Sunday, 3 May 2020

An update on coronavirus going forward

I want to take this opportunity to update you on coronavirus.

This week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out a comprehensive plan on how we can continue to suppress the coronavirus, whilst re-starting the economy, getting children back to school, and making travel to the work and the workplace safer.

Thanks to the vast majority of people staying at home, we have been able to shield the NHS and avoid an uncontrollable and catastrophic epidemic, where the reasonable worst case-scenario was 500,000 deaths.

We are now past the peak of the disease and are on the downward slope. But until a vaccine is developed, we will have to beat this disease by our growing resolve and ingenuity.

That is why this week, the government will set out a comprehensive plan on how we can continue to suppress the disease, and at the same time re-start the economy.

There are five key tests that must be satisfied before the government can put the comprehensive plan for phase two into action: 
  • We must protect the NHS’ ability to cope – we must be confident that we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK.
  • We need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from coronavirus so we are confident that we have moved beyond the peak.
  • We need to have reliable data from SAGE showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board.
  • We need to be confident that the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand, with supply able to meet future demand.
  • We need to be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelm the NHS.
Even as we move beyond the peak of coronavirus, it is still absolutely vital that everybody stays at home.

However, for the most vulnerable in society - home may not be the safe haven that it should be.

That's why the government has made an extra £76 million available to support survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery, as well as ensuing vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need. This builds upon the commitment in the governments' landmark Domestic Abuse Bill that gives ‘priority need’ status to victims of domestic abuse so that no-one has to make the unbearable choice between staying somewhere where they know is unsafe or becoming homeless.

As far as possible, people need to stay at home. This will help to protect the NHS and save lives. 

Stay at home

You must stay at home, only leaving for the following very limited purposes: 
  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day – for example, a run, walk or cycle – alone or with members of your immediate household.
  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Traveling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

Protect the NHS

You must stay at home to protect the NHS: 
  • The NHS only has a limited number of doctors, nurses and specialist equipment.
  • We are working around the clock to increase NHS capacity.
  • The more people who get sick, the harder it is for the NHS to cope.
  • We must slow the spread of the disease so that fewer people are sick at any one time.

Save lives

You must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. The police will have the powers to enforce the following restrictions: 
  • Dispersing gatherings of more than two people in public, excluding people you live with.
  • Issuing fines to anyone who does not comply with these rules.
  • Closing shops that are not essential, as well as playgrounds and places of worship.

The government has made available a huge package of support to help businesses and individuals get through this crisis. My website contains a comprehensive guide to the support available and is updated regularly. Visit to find out more. 

I have also set up a Coronavirus FAQ's section on my website, to answer as many questions as possible. You can find them at

You can find the most up to date medical advice at