The coronavirus pandemic has tested the resolve of this country. It has had an impact on all of our lives, and I know many families and businesses have been particularly hard hit. This horrible virus has taken the life of loved ones before their time, left families separated and people facing financial uncertainty and insecurity.
I have been supporting and helping many residents and businesses who have been in contact with me in recent months and continue to do so. I want to thank everyone for their forbearance, patience and for following the guidance and rules put in place to stay alert, control the virus and save lives. Everyone has played their part in fighting this disease and I am grateful for the efforts and sacrifices you have made.
Amid the pain, suffering and anxiety felt by many, there have also been some extraordinary examples of courage, bravery and help on display. Thousands of volunteers have come forward to support efforts to get food and supplies to the vulnerable and those in self-isolation. Our brilliant key workers, the NHS, emergency services and care workers have helped save lives and kept our country going. And we’ve seen business and their staff go that extra mile.
This amazing national effort and the steely determination seen in Essex and elsewhere to fight this virus mean that the rate at which the coronavirus is spreading and the numbers of infections and deaths have fallen considerably since its peak. While we cannot be complacent as the risk remains significant, we are now able to start to safely reopen parts of the economy and society and ease the restrictions that have been in place.
As businesses and attractions start to reopen, new measures are being put in place to support social distancing, extra cleaning and hand washing. Working practices will continue to evolve and adapt and while things will look different, we are going to see things return to as close to the pre-coronavirus normal as possible. I am working in Government and with businesses and organisations in Essex to support the safe reopening of our economy and society.
The Government has put in place an unprecedented package of support to help those affected. Further information about the action the Government is taking and the support available to businesses and families can be found at the contacts below:
- General information: www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- Business support: www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support
- Essex Welfare Service: 0300 303 9988 or www.essexwelfareservice.org.uk/
- Money Advice Service: 0800 138 7777 or www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you
- Information on Universal Credit: 0800 328 5644 or www.gov.uk/universal-credit
Further information on my work in the Witham constituency and new updates can be found on my website: www.priti4witham.co.uk
If anyone has any questions or comments about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic or any other issue, please do email my office at: WithamMP@parliament.uk
The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP
Member of Parliament for the Witham constituency