I know that the second national lockdown has been a difficult time for many of my constituents, who had to sacrifice a variety of activities that were subject to restrictions. Nobody wanted another lockdown, and we all want as few restrictions as is safely possible.
After the end of the national lockdown, Cheadle, like all of Greater Manchester, has been placed in Tier 3, and has remained there since, meaning that outdoor tennis is permitted, subject to restrictions; while indoor tennis is not permitted, except for coaching and coach education, which is also subject to some restrictions.
I do not believe that Tier 3 is right for the Stockport council area, as we have a lower case rate than the average for Greater Manchester or England as a whole, and therefore I voted against our borough being placed in Tier 3 when the national lockdown ended. Tiers will still be reviewed every 14 days, and I will continue to make the case for tiers to be decided on a borough-by-borough basis, and for Stockport to be moved out of Tier 3 into Tier 2, where indoor tennis is permitted, subject to restrictions.
This is a new and relatively poorly understood virus, but we know that it thrives on social interaction. Therefore I recognise that some restrictions on tennis are necessary, and I understand the Government’s desire to err on the side of caution during the national lockdown in November. Nonetheless, I know that ministers are aware of the public health benefits of sports such as tennis, and I welcome the fact that, as of December 2nd, many of the restrictions on tennis have been relaxed.