Labour urges Government not to let England return to pre-lockdown ‘shambles’
Labour has called on the Government not to let England return to the “shambles” seen before the current national lockdown.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said there were 11 days until the lockdown was due to lift on Wednesday, December 2, and no word from Government on what was going to happen next.
She added that there needed to be clarity about what economic support measures will accompany different types of restrictions after the lockdown ends.
Ms Dodds told the Co-operative Party’s local government conference: “It’s extraordinary that the lockdown is due to lift in just 11 days, and we still haven’t heard a peep from Government as to what comes next.
“We need clarity about what economic support package will go alongside different types of restrictions.
“We can’t go back to the shambles we had before this lockdown.”
Her comments come after Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham urged the Government not to let “everything loose” in the lead-up to Christmas after it emerged that families could be allowed to meet for up to a week as part of a UK-wide relaxation of coronavirus rules.
Several families could be allowed to join a bubble and to mix between December 22 and 28, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Downing Street insiders have suggested that discussions on what Christmas will look like are still ongoing.
On Friday, November 20, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were “substantial differences” in Covid-19 infection rates across England, with rates having continued to increase in London, the east of England and the South East, but decreasing in the North West and the East Midlands.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told a Downing Street briefing on Friday it was still too early to say what contact people will be able to have over the festive period.
Earlier this week, Public Health England said Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) guidance had suggested each day of greater freedom could require five days of tighter measures.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson acknowledged the frustration of people self-isolating due to coronavirus and thanked them for their “incredibly important” actions.
Mr Hancock said he is increasingly hopeful of some kind of normality by spring, as he confirmed the UK’s health regulator is assessing a coronavirus vaccine which could potentially be rolled out next month.