Covid-19 Information

Covid-19 Coronavirus Information

Information last updated Tuesday 12th May 2020. Please call 01234 346525 or email office@mohammadyasin.org if you can’t find the answer to your query.

For health advice sheets in different languages (Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Dari, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Kurdish, Malayalam, Mandarin, Pashto, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese), please click here

What are the key websites for information?

How can I get tested for Covid-19 Coronavirus?

What is the Government’s lockdown exit strategy?

Should I be staying at home?

I have a medical condition that makes me extremely vulnerable, what help can I get? 

Should I be self-isolating?

I am self-isolating, what does this mean for my mental health?

I am over 70, what should I be doing?

Why has the government shut schools?

What support is available to businesses, charities and voluntary groups?

What are my rights as a worker?

I am worried about my rights as a self-employed person, what help is available to me?

What can I do if my employer is compelling me to work when I shouldn’t?

What can I do if a workplace remains open but I believe it should be shut?

There’s a business acting unfairly, for example putting up their prices, what can I do?

I have a family member overseas, what should I do?

I want to volunteer and help others vulnerable to Covid-19, can I do this?

My business could help efforts to address Covid-19, e.g. manufacture medical equipment, how do I find out more?

I am a clinician considering returning to the NHS, what should I do?

Can Mohammad Yasin still help with casework?

What are the key websites for information?

Bedford Borough Council’s page for Covid-19 information can be found here, including contact details for the Community Hub, which includes a helpline manned 24/7. Please contact this helpline if you, or somebody you know, is self-isolating or ‘shielded’ and requires assistance, for example with buying groceries, getting prescriptions collected, walking dogs or if they are struggling with feelings of loneliness.

NHS Covid-19 updates can be found here.

‘Stay alert, control the virus and save lives’ instructions can be found here.

How can I get tested for Covid-19 Coronavirus?

Details of who can be tested and how to apply can be found here.

What is the Government’s lockdown exit strategy?

The Government has recently outlined its exit strategy which you can find here

The leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer outlined some of his concerns in an address to the nation which you can find here

Should I be staying at home?

Following the statement by the Prime Minister on Sunday 10th May, the current advice is to:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Information about this and changes to what we can and can’t do starting from Wednesday 13th May can be found here

I have a medical condition that makes me extremely vulnerable, what help can I get?

The Government’s guidance on shielding and protecting people on medical grounds as ‘extremely vulnerable’ from Covid-19 can be found here 

You can register here on the Government website, for example, to get help with delivery of essential supplies

Bedford Borough Council’s page for Covid-19 information can be found here, including contact details for the Community Hub, which includes a helpline manned 24/7. Please contact this helpline if you, or somebody you know, is self-isolating or ‘shielded’ and requires assistance, for example with buying groceries, getting prescriptions collected, walking dogs or if they are struggling with feelings of loneliness.

Should I be self-isolating?

If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days.

NHS guidelines on self-isolation can be found here 

Government guidelines can be found here 

I am self-isolating, what does this mean for my mental health?

Staying away from other people and staying at home could have mental health implications. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing. It may seem daunting and scary but there are plenty of resources and people who can help.

Mental health charity Mind has some guidelines here

The NHS has some guidelines here

I am over 70, what should I be doing?

Current government guidance states that all over 70s, regardless of medical condition, should carry out social distancing measures until further notice. This means avoiding gatherings, working from home, avoiding travel and a host of other measures.

Government information on this can be found here

Why has the government shut schools?

The government has now shut schools since 20 March 2020. The exception is for the children of key workers and vulnerable young people.

The Government’s website states:

“As soon as it is safe to do so we will bring more year groups back to school in a phased way when it is safe to have larger numbers of children within schools, but not before. Keeping children and staff safe is our utmost priority.

Schools should prepare to begin opening for more children from 1 June. The government expects children to be able to return to early years settings, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school in smaller class sizes from this point.

Secondary schools and further education colleges should also prepare to begin some face to face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year, in support of their continued remote, home learning.

The government’s ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible.”

The Government has published information on school closures due to Covid-19 in the interests of public health and you can find out who they mean by “key workers” here.

Information about the cancellation of exams can be found here 

The exam watchdog has written to all students who were due to take A levels and GCSES, and more about how they will receive predicted grades can be read here

The Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline is 0800 046 8687

What support is available to businesses, charities and voluntary groups?

During the budget certain measures were announced to support businesses affected by Covid-19. These were revised by the chancellor on the 17 March who pledged £330bn of government-back loans and guarantees. The chancellor has said that for smaller businesses in that sector who don’t have insurance cash grants of £25,000 will be provided.

Bedford Borough Council have provided information, including a form to apply for a business support grant here 

Government information can be found on the Business Support website, providing support, advice and information to help with the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) on your business here 

For detailed guidance and answers from The Confederation of British Industry here

If you are a business who needs any help or advice please call the Business Support Helpline – telephone: 0300 456 3565 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

Government guidance for small businesses can be found here 

Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation (BLCF) is coordinating and distributing funds from the National Emergencies Trust. They have created a new fund – the Bedfordshire Coronovirus Emergency Fund, to distribute these funds specifically to help charities and voluntary sector organisations in Bedfordshire.

The fund is now live for charities and voluntary organisations to make their application up to £5,000 to cover additional services needed in the pandemic, as well as the costs of reframing existing services, including staffing and equipment costs, and more information and details how to apply can be found here

What are my rights as a worker?

Government advice is available here

Acas (workplace experts, funded by BEIS) has up to date, relevant services to provide support around coronavirus for employers and employees here

Acas is offering weekly live Twitter Q&A sessions with Acas experts (every Friday at 10:30), find out more here 

Your employer might be able to ask you to stay at home or take unpaid leave if there’s not enough work for you. A lay-off is if you’re off work for at least 1 working day. Short-time working is when your hours are cut.

Unite the Union have some helpful material which can be found here 

I am worried about my rights as a self-employed person, what help is available to me?

Details of the Government’s Self Employment Business Scheme can be found here

HMRC have a dedicated line, call 0800 0159 559.

Freelance musicians may be able to access a £500 payment from the charity Help Musicians here

What can I do if my employer is compelling me to work when I shouldn’t be?

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee is asking people who are being compelled to work when they shouldn’t, according to the government’s guidance, to email beiscom@parliament.uk

What can I do if a workplace remains open but I believe it should be shut?

Please email Bedford Borough Council’s Environmental Health team on EHadmin@bedford.gov.uk

There’s a business acting unfairly, for example putting up their prices, what can I do?

The Government’s website has a link to complete the Competition and Markets Authority’s form to report a business you think is acting unfairly during the Coronavirus / COVID-19 outbreak, which can be found here

I have a family member overseas, what should I do?

Government and expert advice suggest that you should not travel overseas at this time. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice.

Government guidance on this can be found here 

The office of Mohammad Yasin has helped a number of constituents abroad and struggling to travel home. If you know someone who is overseas and is stranded, you can find consular support here.

I want to volunteer and help others vulnerable to Covid-19, can I do this?

Please get in touch with Bedford Borough Council’s Community Hub to find out about volunteering opportunities, contact details can be found here

Details about opportunities to volunteer with charities or the NHS can be found here

My business could help efforts to address Covid-19 e.g. manufacture medical equipment, how do I find out more?

The Government have provided a service online to register your interest, which can be found here

UK Research and Innovation are inviting proposals for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, more information can be found here

I am a clinician considering returning to the NHS, what should I do?

Information about how to return to the NHS can be found here

Can Mohammad Yasin still help with casework?

The office of Mohammad Yasin is still able to help constituents of Bedford & Kempston.

Whilst we are no longer offering face-to-face appointments or surgeries, if you have a casework inquiry or need urgent help please email office@mohammadyasin.org or call 01234 346525.