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Coronavirus

Crawley and country ordered into lockdown

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered the country to stay at home in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In his speech the Prime Minister said:

“Although huge numbers are complying, the time has now come for us to do more. You must stay at home.

He said the only reason to leave home should be:

Shopping for basic necessities, one form of exercise a day, a run or a cycle, any medical need and travelling to or from work. These are the only reasons you should leave home.”

He also said that all gatherings of more than two people are now banned.

He said that people should not be meeting friends or family who do not live at home.

His message was clear:

“If your friends ask you to meet, you should say no.”

The PM said that any flounting of these new rules could incur a fine.

Clothing shops, electronic shops and other non-essential goods shops are to close. All social events including weddings, baptisms and any other ceremonies are also stopped but funerals are excluded.

The lockdown is for an initial three weeks at which point it would be reviewed again.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 have been put in place with immediate effect to impose restrictions on any individual considered by health professionals to be at risk of spreading the virus.

The regulations apply to any individuals seeking to leave supported isolation before the current quarantine period of 14 days is complete. It will also apply to future cases during the current coronavirus incident where an individual who may be infected or contaminated could present a risk to public health.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“I will do everything in my power to keep people in this country safe. We are taking every possible step to control the outbreak of coronavirus.

NHS staff and others will now be supported with additional legal powers to keep people safe across the country. The transmission of coronavirus would constitute a serious threat – so I am taking action to protect the public and isolate those at risk of spreading the virus.

Clinical advice has not changed about the risk to the public, which remains moderate. We are taking a belt and braces approach to all necessary precautions to ensure public safety.

Our infection control procedures are world leading – what I am announcing today further strengthens our response.”

The regulations have been put in place to reduce the risk of further human-to-human transmission in this country.

The strengthened powers, effective immediately, will ensure that NHS staff dealing with possible cases can be confident the necessary powers are in place to keep individuals in isolation where public health professionals believe there is a reasonable risk an individual may have the virus. This is in line with measures taken in other countries.

Over the weekend, the latest government-chartered flight brought a further 100 individuals from the centre of the outbreak in Hubei province to stay in supported isolation in the UK.

The individuals have been taken to the Kents Hill Park conference centre in Milton Keynes where they will remain for 14 days until the end of the incubation period. This follows the same approach for those currently being housed in Arrowe Park NHS accommodation in Wirral.

All passengers were asked to sign a consent form agreeing to stay in supported isolation for at least 14 days until the incubation period is over. In all cases so far, supported isolation has been effective in controlling the spread of the virus.

These powers will give the public further confidence that the repatriation of British citizens back to the UK from Hubei does not increase the risk of further cases in this country.

The UK Chief Medical Officers currently assess the risk to the UK to be moderate.

Coronavirus

Over 580 people come forward to become a police emergency volunteer in Sussex

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The Chief Constable has praised hundreds of members of the public who have come forward to offer their services to support the county’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Following a call for support last week, more than 580 members of the public have expressed an interest in becoming a police emergency volunteer to help support Surrey Police and Sussex Police should resources reduce or additional specific skills and experience are required.

Sussex Police is continuing to plan ahead during this period of dealing with Covid-19 and as such, is creating a database of retired police officers, specials and police staff who may wish to return to policing for a temporary period, and members of the public who may have specific skills that would be of use.

Sussex Police Chief Constable Giles York said:

“We would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who has expressed an interest in becoming a police emergency volunteer.

“We were delighted with the response we received and believe it demonstrates the great sense of community here in Sussex, with everyone wanting to pull together and help.

“This is also reflected in how the vast majority of the public are already supporting the force’s work by adhering to the government guidelines to stay indoors, to only travel when essential and to observe safe social distancing.”

As the situation progresses over the next few weeks, Sussex Police will continue to monitor its resourcing levels and assess the potential demand for additional roles. If it is felt a person’s particular skills can be utilised, Sussex Police will make contact with them.

CC Giles York added:

“We will endeavour to update all those who have expressed an interest in becoming a police emergency volunteer, but due to the fast-paced and ever-changing nature of the situation and the volume of expressions we have received, this may not always be possible.

“We ask people to please bear with us and know that even if we don’t respond to you immediately, we are incredibly grateful to you for expressing an interest in supporting Sussex Police.”

Sussex Police continues to engage with members of the public and explain the importance of following the government guidance, to protect public health and the NHS.

CC Giles York said:

“We are encouraging people to comply with the government guidance but if faced with non-compliance we will, if necessary and proportionate, follow up with enforcement action as set out in the new legislation.

“Sussex Police has a strong relationship with our communities and I know my officers will be using their skills and powers in a way that maintains public support. I have received many messages of support from community leaders and the public and am pleased to pass them onto officers who are taking personal risks to protect the NHS, they really make a difference. 

“We would also like to reassure the public that although we are putting these contingency plans in place, we are still in a position to respond to emergencies and carry out the normal day-to-day policing expected of us, to keep the public and our communities safe.”

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