A York MP says he share the frustrations of many after the Prime Minister delayed easing the final Covid restrictions by four weeks.
Boris Johnson said the postponement was due to the to concerns over the rapidly spreading Delta variant causing a spike in infections.
But Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer, said: “It does not have to be that way.”
“Businesses are at breaking point having already invested depleted savings to make their premises compliant with restrictions to then have any prospect of profit snatched away as trade is limited for a few extra weeks,” he said.
“A grave health crisis is mounting as waiting times for cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other ailments grow by the day as the NHS still must have primary focus only on Covid-19, despite our leading vaccination programme protecting the most vulnerable and cutting hospitalisations by over 80%.
“It does not have to be this way. From the start of the pandemic, we were told that a vaccine would be our route to ending restrictions and reclaiming our freedoms.”
‘Bring restrictions to an end’
Mr Sturdy said that “50% of adults are fully vaccinated, including the most vulnerable groups that have made up over 80% of hospitalisations and 99% of covid-related deaths, leading to the link between cases and fatalities being greatly diminished”.
“Sadly, there will always be deaths due to Covid-19. There will always be new variants of Covid-19.
“There will always be cases of Covid-19. These are facts that will never change. Not in four weeks or even four weeks after that. What does need to change now is that we have to learn to live with Covid-19.
“Vaccinations gives us the confidence to do this, and I am certain that the damage caused by this four-week delay will be worse than any risk posed by the virus.
“The number of MPs who have reached the same conclusion as I have is growing and I will continue to work with them going forward to speak up for the hospitality sector, the travel and tourism sector, those awaiting medical treatment, and those whose mental health has suffered.
“This has been a disappointing setback but this debate is not over, with each message from a despairing constituent only strengthening my resolve and intensifying my lobbying efforts to bring restrictions to an overdue end.”