STROUD district’s MP Siobhan Baillie says that the public should be trusted ‘to assess and manage risk’, following yesterday’s delay in lockdown easing announcement.
The MP’s comments came after Boris Johnson announced yesterday evening that the final lockdown easing would be delayed for four weeks to July 19 unless a ‘far more dangerous’ variant emerges.
Ms Baillie said: “This is a very disappointing announcement and I have already had correspondence concerned that the country could find itself in a situation where restrictions might never end. The experts were quite clear that infections could still be rising in a month so what then?
“I do appreciate the need for caution. Covid is still serious and the Government has to make really difficult decisions but many people are struggling with their livelihoods and with their mental health; they want to go back to work and basically have a normal life.
“We have been told for months the vaccines will end this nightmare and the country has responded with huge numbers in going to get a jab. I believe we should trust the public to assess and manage risk in response.
“There must now be a deadline for all this. We have been told we need to learn to live with this virus. I applaud the acceleration of the vaccine programme but it must mean something.
“On weddings, due to the importance of the sector to Stroud and Gloucestershire I have consistently highlighted it as one of the major victims of the pandemic.
“I have successfully argued for the lifting of guest number restrictions and for guidance to come out immediately this time.
“We will work through the guidance and I will create a FAQ to help couples as continuing with masks in ceremonies and banning dance floors at weddings may mean many couples hang up their bouquets for the 3rd or 4th time before the rules are understood. This will cause distress for families and businesses that simply will not survive.
“After watching all the hugging and close together happiness at sporting events – which I love to see – and ministers praising the noise at Wembley on Sunday – I feel some of the ongoing rules for many sectors and families just look unfathomable.”