Havering MPs and residents react as lockdown eases

People unable to stay two metres apart on a train from Romford to Liverpool Street. Picture: Ben Whi

People unable to stay two metres apart on a train from Romford to Liverpool Street. Picture: Ben Whiting - Credit: Ben Whiting

As the prime minister announced the first steps to ease the lockdown on Sunday night, followed by questions from the public and journalists in a broadcast last night, Havering has reacted with a mix of satisfaction and confusion about the next steps.

Here the borough’s MPs and our readers share their thoughts with the Recorder about Boris Johnson’s briefing.

Labour MP for Rainham, Jon Cruddas, said: “Last night the PM released another instalment of the government’s incoherent Covid-19 strategy.

“The fact that leaders across the UK are advising against Mr Johnson’s latest change to guidelines tells us everything we need to know about their credibility.

“The irresponsible delivery of new guidance, giving employers only 12 hours’ notice to ensure safe working environments and encouraging staff back to work was ill thought out at best.

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“I have no doubt that this will have left many of the lowest paid in a difficult situation this morning.”

Mr Cruddas advised his constituents to continue to work from home where possible and follow social distancing guidelines.

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“The evidence from other nations suggests that if we ease the lockdown too rapidly, we risk facing a dangerous second wave of the virus. So please, stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives,” he said.

Conservative MP for Romford, Andrew Rosindell said: “Could I firstly thank the prime minister for the tremendous leadership and also for his comprehensive statement today.

“But will he please outline his post-Brexit and post-Covid economic plan to set our UK economy back on the right track for this coming decade?

“Does he agree with me that our priority must be to make plans now to boost domestic output in manufacturing and agricultural, so that we can reduce our reliance on imports, and support British business growth and job creation in constituencies like Romford?

“With a bold, free enterprise agenda led by a prime minister who I know will show the true bulldog spirit of this country and will take our nation back to prosperity and greater things in the future.”

Conservative MP for Hornchurch and Upminster, Julia Lopez said: “We all want to start the journey back to an open society - to see friends and family, to live and work as normal.

“Frustratingly, however, until we have a vaccine this will have to be a tentative process, taken in careful stages. The government has set up a new Covid alert system and released detailed advice to help guide us.

“But this is new territory for us all, and we need to stay alert as individuals to make it work. As the prime minister said in Parliament this week - good, solid, British common sense will be needed as we adapt our lives to the next phase in this complex battle.”

For Recorder readers, social media debate was raging, with as much endorsement as criticism.

Gemma Oakley said: “For me it all seems pretty clear. It is the start of a very long process to gradually lift us out of lockdown,

“Boris will never please everyone all of the time, but for me he is doing the best that he can using the resources that he has. We do not know what is happening behind closed doors and the discussions being held.”

Jess Branch said: “He’s taking the blame from the government and putting it on the people.

“So when there is a second rise in infections the government will say ‘we told you to stay inside and be aware of what’s going on. Why didn’t you listen?’

“They are telling people to go to work and tiny children to go back to school when it isn’t safe. Because money is more important than people.”

Amelia Underwood said: “I listened to it then read the speech to check I’d heard it right. I think it was a terrible speech which raises so many questions. The Monday return to work has already been changed to Wednesday.

If an employer requires you to return to work because they have made the workplace safe, but you have no child care, cannot travel safely (overcrowded public transport) or are protecting a vulnerable family member?

Pat Young said: “The message I got was use your common sense, the lockdown is still in place except for you can go out more then one a day as long as you stay alert and keep your distance, go to work if you can but not on public transport, you can sit in the park or sunbathe.”

Krystyna Koseda said: “Confusing and contradictory! Sending workers back to work in the city but telling us not to use transport!”

Elizabeth Murphy: “I fully understood it. We have to slowly raise our heads out of this hell at some point there is no cure or prevention just yet do.”

Mandie Jones: “I’d like to know when ‘lockdown’ even started? This was never a full lockdown to begin with, not like other countries have had.”

Debbie Hughes: “It’s a passport for idiots to go out and do what they like. Not sure how they will be able to police it either. Madness.”

Clare Cordery: “I was happy with it. Gave me some hope that we can see a gradual lifting of restrictions.

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