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There was really good news this week about Covid infections dropping nationally for seven straight days. 

The jury is out on why and I am sure there are multiple factors but the fact is, this is the first time the 7 day average infection rate has recorded any sustained drop outside of the lockdowns. 

The Government is right to say we are not out of the woods yet – maintaining hand hygiene and testing remain important - but the situation is clearly positive and promising for the way ahead. But this stage in recovery however has brought new and different challenges to be navigated.  

I welcome ministers moving on extending the NHS covid app exemptions so we can keep the economy moving and not ping ourselves into paralysis by mid August when self isolation requirements lift for the double jabbed.  

Hospitalisations and, thankfully, deaths from the virus also remain at a fraction of what they were during the second wave of the virus although rising. 

There might well be setbacks but if we continue to vaccinate everyone we can and especially younger people then I think we can start to move with greater confidence towards living with the virus and Covid 19 moves from a pandemic to an endemic disease. 

And confidence is something I am seeing daily in Eastbourne and Willingdon as we continue to open up and take full advantage of the staycation boom we are experiencing. 

But the fall in cases and opening up has not ‘lifted all ships’. Conferencing and English language learners are key pillars in our local economy and they remain very much in the vanguard of recovery with international travel, especially for the youngest travellers still too precarious.  I continue to work with ministers to ensure our language schools have a future.   

The joy that is being able to get out and about Eastbourne & Willingdon hasn’t left me after so many months of having to lockdown or social distance.  

From the scarecrows in Willingdon, to the community allotments in The Village off Meads Street to the croquet lawns at The Saffrons, a visit to Old Town Community Library and cycling to Sovereign Harbour on my new bike, I’ve criss-crossed the town.  


I had the great pleasure of cutting the ribbon to open the Queen’s Award winning Wayfinder Woman hub last week. 

This amazing charity supports and inspires women to get back on their feet and achieve their ambitions and I was delighted to be able to thank Laura and all the volunteers who have made this organisation so special. 

It really is a case of 'inspiring women inspiring women' and the new hub at Highlight House in St Leonard’s Road will be a focal point for help and support for years to come

Where to pick them up and how to do the test.

Our vaccination programme is rightly a big driver in getting back to normality but so is testing and we need to make it as normal as brushing our teeth to protect our progress against the virus and community transmission. 

Recent openings will inevitably mean more cases, but free testing for those without symptoms is an important new line of defence to protect our recovery.  I’ve clocked in my first TEST.  It was pretty easy and good to see a negative result when so many can have the virus without symptoms.  You still have to keep the usual safety measures but it felt good to step out knowing.

✅ Testing will help us
✅ Keep on the roadmap to freedom👣
✅ Stop the spread
✅ Protect the NHS 💙

TESTS: Now available free to all without symptoms and you can do 🏠 at home, order online or collect locally.

You can get a pack of 7 tests sent to your home. Order rapid lateral flow home test kits on GOV.UK
If you do tests at home, you'll need to report your results online or on the phone.

The video below explains how to do the test.

How to do a COVID-19 Self Test (rapid antigen test)

Community Collect Site

Fort Fun Princes Park Car Park, Royal Parade, BN22 7LQ site is operating as a test site for symptomatic testing  but only in the mornings.  In the afternoons 2:30pm – 8:00pm, following a clean down, it is operating as a Community Collect site for people to collect home test kits and supports the Government statements on providing universal asymptomatic testing.

Eastbourne Pharmacies

✅ A.E. Pharma Limited, 11 Grand Hotel Buildings, Compton Street, BN21 4EJ - Pick up site - for at home test kits

✅ A & S Shillam Limited, 82 Seaside,  BN22 7QP - Pick up site - for at home test kits

✅ Asda, Crumbles Harbour Village, BN23 6JH - Pick up site - for at home test kits

✅ Boots, Princes Park Health Ctr, Wartling Road, BN22 7PG - Pick up site - for at home test kits

✅ Day Lewis, 2 Furness Road, BN21 4EY - Test site for people with no symptoms - a booking is required

✅ Day Lewis, 10 Freshwater Square, BN22 0PS - Test site for people with no symptoms - a booking is required

✅ Osbon Medicals Limited, 116-118 Cavendish Place,  BN21 3TZ - Pick up site - for at home test kits

✅ Tesco Stores, Lottbridge Drove, BN23 6QD - Pick up site - for at home test kits

Vaccination Information
How & Where to get a Test
Community Help & Support
Free Transport for Covid-19 Vaccinations
Vaccination Scam Information
Mental Health & Wellbeing
Support for Businesses
Test & Trace Support Payment

Below is from the Government website:

The Government has decided to move to step 4 of the roadmap on 19 July, a new phase of continued caution whilst managing the risks of COVID-19. This follows a four week pause, announced on 14 June, which as of 10 July has allowed an additional 7 million (3.5 million first and almost 3.6 million second) vaccination doses to be given. Every adult is expected to be offered a first dose, and two-thirds of adults a second dose, by 19 July.

The pandemic is not over. Cases are increasing rapidly and a third wave is underway. Step 4 does not mark the end of the need for caution and restraint. At step 4, while many of the legal restrictions that the Government has imposed through the pandemic will be lifted, cautious guidance will remain, making it clear this is not yet a return to normal. While cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. We will continue to manage the virus and provide guidance over the coming months.

While there is no perfect time to relax existing restrictions, moving to step 4 on 19 July means relaxations coincide with the end of the school term and take place over the summer when more activities can take place outdoors and pressures on the NHS are less than in the autumn and winter months.

The success of the vaccination rollout has paved the way for the safe and gradual lifting of restrictions. No vaccine, however, is 100% effective and, like all viruses, COVID-19 can mutate. As further restrictions are lifted, there will sadly be more cases, hospitalisations and deaths.

Key protections

That is why we are keeping in place key protections:

  • testing when you have symptoms and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk.
  • isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace or when advised to by the NHS COVID-19 app.
  • border quarantine: for all arriving from red list countries, and for those people arriving from amber list countries, other than those UK residents fully vaccinated in the UK vaccine programme.
  • cautious guidance for individuals, businesses and the vulnerable whilst prevalence is high including:
    • whilst Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer;
    • Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport;
    • being outside or letting fresh air in; and
    • minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
  • encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the NHS COVID Pass in high risk settings to help to limit the risk of infection. The Government will work with organisations that operate large, crowded settings where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of the NHS COVID Pass. If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating the NHS COVID Pass in certain venues at a later date.
This week I met with the trustees at East Sussex Hearing Centre, The pandemic has hit audiology services hard but it was great to see how much work has continued throughout the pandemic with face to face support having restarted.

What is more shocking is that around 1 in 6 people have hearing loss so it is good to know that there are services hear to support them.

Support can go much wider than that however, and a range of devices to improve everyday hearing for the phone or TV are important, but critically too is equipment to hear smoke alarms. This could save a life.

For information on their services such as hearing aid repairs see

I was delighted to attend the annual fundraising golf match on Wednesday between Sussex Cars and 720, playing for the Craig Steadman trophy. Over 40 players took part, with 720 just winning a close fought match 6-4. Eastbourne Mayor Pat Rodohan, joined me to do the presentation of the trophy and individual medals to the winning team. It was lovely, also,  to meet the Steadman family who were in attendance.

Many thanks to sponsors of the day Visick Cars and Club Class, to all the companies that supplied such wonderful raffle prizes and to Willingdon Golf Club for hosting along, with Shawn wheeler and his team for providing such a delicious meal. 

My special thanks go to the remarkable Don McPhee and his daughter Abbi who have continued to fund raise throughout the pandemic and have more events lined up for the summer. Unfortunately I will miss their next event but look forward to joining them on their charity golf day at the end of August.

I was delighted to meet, at a smashing new coffee shop, Hyde Corner, in Grove Road, Eastbourne's youngest entrepreneurs Jack and Harry. I was so impressed!

You may have seen them in the Herald recently; the boys set up and founded  Animate our Logo  only last September. Aged 15 and 12 they have already scored dozens of clients and the two budding entrepreneurs have even been commended by Dragons Den star Theo Paphitis.

It was great to chat to them, ably supported by Dad David, to hear of that initial spark and how they plan to go even further. A big well done to all three!

And finally...

Yesterday I met with our local farmers. More on this in next week's newsletter together with the opening of a brand new shop in the Town Centre with visits to the British Heart Foundation shop and the dig at Motcombe Park.

Tomorrow I am at Chalk Farm Summer Festival and The Friends of Seaside Rec Annual Family Fun Day. I hope to see you there.

Have a good day, take care and with my best,


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Caroline Ansell MP · Eastbourne Town Hall · Grove Road · EASTBOURNE, EAST SUSSEX BN21 4TX · United Kingdom