The Prime Minister announced today that further loosening measures which were due to go live tomorrow, will now be delayed by at least a fortnight. This includes:

  • Reopening most remaining leisure settings, including bowling, skating rinks and casinos
  • Allowing live indoor theatre and concert performances to resume with socially distanced audiences
  • Reopening all close contact services including any treatments on the face, such as eyebrow threading or make-up application
  • Allowing wedding receptions for as many as 30 people

The Government are also extending the rules around face coverings to include museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship. This will become enforceable in law from 8th August. The pausing of shielding will still go ahead as planned from tomorrow and people are still encouraged to go back to their workplaces if it is safe to do so.

Monday sees the start of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Campaign. It allows you to eat in registered cafés, restaurants and pubs all day Mon-Wed throughout August and get your meal half price (discount up to £10). Please find details of the scheme and participating venues here.
However, establishments cannot offer the discount if they have not registered for the scheme, so if you are a business owner and you want to benefit, here.
I for one am looking forward to using the experience to visit some of our local independent eateries and show them support as they reopen.
If you are a café, restaurant or pub owner and you would like me or one of the team to come and visit and hear about how your business is coping with the new normal, please email me at

There will be changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) from today.
What employers need to do by today

  • Submit CJRS claims for periods ending on or before 30th June by 31st July. This is the last date to make those claims. Employers need to have made a claim at any point on or before 31st July to be able to make a claim for future months.
  • Amend previous claims to add any additional employees that may have been missed off in error.

What employers need to do from tomorrow

  • From 1st August, the scheme will no longer fund employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pensions contributions. Employers will have to make these payments from their own resources for all employees, whether furloughed or not.

For more information visit this link.

Many of you have contacted me about the extended noise you are experiencing from planes and why Heathrow seem to be using the northern runway continuously vs the normal alternating runway strategy.
Heathrow have been operating using only the northern runway whilst it carries out works on the southern runway. The northern runway is being used for both arrivals and departures, a process known as “mixed-mode”, meaning that there is currently aircraft noise all day long, from 0430 until after 2300. It is anticipated the works will last until October and there is currently no date for a return to runway alternation.

As the reopening and restart of recreational sport and physical activity continues, Sport England have developed a Return to Play hub.
With a range of guidance and resources available to complement the government’s guidelines, it will prove useful for local sports clubs and community organisations as well as participants.
You can find the hub here.

All of Britain’s rail companies are now recognising Sunflower lanyards and cards so that passengers with non-visible disabilities can travel with extra confidence. The move coincides with the expected lifting of restrictions on people shielding next week.
All train operators and Network Rail are now signed up to the Sunflower scheme, designed to enable people with non-visible disabilities to discreetly let others know that they might require a little more time, support or assistance. It comes as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ people, some of whom may wish to use the Sunflower lanyards and cards, are expected to no longer be asked to shield and so may be considering taking the train.
The Sunflower is a subtle but visible sign to rail staff that the wearer may need extra help or time on their journey. While people needing assistance are not required to wear a lanyard or carry a card, the scheme can provide people who wish to use it with extra reassurance. Staff are also being given additional advice on how to support disabled passengers in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
Passengers who would like a Sunflower lanyard or card can pick one up at participating ticket offices.

While some lockdown restrictions are easing, our communities must still act responsibly to protect themselves and others.
The Muslim Council of Britain has worked with the British Islamic Medical Association to produce advice on how best Muslims can celebrate Eid al-Adha safely.


Residents to have their say on parking in Kew
A review of parking in the Kew area has been launched to ask residents for their views on potential new and increased parking measures.

The Council is proposing

  • that parking controls be implemented across North Kew to provide priority for residents, businesses and visitors, every day, for a minimum of 10 am to 4.30 pm. Details of the consultation and how to complete the online survey can be found here.
  • that the operational hours of KA and KB Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs), be extended for a minimum of 4 hours a day. Details of the consultation and how to complete the online survey for KA can be found here and for KB here.

They are also conducting a separate consultation on the Niton Road / Chilton Road area to see if there is support to extend parking controls (Zone KB). Details of the consultation and how to complete the online survey can be found here.
If you would like a paper copy of the questionnaire, please contact 020 8891 1411
Closing date for responses is Wednesday 26th August.

Making history: photos of life during Covid-19
Richmond Library Services is looking for photographs that document life in Richmond upon Thames during the pandemic.
The Local Studies Library and Archive has already invited residents to share diary entries of their experiences, including how daily routines have had to change, any struggles and general thoughts. To support this, the Library is now looking for photographs of the borough during lockdown, as well as more current photos of lockdown measures easing.
For more information and for details on how to submit your photographs click here.


Sarah Olney MP

Earlier updates can be accessed here.