South Tyneside MPs hit out over latest Government pandemic plan from Boris Johnson

South Tyneside’s MPs have united to slam new coronavirus restrictions announced – fearing further financial hardship is on the horizon.

By Gareth Crickmer
Monday, 23rd November 2020, 6:15 pm

Labour MPs Emma Lewell-Buck and Kate Osborne condemned the measures and also criticised the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

South Shields MP Mrs Lewell-Buck said she feared the rules, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will heap fresh misery on households and businesses.

She even warned the public’s patience to stay the distance and abide by them was being tested to the limit and at breaking point.

Labour MPs Emma Lewell-Buck and Kate Osborne spoke out after Boris Johnson's latest announcement.

And Ms Osborne, who represents Jarrow, slammed what she labelled Mr Johnson’s “reactionary politics” – and demanded a new and better Covid-fighting plan.

The system will run until the end of March, and full details of local restrictions – South Tyneside was in tier 2 pre-lockdown - will be announced on Thursday.

Hospitality venues such as pubs can reopen, but with only takeaways allowed in tier 3 areas.

Retail and personal care services can also resume, with areas placed in tier 2 also allowed to open entertainment centres such as theatres and cinemas.

Gym and other leisure facilities can also open, as can places of worship but only without restrictions in tier 1 locations.

Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “This lockdown has been a massive wasted opportunity, it hasn’t even been a proper lockdown.

“It hasn’t really resulted in infection rates falling, and track and trace hasn’t worked, it’s been utter chaos.

“People have lived with a reduction in their liberty, but when the government hasn’t got a handle, such as on test and trace, people are going to think they know better.

“I do fear for businesses. We are a coastal town and we are struggling – businesses need more financial support.”

And Ms Osborne said: “Infection rates across the North East are still very high and the ‘national lockdown’ has been of very little effect.

“As a region, It looks as though we could even come out of this lockdown worse off than we were going into it.

“Instead of this continued reactionary politics, the Prime Minister needs to put in place a proper winter plan to help battle this virus, which supports local people, businesses and our economy.”

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