Catherine McGuinness: This is a trying time for all of us, it’s more crucial than ever to work together


The importance of all of us working together to tackle the spread of this virus was underlined by the UK passing a tragic milestone of 100,000 deaths from Covid-19 last week. 

This is a trying time for us all, but with the vaccine rollout now well underway, hope is on the horizon. 

Hundreds of City residents and frontline health workers have already received the first dose of their Covid vaccination at sites in Hackney, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Tower Hamlets and the Excel Centre. 

Going forward more and more of us will receive our jabs, but it’s important we wait to be contacted by the NHS until it is our turn.

In the meantime we need to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. And we need to get tested if we have symptoms.

Over 12,000 tests have now been undertaken at Guildhall Yard, every one helping save lives and protect the NHS.

We urge anyone with a new, persistent cough; high temperature; or a loss or change of sense of smell and/or taste to book a test straight away through, or by calling 119.

We also encourage all essential workers coming into the City through the national lockdown to book a rapid test at least once every five days by going here

If your test is positive and you are told to self-isolate, but you are not able to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating, you may be eligible for a £500 payment. You can call the City Corporation on 020 7332 3937 to discuss.

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If you cannot arrange for food, medication and other essential items to be delivered while you and your household self-isolate, please let the City Corporation know. You can do this by emailing [email protected].uk, or by calling 020 7606 3030.

You can also call City Advice for help with food, benefits advice and debt on 020 7392 2919, or email them at [email protected].

Self-isolating can be a real challenge but I’m sure everyone, like me, shares our desire to protect all of loved ones and communities from getting infected with Covid. If we are to get through this situation, tackle the virus and return to the City, we all need to abide by the rules until the most vulnerable in society are protected.

The City Corporation is well aware that companies need clarity and a clear plan from the government on when office workers can return to Covid-secure workplaces. A blanket recommendation to work from home into the spring risks stalling the capital’s recovery and damaging long-term competitiveness.

However, I genuinely believe the City has a bright future ahead despite these tough times. As we approach the final stretch of this long and difficult journey, we all need to stay the course, abide by the rules and help save lives.

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