Prime Minister to write to every household with coronavirus guidance

The Prime Minister will write to every UK household to urge them to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

A letter from the Prime Minister will land on the doorsteps of 30 million households across all four UK nations from next week.

The Prime Minister will outline the guidance everyone should follow and the measures the Government has put in place to fight coronavirus and to support businesses and workers.

He will urge everyone to follow the rules to save lives and thank NHS staff working round the clock as well as everyone volunteering their time to protect others.

The Prime Minister will say: "We know things will get worse before they get better.

"But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.

"I want to thank everyone who is working flat out to beat the virus, in particular the staff in our fantastic NHS and care sector across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"It has been truly inspirational to see our doctors, nurses and other carers rise magnificently to the needs of the hour.

"Thousands of retired doctors and nurses are returning to the NHS – and hundreds of thousands of citizens are volunteering to help the most vulnerable.

"That is why, at this moment of national emergency, I urge you, please, to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives."

Alongside the letter, residents will receive a leaflet outlining the Government's advice, with clear explanations of symptoms, hand washing guidance, rules on leaving the house, self-isolating with symptoms and shielding vulnerable people.

The leaflet contains UK-wide information as well as directions about where to access online guidance specific to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Prime Minister is continuing to lead the Government's response to coronavirus as he self isolates after testing positive for the virus.

The letter and leaflet is being sent as part of the Government's public information campaign on coronavirus. It is expected to cost £5.8m to print and distribute.

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Charlie Cook
Sunday 29th March 2020 at 12:07 am
Don’t quite see the point in sending the letter since we know what it is going fo say (?)
Pete Taylor
Sunday 29th March 2020 at 5:42 pm
Agree with Charlie, plus: surely whatever it says will be four days (at least) out of date; is there anyone in the UK who has neither Radio, TV or internet?

Surely sending un-necessary items of mail puts at risk our mail carriers and, ultimately, the recipient.
Mark Goldsmith
Monday 30th March 2020 at 2:03 pm
Pete & Charlie

Currently the police are giving people the benefit of the doubt to those they stop and question about why they are outside. Officers are explaining the policy rather than immediately fining people (see today's article 'Police plea to those breaking the exercise rules during lockdown).

Most people are abiding by the new laws but as always there is a significant minority who are not. They will plead ignorance if challenged, so I suspect these letters are designed to remove their "Sorry officer, I didn't know" excuse. This will allow the police to be more robust with their enforcement.

The cost of this letter is insignificant compared to the £ billions being spent on this crisis and you could argue it will be funded by the fines it will allow eg France has already issued 25 million euros worth of Corona Virus fines.

However, anything that helps the police do their job in these difficult times is to be welcomed.


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Cheshire East & Wilmslow Town Council
Alan Brough
Monday 30th March 2020 at 7:47 pm
Cllr Goldsmith,

I think the points that Pete and Charlie are making are valid.

What is the potential risk to Postal Workers and recipients of an additional 30 million mail items going through the system?

What will this letter tell us that we don't already know?

Will recipients have to sign for receipt of the letter in order to negate the "ignorance" argument?

The cost of second class postage to 30 million households is approx. £15m. No doubt Boris will have negotiated a discount, but it will be a sizeable sum of money and if, as you seem to suggest, you think it's peanuts in the money-guzzling scheme of things, might I suggest that you're in the wrong job?
Pete Taylor
Monday 30th March 2020 at 9:37 pm
Mark,
Regarding your "significant minority" comment; the West Midlands PCC has an opinion on this:
https://bit.ly/3dJ3JNk

His words and warning make sense. He sees the problem, on his patch, as religious minorities and non-English speakers (many of whom live in a ghetto-like scenario) plus teenagers, from whatever background. I don't see many of those folks taking much notice of a letter.

Regarding your comment on what the Police might be doing- it appears that many of them do not know what the new "powers" (I don't believe they are yet laws) are and are making it up as they go along, they simply have not been trained and are making it up on the hoof.
https://bit.ly/3auvmYN

Your last paragraph is very apposite.


As someone who worked at Royal Mail (for 40 years!) I believe that using a method of communication dating back to 1661 is not the best means of getting a message out, in an understandable form, to the maximum audience in these unprecedented times. Since the "letter" was announced the "guidelines" have already been revised, evidently.
Sandy Martin
Wednesday 1st April 2020 at 1:59 pm
what a total waste of money , time and effort... give it to the NHS
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 1st April 2020 at 3:05 pm
1661!!!! The Romans wrote letters on onion skins.
This letter will be completely wasted on certain sections of society who for various reasons will not be able to read it!!!!
More nanny state.
Dave Mangnall
Wednesday 1st April 2020 at 3:51 pm
Regarding what the police are doing and the distinction between powers and laws, does not Parliament have to pass some laws to authorise the police to issue spot fines to people who are outdoors without good reason? Could not such fines be challenged in the courts on the grounds that they're illegal?
Helen Battilana
Wednesday 1st April 2020 at 5:39 pm
So easy to think of more useful ways to spend nearly £6 million. An appalling waste of money.
Alan Brough
Thursday 2nd April 2020 at 8:35 am
I still haven't received my "personal" letter from The Prime Minister.

I wonder if, given that he has contracted the virus and therefore demonstrably disobeyed the rules, he has been forced to re-think?

If I see an envelope marked "10 Downing Street" I'm not touching it after he's licked the seal and the stamp!
Dave Mangnall
Thursday 2nd April 2020 at 11:38 am
OK, I can now answer my own question, after a bit of googling. The Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent on the 25th March. I guess I'm the only person in Wilmslow who was unaware of that!

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