Lewes and Wealden MP’s welcome Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockown
Lewes and Wealden’s MPs have welcomed the Prime Minister’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions.
Yesterday Boris Johnson announced that schools and colleges would reopen on March 8, with two people from different households also allowed to meet outside for recreation.
Then from March 29, people will be allowed to meet outside within the rule of six, while the stay at home rule will come to an end with people encouraged to stay local.
Some outdoor sports facilities will reopen and formally organised outdoor sports can also start up again.
Step two, which would happen no early than April 12, would see the reopening of non-essential shops and personal care such as hairdressers.
Step three no earlier than May 17 would see most outdoor social contact rules lifted, while it is hoped step four, no earlier than June 21, would see all legal limits on social contact removed.
Wealden MP Nus Ghani said: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s statement and I am especially pleased that our schools will be reopening for all students on 8 March. The vaccine rollout is moving at a fantastic pace and has been an extraordinary success across Wealden and nationally, and we continue to make great progress towards beating the virus in our communities.
“The unintended consequences of lockdowns run deep in Wealden and I would have welcomed further concessions for weddings, outdoor hospitality and Covid-safe retail. However, the Prime Minister’s route out of lockdown is clear and the easing of restrictions needs to be driven by vaccine data.”
Lewes MP Maria Caulfield added: “I very much welcome the plan by the PM to set out the dates for when restrictions are being lifted. The success of the vaccination programme means we are one of the first countries in the world to start setting out our recovery road map.
“It is a cautious plan, as we want to make absolutely sure that we do not have to go back into lockdown and by taking small steps, as we wait for those most at risk of being hospitalised or dying to be vaccinated, we can be confident that we can safely open up the country and that by June we will have lifted most restrictions.”
Yesterday, Mr Johnson said: “No vaccine can ever be 100 per cent effective, nor will everyone take them up, and like all viruses, Covid-19 will mutate.
“So, as the modelling released by SAGE today shows, we cannot escape the fact that lifting lockdown will result in more cases, more hospitalisations and sadly more deaths.
“This would happen whenever lockdown is lifted, whether now or in six or nine months, because there will always be some vulnerable people who are not protected by the vaccine.
“There is therefore no credible route to a Zero Covid Britain or indeed a Zero Covid World and we cannot persist indefinitely with restrictions that debilitate our economy, our physical and mental well-being, and the life-chances of our children.
“And that is why it is so crucial that this roadmap should be cautious but also irreversible. We are setting out on what I hope and believe is a one way road to freedom. And this journey is made possible by the pace of the vaccination programme.
“In England, everyone in the top four priority groups was successfully offered a vaccine by the middle of February. We now aim to offer a first dose to all those in groups 5 to 9 by 15 April, and I am setting another stretching target: to offer a first dose to every adult by the end of July.
“As more of us are inoculated, so the protection afforded by the vaccines will gradually replace the restrictions and today’s roadmap sets out the principles of that transition.”