Shropshire MP says lockdown ease must be done with 'caution'

A cautious easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions is key to achieving a safe reopening of the economy, a Shropshire MP has said.

Philip Dunne MP
Philip Dunne MP

Ludlow MP Philip Dunne said the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday to lift national restrictions strikes a sensible "cautious balance".

It comes after Boris Johnson spoke of how the country will chart a path back to normality, provided certain criteria of continued progress in combatting the virus are met.

Key dates include a return for schools on March 8, non-essential retail reopening no earlier than April 12, most restrictions on meeting outdoors lifted no earlier than May 17, before all legal limits will be removed no earlier than June 21.

The dates are dependent on the ongoing success of the vaccine programme, evidence the vaccine is working, infection rates remaining bearable for the NHS and risk assessments remaining valid in the face of new information.

Mr Dunne said: "Lockdown is incredibly difficult for businesses and people across South Shropshire, and there is an understandable desire for some hope for the future. The plan the Prime Minister outlined to the House of Commons strikes the right cautious balance between protecting against spikes and new variants, and reopening the economy and getting back to normal.

"The return of schools on March 8 has to be a priority – so that children are not out of the classroom for any longer than necessary. I know that plans to allow visitors in care homes and the opportunity to meet others outside will be a great relief to many people in South Shropshire.

"We are not out of the woods yet, so proceeding with caution is the right approach. But this roadmap for the next few months is a cause for optimism, as we look to move out of lockdown for what all of us hope is the final time.”

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