Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways.
The approach of the government is guided by the Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Officer, Sir Patrick Vallance; their task is not easy, but as your local MP, I am 100% supportive. We have to tackle this virus together, doing everything we can to protect people's health, and livelihoods.
The UK's response is based on clinical, scientific and medical evidence. This section of the website sets out both the health advice and other efforts to help support businesses and our public services.
I am conscious that this is a concerning time for individuals and businesses and I have sought to answer as many questions as I can on this page. But I know there will be some which are unique to an individual's circumstances so please do email me if you need my help.
You also need to be aware that because there has been a slight increase in the number of new daily cases across East Lancashire, additional restrictions are in place in Burnley. You can find out more about these on the Local Restrictions page of this website. These additional restrictions will be removed from Wednesday 2nd August from which date residents across the whole borough of Burnley should follow national rules only.
Is it possible to see all UK Government advice and guidance in one place?
Yes. The Government has invested heavily in its digital tools to ensure information is easy to find and navigate.
You can view all this information by going to www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Where can I find health and medical advice, including symptoms and whether I'm at higher risk?
You can see this on the NHS website by going to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
What is social distancing and how do I keep myself safe?
Social distancing is the term used to describe the measures we all need to take to stay safe when we're around other people. We should all stay at least 1m away from each other, and ideally 2m away if it's possible. Where only 1m is possible you should take other measures like wearing a face mask. You should also ensure you wash your hands frequently.
You can meet in groups of up to six people who you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble outside only. Because Burnley is included in an area of further intervention, you should not meet any other household inside.
When using public transport, in shops, museums, cinemas and other indoor settings (except cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants) you should wear a face covering.
For more information on what you need to do, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do.
What should I do if I think I have Coronavirus?
The symptoms of Coronavirus are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
If you think you have coronavirus you should get a test by going to https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. You should also then stay at home and self-isolate with other members of your household. Full guidance on this is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance.
Can I still go on holiday?
The country is slowly re-opening for holidays. Because Burnley has some additional restrictions in place you should not holiday with other households.
If you want to go abroad for your holiday, you should be aware that on your return you will need to quarantine for 2 weeks. This is important because it can take time for the virus to show symptoms and we need to avoid people bringing the virus back with them unintentionally.
You should also check the Foreign Office Travel Advice website. This currently advises against all but essential travel to many countries, reflecting their high rates of infection along with other factors.
The Government has, however, published a list of 'travel corridors'. These are countries where the health risk is lower and so it is safe to travel there, with no quarantine period on your return. You can view countries on this list by going to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors. Please be aware that this list could change quickly if the health situation in any country changes.
You can still holiday in the UK, with many hotels now reopen along with holiday lettings. If travelling to other parts of the UK (Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) please ensure you check what restrictions are in place there too.
I own a business, is there anywhere I can find information on what financial support might be available to help me get through Coronavirus?
Yes. As part of the new digital service from Government, there is a financial assistance support finder that can be used. This can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.
Burnley Council has also been provided with funding to offer discretionary grants to those businesses which were ineligible for the Small Business Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants. You can view information on this scheme at https://www.burnley.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Discretionary%20Fund%20Guidance_0.pdf.
Please note that all grant applications will close on 28 August 2020 so if you haven't yet made a claim but believe you're eligible you should do so as soon as possible.
I run a business, how do I find out what I need to do to make it Covid-Secure?
Please use the new digital tool on re-opening, which is available at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-reopening.
You may also want to contact Burnley Council's Environmental Health team.
What businesses can re-open and what must remain closed?
A full list of businesses that must remain closed is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance.
I'm unable to access the Job Retention Scheme, or have lost my job. Is there any help available?
Everything the Government is doing is to try to save as many jobs as possible and ensure the furlough scheme has the widest possible reach. Unfortunately though some companies are unable to weather this crisis even with this support. If you find yourself unable to access the furlough scheme you may be eligible for Universal Credit or other out of work social security. You can find information on this at www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus.
If you have lost your job as a result of the crisis the JobCentre should have made contact with you to offer help and assistance. If not, please do contact me and I'll make sure you are given all the information you need. You can also check https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-what-to-do-if-you-were-employed-and-have-lost-your-job.
You should also make sure you know your redundancy rights by reading the information available at https://www.gov.uk/redundancy-your-rights.