This week, the Welsh Government have announced that from next Monday (July 6th), two households will be able to meet indoors and form a ‘bubble’. This will be very welcome news to so many families up and down the country who have been missing their loved ones! It’s important to still make sure you’re familiar with the guidance: both households must stay the same – there can be no chopping and changing between different bubbles – and if one person in a household develops symptoms, then both households will need to self-isolate. Monday will also see the lifting of the five mile travel restriction, and these changes make it even more important that we continue to practise social distancing outside our bubbles so that we don’t undo all the hard work of the past few months.
I was hoping to be called to speak during the Finance Bill debate this week but unfortunately it’s trickier than usual as the rules around social distancing in the Chamber do mean there is less time for MPs to ask questions. Had I been called, I would have used the opportunity to highlight the neglect of certain sectors in the UK Government’s recovery plans. The beauty and wellbeing industry contributes around £30 billion to the UK economy and 90% of those working in the industry are women. We’ve been hearing lots in the news about how the economic impact of this crisis will significantly affect women and young people and yet the UK Government are taking no action to support this sector. This industry has a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of the population as well, something we need to be mindful of as we begin to recover from this crisis. The industry needs strong leadership from the UK Government in order to support businesses to open their doors safely and begin to make a living once again.
Last Friday, the Co-op launched a campaign to end the awful rise in violence towards shop workers during the pandemic. Shop workers have worked so hard during this crisis to ensure that shop shelves are stacked and that the vulnerable are supported and the reports of abuse and violence that so many of them have faced are truly reprehensible. I’m glad to support this campaign and to add my voice to those calling for the UK Government to work with the Co-op to give our key workers the protections that they need and deserve.
This Sunday, the 5th July, our wonderful NHS is 72 years old! Over those 72 years, the NHS has transformed the health of the nation and allowed people young and old, rich and poor, to access good quality health care. The last couple of months have challenged our doctors and nurses, porters and cleaners and, just as we did every Thursday evening, we applaud their efforts, their dedication, and their selfless sacrifice. At 8pm this Sunday, we will once again come together to applaud them and say a huge thank you for all their hard work. When I think about being British, the NHS and the values that it speaks to are one of the things that make me most proud. We must protect the NHS and all those who work in our hospitals and surgeries day in, day out. You’re all fabulous!
Since the Coronavirus pandemic began, our team of volunteers at Swansea Together have prepared and delivered over 20,000 meals to vulnerable people across Swansea, with the help of the wonderful Swansea City AFC Community Trust. The generosity that has been shown by individuals, local businesses, and community organisations has been truly overwhelming and I am so proud to represent these wonderful people in this beautiful constituency. This pandemic is far from over, but I am reassured to know that the people of Swansea East are able to pull together to get us through this difficult time. Thank you everyone!
You can keep up to date with Welsh Government announcements and information on their dedicated coronavirus page. As always, if you have any issues or concerns to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. My staff are continuing to work from home, and are as always, here to help in whatever way they can.
I hope you stay well, and enjoy the weekend and, remember – keep washing your hands!