Comment from Christopher Pincher MP on the Prime Minister’s Sunday announcement

Commenting Tamworth MP, Christopher Pincher said:

“It is thanks to the sacrifice and resilience of local people that we have succeeded in slowing the spread of coronavirus. The death rate and hospital admissions are coming down, and we have protected the NHS and saved many thousands of lives.

“All of us here in Tamworth and in our villages must hold firm in our resolve – or else there is a very real risk of a second peak of the disease that could overwhelm the NHS and throw away all of our achievements to date.

“The Prime Minister has consulted across the political spectrum and as the Prime Minister for the whole United Kingdom, he has engaged with communities across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Though different parts of the country are experiencing the pandemic at different rates, and it is right to be flexible in the response, there is a strong spirit to defeat the coronavirus together.

“We have been clear from the beginning that our five tests must be met. And since our priority is to protect the public and save lives, we cannot move forward unless we satisfy the five tests.

“To chart our progress and to avoid going back to square one, we have established a new Covid Alert System. That Covid Alert Level will be determined primarily by R and the number of coronavirus cases. It will tell us how tough we have to be in our social distancing measures. There will be five alert levels – the lower the level, the fewer the measures.

“This is not the time simply to end the lockdown this week. Instead, we are taking the first careful steps to modify our measures. These are the steps the Prime Minister has laid out:

“Step One

“From Wednesday 13 May

  • Social distancing measures continue
  • Work from home if you can
  • Some industries, such as construction and engineering, are encouraged to return to work if safety measures in place
  • Avoid public transport where possible
  • Take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise
  • Drive to do exercise if you want
  • Play sports but only with your household

 

 

“Step Two

“1 June at the earliest

  • Phased reopening of shops
  • Schools could begin a phased reopening. The process will begin with Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. Secondary school pupils with exams next year may get some time with teachers before the summer holidays

“Step Three

“1 July at the earliest

  • Reopening of some of the hospitality industry
  • Reopening of further public places

“We are over the peak of the virus but coming down the mountain can be even more dangerous. We have the road map laid out ahead of us, the plan that charts the path out of lockdown and re-opens our economy. In Tamworth we all want to return to a degree of normality, to see our friends and loves ones again, but only by following the medical and scientific advice can we achieve that.”