In March, we all adhered to the Government’s lockdown declaration to protect the lives of one another and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed. Unfortunately, evidence indicates that the virus has started to spread once again.
I can assure you that I am against a second national lockdown, doing so may well be catastrophic for our economy, and I am doubtful that is has been the very best course of action to effectively tackle this pandemic.
Current lockdown measures across England include office workers working from home, a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants from the 24th September, and greater focus on face coverings, washing hands thoroughly and keeping socially distant. Fines on breaking rules can reach a maximum of £10,000.
I am keen to ensure that policy is effectively held to account by Parliament. To that end, I am pleased that the Government has now included Parliament in future decision making when implementing new lockdown regulations. It is important to ensure that any future measures taken by the government are proportionate to the risk that the virus poses to both public health and the economy – Parliament will be crucial in scrutinising this.
Any lockdown measures will have dire effects on businesses trying to recover from the first lockdown as well as the UK economy. Such decisions should only be made after careful examination of the options and repercussions and debated by MPs whose constituents will be affected. Not every region of the UK is experiencing the same level of infection, not everywhere should be locked down.
It is crucial to note that the death rate from Coronavirus remains very low, as does the hospitalisation rate. Of course it is important to remember that whilst COVID-19 may be one person’s mild cough, it can be another person’s death knell. I support the NHS track and trace programme and continued adherence to guidance on social distancing, hygiene and self-isolation where needed.
We all have a role to play in lowering the infection rate of Coronavirus. As Wakefield’s representative, I will continue to be a robust advocate for Wakefield and the lives and livelihoods of my constituents, and seek to protect the economy upon which we are all dependent.
I will be closely monitoring this issue. Measures must be proportionate to the risk the virus poses and the impact on the economy and livelihoods without destroying personal freedoms.