Cotswold MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown says he is concerned for the survival of a number of businesses in the Cotswolds following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap announcement.
A four-stage plan could see England’s coronavirus restrictions finally lifted by June 21, Boris Johnson announced yesterday.
In the first phase, all pupils in England’s schools are expected to return to class from March 8.
A further easing of restrictions will take place on March 29 when the school Easter holidays begin – with larger groups of up to six people or two households allowed to gather in parks and gardens.
Hairdressers, nail salons, libraries, outdoor attractions and outdoor hospitality venues such as beer gardens will not be allowed to reopen until April 12, the Government’s road map said.
By May 17, the government hopes to see the return of the rule of 6 indoors, indoor hospitality including pubs, gyms and outdoor sport, and allowing spectators to return to sport stadiums with a 10,000 limit.
Nightclubs and any other remaining sectors will not return until June 21 at the very earliest with the hope for no more limits on social contact.
There is “no credible route to a zero-Covid Britain nor indeed a zero-Covid world”, Boris Johnson said as he admitted any lifting of lockdown restrictions would lead to more cases and deaths.
Boris Johnson said the road map will “guide us cautiously but irreversibly towards reclaiming our freedoms”.
Sir Geoffrey said of the news: “Schools re-opening from March 8 is good news, as is the plan for catch-up classes announced by the Government which will be available to pupils over the summer.
“The roadmap announced on Monday by the Prime Minister provides individuals and business with target dates, which will provide certainty.
“The roadmap is however extremely cautious. The logic of the PM’s route map is based on the data, so we should use the opportunity at each review date to see if the data shows we can unlock different sections quicker than the existing road map.
“I am afraid hospitality, tourism, and events businesses in the Cotswolds who have been hit so hard will be in despair that they cannot fully open until June 24.
“I have raised my concerns for these sectors directly with the Prime Minister.
“I am really concerned about the survival of some of these businesses and the impact on unemployment come the Autumn when the economy has fully opened and we see the true consequences lockdown has had.
“The Chancellors Budget on March 3 will hopefully provide reassurance not just for businesses but for individuals who have faced hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”