Black Country MPs back cautious approach to easing lockdown

Black Country MPs have backed a cautious easing of restrictions as the Government prepares to announce its long-awaited road map detailing the UK’s path out of lockdown.

The Prime Minister will use a speech to Parliament today to detail the “cautious” approach for easing coronavirus restrictions.

His road map will contain four tests for easing the measures, with the Government set to examine the data at each stage before unlocking further.

The Government said its tests were currently being met, allowing the first relaxation to take place on March 8 – when schools are expected to return. Restrictions will be eased step-by-step across the whole of England at the same time.

Pat McFadden, the Labour MP for Wolverhampton South East, supported a "step by step" approach and said the priority should be on children returning to school.

He said: "The vaccine rollout has been a huge success and a huge credit to everyone involved in planning and implementing it.

"After a long hard year the reassurance that that gives is enormously important.

Pat McFadden MP

"Hopefully it will keep going as they move through the age groups and different priority groups."

The Government also said yesterday that it hopes to have offered all adults in the UK a jab by the end of July.

Mr McFadden added: "After the experience in the last year when we've been in this stop and go cycle with three different lockdowns, the lesson of that is to proceed carefully and to go step by step rather than a big bang.

"I agree with the priority being placed on schools because I think children have missed so much education in the past year that we have to do everything we can to help them recover lost ground and get them back to a normal pattern of learning.

"On a social side and business and employment side, we want to ease lockdown but we need to be careful."

Nicola Richards, the Conservative MP for West Bromwich East, added: "In terms of the target for the vaccine I think it's excellent, it doesn't surprise me as the speed we've been going at is phenomenal, it's clear what we can do.

"It will take more scaling up to get to that point but I'm fairly confident that we can do it.

"Hopefully at that point when all the adults have been offered the vaccine and it starts to take effect we will see the roadmap then."

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