For almost two months, everyone across Sevenoaks have been living with restrictions that have made every day life extremely difficult, so I wanted to open my column by saying thank you. Thank you for your patience and resilience as we come together in this fight to protect the NHS and save lives. Because of your sacrifices we have succeeded in slowing the spread of this disease. We are now past the peak, but sadly there remains a long way to go.
This week the Prime Minister unveiled a roadmap detailing how our country will begin to emerge from lockdown and enter the next phase. A new alert system has been announced determined by the virus transmission rate, and it is this alert system which will guide how strict the measures need to be in the future.
If we, as a nation, begin to fulfil the conditions set, then in the next few weeks and months we hope pupils can begin to return to school, and shops will be able to reopen. However, these plans depend on transmission rates continuing to decrease. It is therefore vital that we all continue to adhere to the latest guidance to work from home as much as possible, and if you do go out, keep to social distancing rules, reduce contact with others as much as possible and wash your hands frequently. The full guidance is posted on my website, and my team and I are on hand if you need further help – as it is necessarily more complicated starting to gradually relax the rules than imposing a blanket lockdown.
I have been in touch with many individuals, families and businesses over the last few months and I know many are worried. This is why I continue to raise your concerns with Government at the highest levels and run daily phone surgeries for the most urgent cases. Over the last few weeks I have been in touch with local GPs, ambulance services, the police, head teachers and care homes. If you think we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to say a final thank you for the bravery of those working on the frontline, including doctors, nurses, care workers, bus drivers, supermarket workers, postal workers, cleaners, council employees and many, many others who are stepping forward to provide key services during this crisis. The Community Hero of the week, which I have been awarding in partnership with the Chronicle for the last month, has been testament to the wonderful work taking place across Sevenoaks.
The resilience and community spirit of us all will see us through. As we enter the next phase please stay alert, stay well and stay safe.
For the latest advice please visit Laura’s website: https://www.lauratrott.org.uk/covid-19-advice-constituents
Laura's MP column is published in the Sevenoaks Chronicle.