Worthing West MP reacts to Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown

Worthing West’s MP has reacted to the Prime Minister’s roadmap setting out the easing of lockdown restrictions over the coming months.
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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.

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Some outdoor sports facilities will reopen and formally organised outdoor sports can also start up again.

Boris Johnson sets out his plan to ease lockdown restrictions on Monday evening (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)Boris Johnson sets out his plan to ease lockdown restrictions on Monday evening (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson sets out his plan to ease lockdown restrictions on Monday evening (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

Sir Peter Bottomley, Worthing West MP, said: “Local businesses and constituents will react with a mixture of relief and concern. There is trust in the health area, with sadness about the impact of the virus on individuals and families.

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“The worry is about the continued vulnerability of so many small businesses and the self-employed still excluded from transitional help.

“My thoughts are with the NHS teams who came forward to care for C-19 patients while maintaining many services for other conditions.

“My concern is to bring forward the offer of vaccinations for teachers, police with retail and transport staff in contact with the public.

“Thanks go to all volunteers, including the people in vaccine trials. We now know the jab is good because of them.”

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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.

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“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.”