Today, the lockdown restrictions which have been in place for a month came to an end, and this evening the House of Commons voted on the next stage forward. The Coronavirus Tier regulations will put in place a path out of lockdown and towards, what we hope will be a return to a more normal life by spring when a vaccination programme will have been rolled out. However, this evening I was unable to vote for my Cheadle constituents to be placed in the Very High Tier 3 level of restrictions which Stockport Borough and the whole of Greater Manchester had been allocated.
It was a difficult decision, but I felt that it was important to make a strong case for our rapidly falling rates of transmission to be recognised and for our Hospitality businesses, who have made significant investments in being Covid-safe, to have hope for a return to work.
I have received assurances that the review, which takes place on the 16th of December, will reflect the continually lowering rates across greater Manchester and on a more local borough basis if appropriate. I have also called for a roll out of Rapid (lateral Flow) testing, targeted and at scale, in the Stockport area to further drive down our figures and enable us to move into a lower tier where people can once again enjoy more freedoms to socialise.
Pubs, Bars and restaurants will need some clarity in order to prepare to welcome back customers and so I have pressed the case for an early indication of any Tier change.
Meanwhile, from tomorrow shops and hairdressers, retail, gyms and places of worship are once again open and full details can be found on the Government website.