HEXHAM'S MP Guy Opperman has issued a statement insisting his office remains open despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The full statement is as follows: 

"We are living in unprecedented times. Not since the Second World War have we seen on such a scale the need for a national effort, for personal sacrifice and for community responsibility. I know we will rise to this challenge and together succeed in overcoming this global pandemic.

"I want to reassure all my Hexham constituents that my office is available remotely and will continue to support and serve the people of Tynedale and Ponteland. In line with Government advice, I have redeployed my Westminster and Hexham staff team to work from their homes - email correspondence will be replied to in the usual way, post is being redirected and phone messages will be responded to.

"I have also launched a dedicated Coronavirus website – guyopperman.co.uk/Coronavirus. The site is regularly updated with the latest government guidance and support for both businesses and individuals, and I am using my social media platforms to communicate regularly. In addition, I continue to be able to assist constituents in the usual way in relation to any other problems they may be experiencing or concerns they may have. The best way to contact me is via teamoppy@gmail.com.

"It is vital that each one of us takes seriously the health advice issued by the Chief Medical Officer - in Italy alone, 800 people died on Saturday from Coronavirus. We must stay at home if we are able to and save lives. Social distancing means keeping your physical distance of at least 2 meters. We all have a responsibility to play our part to save lives and protect our NHS. I know how difficult and restrictive many of the measures are but adhering to them is the only way we can reduce the spread and impact of the virus on our NHS and keep local people as safe as possible. There is not yet a vaccine for this illness.

"In line with government advice, I am not going to be having face to face meetings with constituents and am helping to coordinate the national and local approach on the phone and by email. I ask for people’s patience and understanding in managing the logistics of this.

"Clearly this has a massive impact on the economy both here and worldwide. There has been an unprecedented financial support package put forward by the Government to keep our businesses and economy going as we weather this pandemic. I realise that people are facing financial hardship - but there is help out there, and my team and I are available to help in any way we can.

"We will get through this together. We must look after each other, support the most vulnerable in our communities, and exercise patience and a focussed determination. Let no one doubt our resolve. We will do whatever it takes to get through this to keep our community secure. We have never faced a health or economic fight like this one before. But we are well prepared, and we can get through this. We will do whatever it takes."