Blogs > John Glen Salisbury MP Diary > 11th March 2020

11th March 2020

11th March 2020

My week in Parliament was almost entirely dedicated to preparations for the Budget (Wednesday 11th March).

At the time of writing on Tuesday night, there are a number of announcements prepared that I am not yet at liberty to share but I have been lobbying very hard to ensure that investment in the A303 is prioritised.

After a round of media engagements on the budget, I will be getting the last train back to Salisbury so that I can give my now traditional budget breakfast briefing to local businesses on Thursday morning (12th March).


It is now clear that the spread of coronavirus will have a significant but temporary impact on the public finances. I have been involved in recent days in working on a package of interventions that will support the economy as we move through this crisis.

In the meantime, I know that the impact of the virus is being felt ever closer to home, with school trips cancelled and travel plans disrupted.

I am pleased to hear that local supermarket supply chains are coping well and deliveries are plentiful and frequent, with apparent shortages of some items towards the end of the day caused only by unusual buying patterns due to stockpiling.

The government is clear that stockpiling is neither necessary nor helpful. No shortages are expected and people should feel confident to shop as they normally would.

I have heard from several people anxious that particular places or items that could be sources of cross contamination should be deep cleaned.

Of course, deep cleaning will be done where necessary, but many harmless items are touched by multiple people hundreds of times every day, from supermarket trolleys to cashpoint buttons, doors and desks.

That is why the simple advice from Public Health England remains that by far the most effective solution is for individuals to wash their own hands thoroughly and, in between handwashes, to avoid touching their face.

Based on the WHO’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK has raised the risk to the public from low to moderate, allowing the government to continue to plan fully for all eventualities. 

Posted by John Glen at 9:36am

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