The Stroud MP's weekly column.

Since my column last week, we have seen the Chief Medical and Scientific officers’ advice escalate to require the closure of schools, the cancellation of exams and pubs and food venues shutting down due to Coronavirus. This week ‘shielding’ will be introduced and in all likelihood, more stringent measures to begin enforcing the expert advice if it is not followed.

I have written in detail about ‘shielding’ on my Facebook. This is where the most vulnerable categories of people with specific health issues will be urged to stay at home for at least 12 weeks. They will be contacted by their GP practice or specialist shortly with detailed advice.

Gloucestershire health services, MPs, the County Council and local councils have been working to identify the vulnerable people for some time. I have been involved with numerous activities to arrange food for people too, as have many others. We can make sure that everybody is provided for during isolation if they have a medical, physical or social need.

Please do not worry if you receive a letter about shielding or if somebody you know does. Follow the advice provided and feel free to contact me:

My days and nights are naturally taken up with enquiries about COVID19, including the impact of constituents being stranded abroad. NHS workers, police officers and teachers have been unable to access food despite there being a strong UK food supply.

The majority of local people are following the expert advice. It will however take everybody pulling together at all times to stop spreading the virus and people are emailing me to say they expect more public effort to comply with guidance. Even if the government is advised to take serious enforcement measures soon, this will still be necessary.

Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.