'Data not dates, is the right approach': Honiton MP on Boris's roadmap out of lockdown

  Posted: 23.02.21 at 09:32 by Daniel Clark

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Local MP, Neil Parish, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown saying that 'businesses will be grateful for the clear roadmap ahead'.

Boris Johnson on Monday afternoon (Feb 22) announced a series of steps out of lockdown – and hopefully back to normality – by June 21 at the earliest.

From March 8, pupils and students in all schools and further education settings will return to face-to-face teaching, supported by twice-weekly testing of secondary school and college pupils.

People will also be able to meet one person from outside their household for outdoor recreation, such as a coffee on a park bench, in addition to exercise.

Every care home resident will be able to nominate a named visitor, able to see them regularly provided they are tested and wear Personal Protective Equipment.

From March 29, the Rule of Six will return outdoors including in private gardens.

Outdoor meetings of two households will also be permitted.

Outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts, will be able to reopen.

People will no longer be legally required to stay at home, but people should continue to work from home where they can and minimise all travel wherever possible.

Non-essential retail, hairdressers, indoor leisure facilities such as gyms, as well as holiday-lets for use by individuals or household groups, will reopen no earlier than April 12.

Pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen from April 12 too for outdoor service.

Restrictions on meetings outdoors will be lifted, no earlier than May 17, subject to a limit of thirty people, and groups of no more than six people or two households will be able to meet indoors, and from that date, pubs and restaurants will open indoors, as will hotels, hostels and B&Bs.

And from no earlier than June 21, all remaining restrictions could be lifted, including the reopening of nightclubs, full stadiums for sporting events, and the end to the requirement to work from home if you can.

MP for Cullompton, Neil Parish said: “We are still dealing with a highly transmissible disease, so I think the Prime Minister is right to be cautious until the vaccines are offered to all of the priority groups and it has been given some time to take effect.

"Data not dates, is the right approach. We will know a lot more by Easter, but the news regarding vaccine efficacy today is hugely encouraging and will allow us to open up slowly as more people get vaccinated.

"Many families and businesses will be grateful for the clear roadmap ahead, allowing them to plan."

Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon said: “While all of us look forward to a relaxation of the national regulations, it’s vital that we continue to exercise caution.

“Covid-19 is an extremely infectious virus, and is still very much present in the community.

"Cases in Devon have remained relatively low compared to elsewhere in the country and we do not want to see cases rising again.

“As restrictions start to ease, we must therefore remain absolutely resolute in adhering to the national public health measures – keep our social distance, wear face coverings whenever indoors in a public place, and to wash our hands regularly.”

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