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‘It will pass, but tough times are ahead’ - MPs write joint letter to Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 06:30 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:09 23 March 2020

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman. Picture: Keiron Tovell

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman. Picture: Keiron Tovell

Keiron Tovell

Norfolk’s MPs have written to the county’s residents over the coronavirus outbreak. We have run their letter below.

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNorwich South MP Clive Lewis. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dear Norfolk residents,

This is a worrying time for all who live and work in Norfolk. The Covid19 pandemic is changing everything about the way our society, economy and democracy works. All of us are having to change the way we live and work. That includes MPs and all in elected office. This is not a time for partisan politics or turf wars. At national and local level the Government and HM opposition will need to work together. But emergency leadership and legislation does not mean suspending democracy, scrutiny or accountability.

We want to reassure you all that we are working closely together to help our county as well as our constituents.

We are dealing with hundreds of enquiries every day. As the Norfolk Emergency Resilience Forum takes control this week, clear local control hubs will be set up but please do not hesitate to contact your MP if you need help finding the right advice or support.

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith. Picture: Neil DidsburyNorwich North MP Chloe Smith. Picture: Neil Didsbury

To prevent the spread of infection it is vital everyone keeps up to date and follows Public Health England’s guidance here.

Social distancing is essential to minimise the spread of the disease: we all need to avoid contact with strangers, unnecessary meetings, and nonessential travel; going out only if necessary and for exercise, keeping 2m away from others whenever possible, avoiding contact with public surfaces and washing hands.

MORE: To see our previous coronavirus coverage, click here.

Self-isolation is essential for the most vulnerable: The elderly and those with existing health conditions for whom exposure to the virus represents a serious threat. If you qualify for the flu vaccine because of an existing medical condition, or you are over 70, you should stay at home. It is fine to go for a walk, but keep this to a minimum and avoid groups of people. The NHS will write to all those in this category shortly.

If you feel unwell – with a dry cough or fever – and live alone, you must self-isolate for 7 days (14 days for your entire household if you live with others).

Panic buying is becoming a problem in Norfolk. There is no need to stockpile goods. If everyone buys at their normal rate there will be no problem. It is stockpiling that causes the problem. Plans are being laid to ensure the most vulnerable and key workers get what they need.

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By following these simple steps - and the forthcoming advice and protocols in the Norfolk Response Plan - everyone can, working together, protect themselves each other and the NHS. This crisis will test our resilience as a county and a community. Never will we more need Norfolk’s legendary community spirit.

The government has announced an unprecedented economic package agreed with business and trade unions to help avoid bankruptcy, redundancy and economic depression, and made clear it stands ready to do “whatever it takes”.

To access this help email growthhub@newanglia.co.uk or telephone 0300 333 6536 (from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm). All of us wish to pay tribute on your behalf to the work of staff in the NHS, care and all our local public services, and those volunteering via Voluntary Norfolk to help Norfolk confront this crisis. It WILL pass. But tough times are ahead and we will all need to work in the common interest to minimise the crisis as best we can, and help the most vulnerable.

Richard Bacon MP (South Norfolk)

Duncan Baker MP (North Norfolk)

George Freeman MP (Mid-Norfolk)

Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP (Great Yarmouth)

Clive Lewis MP (Norwich South)

Jerome Mayhew MP (Broadland)

Chloe Smith MP (Norwich North)

Rt Hon Liz Truss MP (South West Norfolk)

James Wild MP (North West Norfolk)


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