Havering MPs react to Covid roadmap plan

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus

Prime minister Boris Johnson during yesterday's (February 22) media briefing in Downing Street on coronavirus (Covid-19). - Credit: PA

Havering MPs have given their reaction to the roadmap out of lockdown announced by prime minister Boris Johnson yesterday.

The government has proposed four steps for easing the Covid-19 restrictions, beginning with the return of face-to-face learning in schools and colleges from March 8.

March 29 will see outdoor gatherings of up to six people or two different households allowed and the end of the Stay at Home order.

Phase two, beginning on April 12 at the earliest, will see non-essential retail re-open, whilst the re-introduction of indoor gatherings under the rule of six and the re-opening of indoor hospitality are part of phase three -  to be no earlier than May 17.

Phase four hopes to remove all legal limits on social contact from June 21.

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Julia Lopez, Conservative MP for Hornchurch and Upminster, backed the government's "careful and measured" approach to avoid further lockdowns.

She said: "We are all desperate to see our loved ones again and want our local shops, cafes, pubs and services open as soon as possible - and we now know when that can happen.

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"I am glad to see the prime minister prioritise children's education. With the return of schools and many outdoor activities by the end of March and the hope of a full unlocking by the summer, we can look at the coming months with hope."

Jon Cruddas, Rainham MP,  praised the vaccine roll-out for getting the country to a point where the return to normality can start.

"The prime minister is right to be cautious, as we have already seen the dangers of easing restrictions too quickly," the Labour politician said.

"It is vital that we take things slow and steady so that we do not trigger a fourth lockdown.

"The crucial thing for the government is to ensure that people and businesses do not fall through the cracks in their roadmap."

Conservative MP for Romford, Andrew Rosindell, felt Mr Johnson should be willing to move faster "if the data allows".

He said: "I'm pleased to see the prime minister commit to a roadmap, with clear dates and criteria, to lift restrictions on our lives, livelihoods and businesses.

"However, the pace of the vaccine rollout and the emerging data of the impact of vaccines on transmission do raise questions about the speed at which the government is lifting restrictions."

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