COVID -19 – 03/03/2020 Full statement below;
At the time of writing the confirmed cases of the COVID 19 virus across the country remain relatively low. The current situation across the south of England suggests isolated cases in the Sussex, Surrey and Oxfordshire where testing and containment are taking place.
The UK Government, Border Force and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) today released the Government’s action plan for COVID 19 virus which is a very good source of information about the disease and outlines the phased approach that Government is advocating. Essentially the key phases are to Contain, Delay, and Mitigate any outbreak, using scientific Research to inform policy development.
Tourism South East has taken steps to ensure its members are fully updated and is working closely with VisitBritain and other leading tourism associations to ensure we have up-to-date information and advice relevant to the tourism industry. At this point in time all borders to the UK remain open, there are no plans cancel major events and all major attractions in the UK remain open for business.
Fran Downton (Chief Executive)
Key points to note from the action plan;
Key points noted below with thanks to VisitBritain
4.7 Border Force and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have assisted the repatriation of British nationals and their dependents from affected areas overseas. Where foreign nationals in the UK have been unable to return to affected areas, the Home Office have provided support enabling them to remain in the UK.).
4.9 As part of the port health measures, direct flights arriving into the UK from countries within the UK's CMOs' case definition are required to provide a declaration (General Aircraft Declaration) to airport authorities stating that all their passengers are well, 60 minutes prior to landing. Similarly, The Maritime Health Declaration Form is required for all vessels arriving from any foreign port. For Scotland parallel measures are in place.
4.15 We have provided UK residents and travellers with the latest information to make sure they know what to do if they experience symptoms and worked with NHS 111, NHS Direct Wales and NHS 24 in Scotland, to ensure people with symptoms are given appropriate advice. Public health advice has been widely publicised and is regularly updated at www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirusinformation-for-the-public
4.16 FCO Travel Advice gives British nationals advice on what they need to know before deciding whether to travel and what to do if they are affected by an outbreak of COVID-19 while travelling. Our Travel Advice and consular assistance also help to contain the spread of COVID-19 to the UK.
4.22 The safety and security of British Nationals overseas will always be our top priority. Our initial focus has been helping those Britons who have found themselves at the greatest risk of exposure to the virus. Our crisis response team in the FCO has been working around the clock with our Embassies throughout the world to provide them with the care they need and reduce the risk of importation of Coronavirus into the UK. This includes the use of quarantine and self-isolation measures for those returning from at risk areas.
4.35 In the event of the outbreak worsening, or a severe prolonged pandemic, the response will escalate, and the focus will move from Contain to Delay, through to Mitigate. During this phase the pressures on services and wider society may start to become significant and clearly noticeable.
4.36 The decision to step up the response from Contain to Delay and then Mitigate will be taken on advice from the UK's Chief Medical Officers, taking in to account the degree of sustained transmission and evident failure of measures in other countries to reduce spread.
4.47 It is possible that an outbreak or pandemic of COVID-19 could occur in multiple waves (it is not known yet if the disease will have a seasonal pattern, like flu) and therefore, depending upon what the emerging evidence starts to tell us, it may be 19 necessary to ensure readiness for a future wave of activity. The intention is to gather evidence about effective interventions in order to inform decision-making going forward. The UK Government will keep emerging research needs under close review and progress research activities set out above.
4.55 The UK Government is advising businesses to build their own resilience by reviewing their business continuity plans and following the advice for employers available on GOV.UK - www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-toemployers-and-businesses-about-covid-19 21
4.56 Businesses should also ensure that they keep up to date with the situation as it changes, at: www.gov.uk/coronavirus