At a recent meeting with the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, he explained that as a result of the second spike, and with around 170 coronavirus cases per 100,000 population in Cheshire East, we along with Cheshire West and Warrington were placed in Tier 2, or the “High” alert category. We remain in this tier, although our status is reviewed regularly.
John Wilbraham, Chief Executive of East Cheshire NHS Trust, has confirmed in our conversations that Macclesfield Hospital has well-developed plans in place to prepare for the potential increase in coronavirus admissions.
By responding to the impact of coronavirus in different parts of the country and introducing a three-tier approach, the Government is working to avoid another lockdown across England, which would have major economic consequences.
The Job Support Scheme was introduced to support employees in businesses facing reduced demand and was then improved to assist businesses that have had to close in Tier 3.
As I spoke to local businesses, including pubs and restaurants, they explained how the new Tier 2 restrictions, which stop people from different households mixing indoors, had had a real impact on their trade. I raised these concerns directly with Ministers and I am pleased that the Chancellor announced new measures on 22nd October to assist businesses in Tier 2. These steps include increased Government contributions to employment costs and cash grants of up to £2,100 per month, while the self-employed grant was also doubled.
There is more to do to help people find work and achieve their career ambitions in these challenging times. That is why I have been actively supporting the Cheshire Works 4 You digital jobs fair taking place on 28th October.
It is vital that we all go on playing our part and abide by the current regulations. Working together, and for one another, we will get through these challenging times.