Coronavirus information and support
Coronavirus continues to be a real challenge for the country, and I appreciate that it has caused personal worry, inconvenience and significant economic disruption. That is why the government has taken unprecedented measures to support businesses and incomes.
This page brings together the most recent guidance, help and advice. Much of this information is also available on the government’s main Coronavirus website, here. You can sign up to receive email alerts by following this link and scrolling to the bottom of the page.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on 020 7219 7069 if you need further assistance or advice.
Medical information and testing
It’s important to be able to recognise the symptoms of Coronavirus and to know what you should do if you, or someone you live with, has these symptoms. The latest medical advice and information is available on the NHS website here.
You can have a test to check if you have Coronavirus. More information about this, and how to request a test, is available on the NHS website here. Information about what to do when you receive your test result is available here.
If you test positive for Coronavirus, you can help the NHS contact people who may have caught the virus from you. More information is available here.
NHS COVID-19 app
The NHS COVID-19 app is available to download for free in England and Wales. This is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from Coronavirus. The app has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in.
I would encourage residents to download the app if you can. More information, including on how to download the app, is available here.
The Coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective, and gives you the best protection against COVID-19.
More information about the vaccine, including who is currently eligible to receive it, is available on the NHS website here.
Current rules and restrictions
The rules changed on 17 May, following the government's roadmap out of lockdown.
You can now socialise indoors in a group of up to 6 people or 2 households, including for overnight stays. Up to 30 people can meet outside. Pubs, theatres and other venues can open indoors, and hotels, hostels and B&Bs can open for people on holiday.
Comprehensive guidance on what you can and cannot do under the current rules is available here.
Support for businesses, employees and the self-employed
As part of the government’s unprecedented measures to support the economy, there are a range of schemes available (some of which have recently been adapted or extended), to support businesses and self-employed people through the disruption.
This support includes loans, tax relief, cash grants (including dedicated schemes to support businesses affected by the national and local restrictions), and business rates relief. Businesses have also been able to claim grants to cover their employees’ wages if they have been furloughed, and the furlough scheme has now been extended until the end of September 2021. More information on the support available – including non-financial support like webinars – can be found here.
There’s also an online tool to identify what financial support you or your business may be eligible for. This can be found here.
Some grant schemes and the business rates relief package have been administered by local councils. Elmbridge Borough Council has made information on grant schemes and other support available here and here, and on business rates reliefs here and here.
Support for individuals
I know that some people have faced financial difficulties as a result of Coronavirus, or the economic disruption it has caused.
To support those facing difficulties, the government introduced mortgage payment holidays for those in difficultly due to Coronavirus, boosted Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £1,000 per year, and made it quicker and easier to access benefits.
If you are struggling financially, more help and advice can be found under the “work and financial support” section of the government’s Coronavirus website.
There’s also an online tool to find out what help you can get if you’re struggling – whether with paying bills, getting food or having somewhere to live. This can be found here.
Local support and information
Elmbridge Borough Council – There is useful information and advice on Elmbridge Borough Council’s Coronavirus page. Residents can sign up to email updates through this page.
Elmbridge Borough Council can be reached via their switchboard at 01372 474474.
Surrey County Council – Information on how Coronavirus has impacted county-wide services is available here.
Surrey County Council’s Community Helpline number is 0300 200 1008. Deaf and hearing-impaired residents can text 0786 0053 465.
If you need help with things like picking up shopping or prescriptions, you can also contact Central Surrey Voluntary Action on 01372 722911.