EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: Move was a ‘dangerous slip into authoritarianism’ from the PM
This week new coronavirus restrictions were voted on in Parliament due to the Omicron variant of Covid.
What is concerning is that the Government brought the restrictions in before they were voted on, another worrying sign of how little they value our democratic processes.
Regardless of whether most MPs were going to approve the new measures or not the detail wasn’t available for full scrutiny prior to them being enacted. This is once again a dangerous slip into authoritarianism from a Prime Minister who constantly claims he doesn’t want to restrict our freedoms yet at every opportunity has done so whilst not restricting his own. Just this week it has been revealed that last Christmas whilst the rest of us were in lockdown, missing our loved ones he held parties in Number 10 contravening all covid restrictions.
Mask wearing is now mandatory on public transport, in shops, post offices and other business, hospitality remains largely exempt and there will be fines imposed on those who don’t do so, rising to over £10 000 for repeatedly not doing so.
Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who is suspected to have or confirmed to have the Omicron variant must self-isolate for 10 days regardless of their age or vaccination status. Also, people arriving in the UK from abroad will now also have to take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. But worryingly nobody will be tested prior to entering the UK.
As usual the Government continues to refuse to address some of the long standing and underlying problems that have led to people not self-isolating, poor statutory sick pay and inadequate self-isolation payments.
I have had both jabs and will get a booster job, nor have I stopped wearing a mask because part of learning to live with this virus and the new variants that will keep arriving is to be properly vaccinated and adhere to simple public health measures such as mask wearing and sanitising. These measures not only protect me, but they also protect those in our community and in public facing roles.