Broadland businesses and communities respond to the challenge of Covid-19

I hope you have had an enjoyable summer and were able to take advantage of the superb weather during August.

It has certainly been a busy time for local businesses, with a hugely welcome upturn in tourism and recreation.

In Broadland, 82,000 claims were made under the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, benefiting our pubs and restaurants by just under £500,000 and it really seemed to build confidence that we can go out and use local resources in a low-risk way.

The way in which our schools have been able to return to proper education has been another positive milestone. With three children of my own, I well know the benefit they are getting being properly back at school.

Teachers have put a huge amount of thought and planning into making the system work, again in a low-risk way, and deserve our full support with the new way of doing things.

Over the summer recess, I visited many people around the constituency, helping out where I could and seeing how businesses and communities have been responding to the challenge of Covid-19.

I have also been talking to care home managers and staff around Broadland to learn from their experiences first-hand. We have learned so much and it is vital that these lessons inform our ongoing response.

Set against these positive signs of progress has been the local Covid-19 outbreak at Banham Poultry (well-controlled at the time of writing) and the wider upward trend of Covid infections across the country, resulting in the reintroduction of the “rule of six” restrictions.

Some people have argued that this is an overreaction given the very low death rate. But I am afraid that international experience shows that widespread infection in the younger population cannot be stopped from spreading to the more vulnerable over time.

You cannot successfully divide our community into two, even if you wanted to, so we need to suppress this infection growth and we all have our role to play, whatever our age.

Broadland residents have shown remarkable public spirit, as you would expect, and I am sure that we will continue to do so.

As ever, if I can help you with any issue or concern, please do email. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or via my website.

Jerome Mayhew, MP for Broadland