Vaccination vital for roadmap to work

Covid rule breakers in Walsall are being warned to stop ignoring regulations to ensure the roadmap out of lockdown can be a success.

Councillor Mike Bird
Councillor Mike Bird

Walsall Council leader Mike Bird welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan, announced on Monday to see Britain come out of coronavirus restrictions by the summer.

He welcomed plans to send all children back to school on March 8 as he said they need the social interaction and are becoming “lethargic” due to lockdown.

He added he hoped the hospitality industry and businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons would benefit as they reopen their doors in the coming months.

But Councillor Bird hit out at people who are refusing to have their vaccine or looking to bend the rules while still in lockdown.

He said: “Schools will be reopened on March 8. I would welcome that and I think all children would.

“You can see they are getting lethargic. It’s difficult to learn online, it isn’t the best environment.

“The social interaction is what they are missing. That is the same throughout society but children need to get that social interaction.

“But there are a lot of people, unfortunately, who are still not accepting the fact that this is a real issue.

“I read an article the other day which said 43 per cent of people in Sparkbrook refuse to have the vaccine.

“We’ve got to get the message across the roadmap will only work providing we’ve got the immunity the vaccine brings.

“I’ve seen so many breaches of Covid rules. There are more and more people ignoring them or just thinking ‘how can we get round the rules?’ That’s what annoys me.

“It’s not a matter of finding a way around the rules, it is a matter of complying with them.

“We have got to see more enforcement and support from the police to make this roadmap work. Boris said ‘it needs to be irreversible.

“We can’t keep going into lockdown and then out of it. We’ve got to have a proper solution.

“And the solution as I see it is to get all of the country vaccinated and then the spread of this virus will be contained. It will then become something like influenza where you have a booster every year.

“I welcome it, I think the caution is necessary and the opening up of that roadmap will be the vaccine coming down the fast lane.”

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