue to monitor the FCO coronavirus travel advice page: [link removed]
If possible, they should also follow the nearest Embassy or Consulate on social media, and follow the advice provided by the official Embassy or Consulate Twitter account and the advice of the local authorities.
I am no longer holding my regular face-to-face surgeries, but if someone has a very urgent case that cannot be dealt with via email, please email me at [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) and my team will fix a time for a telephone call.