Throughout this pandemic, I have shared Government instructions and guidance and urged you to stick to it. I have reflected over the weekend about whether to publish this letter, but I think I have a responsibility to be honest about my deep reservations about the increasing pace with which the Government is easing lockdown, particularly since concerns have now expressed by the Association of Directors of Public Health. They warn that they do not think some of the Government’s recent policy announcements are supported by the science.
In a statement published on their website, they state ‘that Directors of Public Health are increasingly concerned that the Government is misjudging this balancing act and lifting too many restrictions, too quickly’.
This virus hasn’t gone away. There are still thousands of cases daily and hundreds are losing their lives each week. We’re not out of the woods and if we aren’t careful, we risk a second peak with all the consequences for loss of life and wider disruption that would bring.
The ‘test and trace’ system is still not fully operational and there remain significant challenges in terms of provision of PPE.
I am particularly concerned that those shielding have been told it is safe to go outside. This decision was not communicated to GPs or local authorities. The advice I have given to members of my own family and friends is to remain particularly cautious if they’re in this category and to minimise any trips outside, so this is also my advice to you.
I’m urging everyone not only to abide by the restrictions put in place by the Government, but to go further where you can to keep your distance from others. In the rush to get back to life as normal, we risk prolonging the pain and worsening the tragedy.
I will be making my feelings plain to the Government when Parliament returns this week.
Here is a link to the statement from the Association of Directors of Public Health for you to reach your own judgement.
Wes Streeting MP for Ilford North