The UK faces a “medical and moral” disaster unless tough action is taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the Prime Minister said yesterday. And no one, who saw the report from Fergus Walsh, BBC Medical Editor, at the Royal Liverpool Hospital can be in any doubt about the scale of the issue.

The one graph which caught everyone’s attention at Saturday’s briefing was the one which showed that, if nothing changed, the NHS would run out of acute beds in early December. Then, doctors would be left to play God.

The Government’s advice is clear and unequivocal: people should stay at home and should only go out if absolutely necessary. The only reasons one can go out include the following:

  • “for childcare or education.
  • for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home.
  • to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place – with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household (children under school age who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside).
  • for any medical concerns, reasons, appointments and emergencies, or to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm – such as domestic abuse.
  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible.
  • to visit members of your support bubble, provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer”. {Government website}

We have been told by members that Area Directors have said that Lloyds will remain in Phase 4 of its strategy scale, and that it’s business as usual with customer being offered face-to-face interviews. That is completely unacceptable. Lloyds needs to review its strategy scale now and move back to the Phase 1 Restrict, for the duration of the national lockdown. Encouraging customers to visit branches for interviews, which could be quite easily done over the phone, is putting lives at risk. If we don’t see any change in policy, then we will write to the FCA and Health Secretary asking them to force Lloyds to change its approach to customers.

Banks should not be encouraging customers to visit branches.

Members with any questions on this should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).

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