I know this will be tough news to take for many people. We’ve been through so much together over the last 15 months and made so many sacrifices to keep the most vulnerable people in our society safe. Your collective resolve, understanding and patience makes me incredibly proud to be British.
None of us, in our wildest dreams, thought we’d now still be living under some form of Covid restrictions after going into the first lockdown in March last year.
Many people’s summer plans will have been thrown into turmoil once again with this announcement. Those planning to get married this summer, for example, have been hit particularly hard. I also feel sorry for young people who want to get back to having fun in nightclubs with friends. And many people, of course, just want to go on holiday after such a tough year.
There are so many things I simply haven’t been able to do since being given the honour of representing West Bromwich East in Parliament. I want to be talking to large groups of people in our community centres about their vision for our area. I want to be able to host a jobs and apprenticeships fair to play my part in getting local people into jobs.
I was also hoping all restrictions would be lifted in full on 21st June. I want everyone to be able to go about their daily lives unimpeded by the Government. Restrictions on the freedom of our citizens goes against my every instinct as a Conservative. Within reason, everyone should be able to go where they want, do what they want, spend time with who they want, and just be the best they can be.
Considering the success of our vaccine programme, this decision to delay Freedom Day is difficult to take. This should be the last of the delays. We must get back to normal and learn to live with this virus. Continued delays cannot be permitted beyond this new date of 19th July.
If the scientific advice says it’s right to delay, then I will accept this. But the fact remains that hospital admissions and deaths are not following the trend of rising cases.
None of these decisions are easy and I don’t envy the huge weight of responsibility on the Prime Minister’s shoulders. But this needs to be the last delay.
As always, when it’s your turn, please get the jab.