The Prime Minister has tonight announced another national lockdown. Businesses who had hoped to start rebuilding early in the New Year will now be forced to wait to reopen but I will be investigating what changes we can bring in so local businesses can plan. We also need to see details of financial support available.
This is also devastating news for pupils and parents and I will be making the case over the coming weeks that schools should not stay closed a minute longer than necessary.
We now have an educational disaster developing that will affect our young people for years. We must ensure we limit the damage across all ages and stop children dropping out of classes, falling behind and being put in danger because of the pandemic.
Vulnerable children will be able to attend schools, as will key worker’s children. Free school meals will also be available to those who are eligible.
The Prime Minister explained that the figures for infections, for deaths and the pressure the NHS has led us to this point. There is no question that in many parts of the country, the situation is extremely worrying. My MP colleagues and I will be speaking to the local NHS to discuss the updated position here in Gloucestershire. I have also been on a call this evening with the Minister for vaccines and it is clear that we need that programme to succeed to deal with the virus once and for all.
I can only ask everyone, many of whom I know are completely fed up with and worried about what is happening, to keep once again to these restrictions. Our actions, alongside the vaccines, will allow us to return to normal sooner and it will save lives.
The government website has been updated but feel free to use comments below to set out queries so I can flag them. https://www.gov.uk