This week, the Prime Minister announced the reintroduction of a full national lockdown, similar to that back in March 2020.
Due to the new variant that has seen hospitalisation 40 per cent higher than the first peak in April 2020, our national alert level has been moved to level five.
That means without taking action now our NHS could be overwhelmed in 21 days.
It is the hope of the NHS that by the end of February, the top four priority groups will have received a vaccine.
These groups are people in care homes and carers, those aged 70 and over, all health and social care staff and the clinically extremely vulnerable.
People are to stay at home and should only leave for limited reasons such as shopping for essentials, seeking medical assistance or fleeing domestic violence.
People who are extremely clinically vulnerable are once again asked to shield.
A letter will be sent out to those in this category outlining the necessary steps they should take.
Primary and secondary schools alongside colleges will be moving to remote learning.
As before only children of key workers or those who are vulnerable can go into school physically.
Early years settings will, however, remain open.
Not all exams will go ahead this summer and the education secretar will announce more in due course.
Children who are eligible for free school meals will still continue to receive them, with further details to follow.
It’s important to remember that schools are not ‘closed’ as such, and have been open to vulnerable children and the children of key workers throughout.
I want to say a huge thank you to all of our staff at schools who are providing a vital service to allow us to continue our fight against Covid-19.
Further details can be accessed here.
Meanwhile, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced £4.6 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs.
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000.
This is in addition to the financial support already being provided.More details can be found here.
As always if you have any questions please email me at: email@example.com
I want to thank everybody across Bassetlaw for their hard work in getting the local rates down from the levels they were in November
At one point we had the worst rates in Nottinghamshire, but now we have vastly improved.
However, we have seen that the virus is spreading quickly nationally and this is why we need to act now.
These are difficult times, but we must work together.
Brendan Clarke-Smith is MP for Bassetlaw.