Restrictions should be dropped “completely” once the top nine priority groups have been vaccinated, a senior Conservative MP has said as he warns ministers against “changing the goal posts”.
Mark Harper, former chief whip and chairman of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG), said he feared the goal posts for reopening society were being shifted beyond the original focus of NHS pressure and daily fatalities.
“I think what people are worried about is you then keep hearing other things creeping into the argument about the rate of infection and other things keep being thrown into the debate which sounds like it’s changing the goal posts,” he told the BBC’s World at One.
“I think we should keep focused on protecting the vulnerable, reducing deaths and hospitalisations and the pressure on the health service – and those are the two things I think that need to drive opening up.”
This morning former Treasury minister Mel Stride said the Government should “benchmarks” against hospitalisations or the R-rate when publishing the plan for lifting the lockdown.
The chairman of the Treasury Select Committee also called for the “current objectives” of reducing deaths and ensuring the NHS was not overwhelmed to remain the focus when Boris Johnson publishes his roadmap later this month.
“What my colleagues and I will be looking for in that is clear markers of how we unlock the economy, perhaps benchmarked against the R-rate or hospital rates,” he added. “We do need a clear picture.”
Just like Brexit has shown, a nimble UK. Vaccine response trumped the EU. Businesses that prepare now for the release of restrictions will have the upper hand.
The demand will be intense as restrictions are at first eased and then removed altogether.
It’s true; more challenges will be faced by some who have held on while government assistance, mainly through the Furlough scheme, has created a temporary reprieve.
Politics latest news: Ministers must not stray from original lockdown exit plans amid fears of shifting goalposts