After the announcement from the Prime Minister on Tuesday regarding certain businesses reopening on the 4th July, I’ve heard from many of you asking the reasons why the other businesses are having to remain shut. This is understandable as there does not seem to be clear reasons behind the decision made by the Government to open some and not others.
Swimming pools is one example that a lot of people were keen to see reopen. I have written to Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, asking for some assurance that swimming pools will reopen soon or a clear explanation as to why this cannot be the case.

As COVID-19 infection rates continue to decrease, the Government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding and clinically extremely vulnerable.
From 6th July, the Government will be advising:

  • you can meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing
  • you no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household
  • if you live alone, you can form a support bubble

From 1st August the government will be advising that shielding will be paused.
I am sure this will be welcome news for many of you who have had to endure the isolation of shielding for many months now.
For further details please visit:

I welcome the news that the Government is providing a further £105 million to support local authorities in ensuring that people currently housed in emergency accommodation do not return to the streets.
In March, the Government asked local authorities to bring ‘Everyone In’ and the response was outstanding. As a result, there are nearly 15,000 people accommodated in emergency accommodation across the country, including those who have come directly from the streets, people previously housed in shared night shelters and people who have become vulnerable to homelessness and rough sleeping during the pandemic.
Working closely with Public Health England and NHS England, they have taken the opportunity to ensure that arrangements are in place to support people in this accommodation, and that basic health needs of rough sleepers are met. This includes ensuring they are registered with their GPs, and that substance misuse and mental health assessments are carried out where appropriate. They are also working on plans with local authorities to ensure sustainable move on from emergency accommodation.

London Furniture Collective is a collaborative community project in South West London. Their objective is to supply furniture/white goods/kitchenware/homeware and other essential household items to those in temporary accommodation, or those facing challenging circumstances such as damage their property or unemployment and would benefit from free/low-cost furniture.
If you would like to benefit from this scheme please contact
If you would like to donate some unwanted good quality furniture and household items please visit:
Additionally, they are working with schools to source laptops/tablets for children in need through there ‘Keep Kids Connected’ project.  So please email if you have these in good working order to or

If you, or someone you know, have a small business or charity and would like help with digital skills/ moving online for the post-Covid world, BCG Digital Ventures and Founders4Schools have founded Digital Boost in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Digital Boost offers free support through 121 Boost Calls with digital expert volunteers, Boost Workshops – webinars for small groups of organisations and Boost Skills – curated, practical content. It’s endorsed by the DCMS and currently being advertised on digital billboards across the UK.
Sign up for help or to volunteer at


Kew Road barriers to be upgraded to semi-permanent cycle lanes
The recently installed water barriers on Kew Road, will be upgraded with to a semi-permanent cycle lane now that Richmond Council has secured funds for the changes from Transport for London (TfL).
As part of the borough’s Post-Covid Transport Action Plan, the Council is upgrading the barriers to include mandatory white lines to help set out a more defined cycle route under an experimental traffic order.  The measures can stay in place for a maximum period of 18 months after which time the Council would need a permanent traffic order if the measures were to become permanent.
Recognising that the change could have wider impacts (particularly as visitor numbers increase), the Council will shortly be consulting residents and businesses across Kew about the future operation of the existing Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) and on the possibility of implementing a new CPZ in the area around Kew Green.


Sarah Olney MP

Earlier updates can be accessed here.