Message from Claire Coutinho East Surrey MP – July 2020

Over the past month the Government has been relaxing social distancing measures as the number of new COVID-19 infections fall.

I am sure many of you will be as delighted as I am with the news that from the fourth of July the UK will be opening-up with the new safety guidance.
This is great news particularly for families who can now reunite and for many local businesses that will be allowed to open.

Hotels, campsites, restaurants, pubs, outdoor gyms and hairdressers will be allowed to open but must follow the relevant safety guidance to protect staff and customers. Social distancing should now be maintained at 1m where 2m is not feasible.

Children’s playgrounds are also opening. This is a very welcome development because interacting with other children is a key part of any child’s development and these playgrounds are so important for people who don’t have gardens.

This is particularly poignant for the residents of Caterham with the winding up of Play Safely, a local charity started by a group of mothers who fundraised and designed an innovative playground in Queens Park. I am in awe of Play Safely for their fantastic stewardship over the last thirty years.

I was also happy to hear that places of worship will be allowed to re-open and churches will be open for weddings with a max of 30 people as long as they maintain social distancing.
Earlier this month Crispin Blunt and I, together with local council leaders Cllr Mark Brunt, and Cllr Tony Elias, launched a new Taskforce to support East Surrey’s economic recovery and helping local businesses bounce back from Covid-19.

We will be looking at ways in which we can support local businesses get back on their feet, build confidence in the high street and attract public and private investment to the area.
This weekend, I was delighted to visit Said at Caterham Sweet and Savoury Waffles on the Croydon Road to have a delicious chocolate milkshake and hear about he’s adapted to new safety guidelines. You can get waffles to take away now and from the 4th of July they are seeking to seat guests outside.

Small businesses are the financial pillars of our local community and the lifeblood of our national economy. The need our support now more than ever. The past few months have been an extremely tough time and but it is fantastic to see our local businesses ready to lead Surrey’s economic bounceback.

I am very much looking forward to touring and visiting local businesses across East Surrey as they reopen over the coming weeks and months. If you have a local business you would like me to visit or share, or if anyone is still worried and concerned about COVID-19 please contact me for the latest guidance at, following my Facebook page – @claire4eastsurrey or sign-up to my regular newsletter at

Share this article