From the House: We'll get through difficult time together

South Ilford MP Sam Tarry hosted a virtual session for constituents with the Shadow Secretary of Sta

MP Sam Tarry believes Monday's lockdown announcement was the right one - Credit: Sam Tarry

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you were all able to enjoy a restful Christmas after what was a very difficult year. 

The announcement by the prime minister that the country is going into full lockdown again, this time until mid-February at the earliest, is a welcome one. 

I’ve been calling for tighter restrictions to be implemented since October, when SAGE first warned that the infection rate was rising sharply after the chancellor’s ill-judged Eat Out to Help Out scheme. 

Sadly, the government has once again been found wanting and the crisis is now rapidly spiralling out of control. 

In the first wave we suffered the highest Covid-related death toll in Europe, largely as a result of the government’s failures. 

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Once again, Boris Johnson’s dithering and delay in moving the country to higher tiers, as well as the decision to allow certain households to mix over Christmas (albeit in smaller numbers) has meant that numbers have skyrocketed.

That’s why I believe that this announcement is the right one.

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However, it must be backed up by meaningful financial support for all businesses, an extension to the furlough scheme, and an increase in statutory sick pay for all those who are ill, shielding loved ones or following government advice and isolating if they have Covid or have come into contact with someone who has.

This will be a difficult period but I’m hopeful that, with a vaccine being rolled out fully over the next few months, we will get through this together and finally overcome this pandemic.

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