To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to support the most vulnerable as part of (a) Test and Trace, (b) Local Lockdowns and (c) the Government's programme of economic recovery after the covid-19 outbreak.
We are working with other government departments to support local authorities in responding to additional vulnerability created by the COVID-19 outbreak through financial support, as well as engaging civil society and supermarkets to provide further assistance, including access to food and essential supplies.
The Government has also confirmed an additional £63 million for local authorities to help people who are struggling financially due to the impact of COVID-19.
We are working with DHSC to support local authorities to respond to COVID-19 outbreaks by ensuring capacity and accessibility is available for testing vulnerable groups. The Test and Trace scheme ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents.
The Government has always been clear that it will continually monitor the transmission of the virus in our communities and, if rates rise too much, our advice to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable may change. The Government is committed to supporting those shielding.
I have held 6 meetings of the Economic Recovery Working Group, which brings together local growth partners to discuss emerging themes and concerns across the country.
As a subset of the official-level Economic Recovery Working Group, which sits alongside the ministerial group and has met 11 times, officials are establishing 5 locally led task and finish groups to bring together local partners on specific recovery challenges, to foster strong collaboration between national and local partners and understand the levers we need to pull to support recovery.
We have written out to M9 mayors to ask them to coordinate economic recovery planning for their areas and encouraged them to focus initially on restarting the economy alongside Government social distancing guidelines.