As residents will be aware, on Saturday the Prime Minister announced that new national restrictions will be introduced from Thursday, as part of the government’s ongoing effort to drive down the level of Coronavirus.
These measures mean that, from Thursday, everyone must stay at home, only leaving for a limited set of reasons. These reasons include for education, work (if you cannot work from home) and to shop for food and essentials. There is more detail, including other reasons you can leave home for, available here. Until Thursday, the current “high” alert level restrictions remain in place in Elmbridge.
I know that these latest measures will be frustrating for Elmbridge residents, particularly given the efforts that have been made to follow the “high” alert level restrictions. These new measures have, however, become essential. As the Prime Minister, the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser set out on Saturday, the virus is now spreading faster than the reasonable worst case scenario of the government’s scientific advisers. As a result, while the recent local action we have taken has made a difference, we must now take further measures.
Neither I nor the government underestimate the pressures that this will place on residents and businesses in Elmbridge. This is why the Chancellor has extended the furlough scheme until 2 December, made the self-employment scheme more generous, extended the deadlines for applying for the business loan schemes, and ensured that mortgage payment holidays will continue to be available.
In addition, local businesses which are forced to close will receive up to £3,000 per month. The grants which were made available when Elmbridge entered “high” level restrictions (worth up to £2,100 per month) will still be provided for the period that these restrictions applied.
Local residents have shown great resolve over the past seven months, and I know that everybody will continue to do so over the next few weeks. As ever, residents can contact me for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org.