Daily Covid-19 Brief: Sunday, March 29
Each day, our Public Policy team will be reporting on the latest news in the evolving situation. To view the previous day’s summary, please click here.
Every UK household is to receive a letter from the Prime Minister warning that the crisis will get worse before it gets better and that tougher measures may be necessary
- The letter will be sent to 30 million households at an anticipated cost of £5.8m.
- In it Boris Johnson will warn that things are going to get worse before they get better and that stricter restrictions will be put in place if necessary.
- It comes as the UK recorded 469 COVID 19 deaths over the weekend. Many experts expect the number of coronavirus cases and deaths to continue to rise for the next two to three weeks, before the effects of enforced social distancing measures begin to have an impact.
- Every household will also receive a leaflet providing more information about government rules on leaving the house, as well as health guidance.
- It comes as a leading adviser to the UK government, Neil Ferguson, warned the country’s lockdown will need to be in place “probably until the end of May” or “early June.”
- Ferguson added that even if the lockdown was lifted at that time, people would probably still need to abide by some social distancing measures for months to come.
- Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove also warned that the lockdown could last longer if people do not stick to the social distancing rules.
Other UK COVID 19 news
- Strategic coordination centres will be set up across the country and will be led by gold commanders from the emergency services to lead communities during the COVID 19 crisis. Members of the armed forces will be embedded within these teams to plan local response to the virus.
- NHS staff in Wales will receive free bus travel throughout the nation as part of a government deal with bus companies.
- The Scottish government is to introduce legislation to ensure no one can be evicted from their home during the COVID 19 crisis. Under the proposals landlords must give a minimum notice period of 6 months to a tenant before an eviction. The legislation will be introduced to the Scottish parliament on Tuesday and will apply to tenants in both the private sector and the social housing sector.
- The Scottish government have announced the creation of a new volunteer campaign named “Scotland Cares” which will launch tomorrow to allow people to register to volunteer during the pandemic, it follows the establishment of similar NHS initiative by the UK government.
- The number of people who have volunteered to help the NHS combat Covid-19 has reached 750,000, two days after the target was increased after hitting the initial 250,000 goal within less than 24 hours.
- The government has placed an order for 10,000 ventilators to be made by a consortium of UK-based vehicle manufacturing firms, including Ford, Airbus and Rolls-Royce. The country’s current ventilator capacity sits at around 8,000, and an order for another 10,000 is also being placed with Dyson. Firms involved in the effort to scale-up capacity are said to be waiving any profits.
- The first consignment of 2,000 boxes containing pasta, cereal, fruit, tea bags and toilet roll were left on doorsteps to help vulnerable people who cannot leave their homes as part of the UK government’s “social shielding” strategy. The government expects that a further 50,000 food parcels will be sent out this week.
- Home Secretary Priti Patel has pledged to protect victims of domestic abuse, who she says are particularly at risk because of the need to stay at home.
- Hull Trains is to temporarily suspend all its services from 30 March as a result of the COVID 19 crisis.