During this challenging period, our community has shown great strength, resilience and determination to defeat this virus.
This is an unprecedented challenge and the greatest threat our country has faced in decades. However, I know that we will get through this – together.
Our collective effort, including the work of our amazing front-line responders, has enabled us to move past the peak of this disease. During that time, our health system was not overwhelmed, with enough spare beds, ventilators and hospital capacity at all times. For ten weeks, our families and neighbours came together to Clap for Our Carers, who have our enduring gratitude for their work and sacrifice.
Guided by the science and data, we can now move towards a phase of recovery and make changes to the existing measures. As we do so, the Government will set up a system of Covid-19 Alert Levels, which will be overseen by a new Biosecurity Centre designed to assess the spread of the virus. Furthermore, the NHS Test and Trace programme has been established. By testing for the virus and tracing its spread, we will be able to help control the virus, support our community and protect the NHS.
More now than ever, to keep the infection rate down, the good common sense of the British people is needed. We have made great sacrifices to get this far, so we must not risk this progress. That is why staying alert, adhering to the social distancing guidelines and controlling the virus is so important.
As the lockdown restrictions are slowly and cautiously lifted, we can begin to return to some aspects of normal life. One such example is the reopening of local businesses. This has been a challenging period for local business owners, and I am delighted to see that they can now reopen, provided they have put the necessary safety measures in place. Supporting our local businesses across Bromsgrove District will help to restart our economy and allow high streets across the country to spring back to life.
Important work also continues on the development of a vaccine. The Government has committed over £250 million and established a taskforce to accelerate the development of this. It will be a truly collaborative effort, with the Government, industry and academia working together towards the single goal of producing it as fast as possible.
As they have done throughout this period, I know our communities will rise to the challenge ahead. The establishment of at least 20 formal support groups, and the kindness of neighbours, friends and family has been inspiring to see. It is a reminder that we will always have far more in common. So, as we move forward, let’s maintain that spirit, support each other and as Her Majesty the Queen said, “we will succeed” and “we will meet again”.
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