Letter from Westminster - 4th June 2020

I thought that I would update you on progress in our fight to defeat COVID-19.

At the start of the outbreak, there was significant concern that the NHS would not be able to cope. This has turned out not to be the case, thanks to the heroic efforts of everyone who works in the NHS, the heroic efforts of the British people and of course all those unsung heroes.

There has been a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from COVID-19. It is also clear that the number of people catching COVID-19 is decreasing to manageable levels. Thanks to the brilliance of UK manufacturers we have also signed contracts for over two billion items of PPE, including facemasks, visors, gowns and aprons.

Due to all this progress we saw the announcement of the easing of some lockdown measures with six people now able to meet outside - provided those from different households continue to strictly observe social distancing rules by staying two metres apart. People can also meet in gardens and other private outdoor spaces, again whilst observing social distancing.

These changes mean friends and family can start to meet their loved ones. I know that for many this has been a long-awaited moment and I know that I can’t wait to meet up with my folks rather than talk to them at the end of a driveway when I return from Westminster at the end of this week.

Schools are also returning, in a safe way – with the reopening of nurseries and other early years settings and reception, year one and year six in primary schools. On 15th June, secondary schools and further education establishments will also begin to provide some face-to-face contact time for years ten and twelve. We will also start to see the reopening of non-essential shops as we restart our economy.  I spoke to some local essential retailers on Saturday and they are keen to see our High Streets fully open.

The priority as your MP has always been to support people and protect jobs and businesses throughout this crisis. The furlough and self-employment schemes the Government introduced have been a lifeline for hundreds of people and businesses across Stourbridge.

As we begin to re-open Stourbridge and kick start our local economy, these schemes will adjust to ensure those who are able to work can do so, while remaining amongst the most comprehensive and generous support in the world.

Moving into the next phase the focus is not just on saving lives, but also saving livelihoods. However, whilst we are easing some of the lockdown measures, it is important to remember that we have yet to defeat this virus.  We must therefore always strictly adhere to social distancing and washing our hands regularly. The easing of lockdown is being done in a measured way and we must not risk a second peak of infection that could overwhelm the NHS. 

So please do Stay Alert, to control the virus and save lives.

As your MP I am here to help so if you feel I can assist with any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in contact by emailing me at suzanne.webb.mp@parliament.uk.