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Government plans post lockdown must bring certainty and confidence urges City MP

With only a week until this second national lockdown ends, this week the Government is planning to set out in more detail its plans post 2 December. Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has said he will judge proposals on whether they bring certainty for the city and carry the confidence of the public.

The government have said that more areas will be placed in the higher tiers to safeguard gains made during the national restrictions, and an announcement on which areas will be in which tier is expected on Thursday.

It is expected that non-essential retail, places of worship and gyms and outdoor sports will be open in all three tiers. Hospitality will be closed in tier three areas, and food will be required alongside alcohol in tier 2 areas. The 10pm curfew will be amended. We also expect an announcement on slight easing of the eligibility for support bubbles to include new parents and other groups.

Stephen Morgan MP has been calling on Ministers to use this period of lockdown to finally get a grip on the falling test, trace and isolate. Sadly it has failed to do so.

The government are also expected to announce greater use of mass testing capability in tier three areas, and plans to use daily rapid testing in place of isolation for those who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of the virus. This scheme is being trialled in Liverpool this week.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Ministers needs to be honest. We are at a very difficult point and whilst people’s actions are having an effect, the prevalence of the virus is really high, including here in Portsmouth.

After months of extraordinary sacrifices, the news of possible vaccines gives the British people hope that there could finally be light at the end of the tunnel. But there is still a long way to go.

I will judge proposals by Government this week on whether they bring certainty for Portsmouth businesses, carry the confidence of the public and local leaders, and are backed by the scientific evidence”.

Labour has set out how it will judge proposals by Government on whether they bring certainty for business, carry the confidence of the public and local leaders, and are backed by the scientific evidence. These five tests are:

  1. Evidence: Decisions must be taken based on published scientific evidence and the government must be clear that they are doing enough to keep transmission down
  2. Clarity: The tier system was confusing and the government must make sure people are clear about the measures they are following
  3. Certainty: Chopping and changing at short notice is bad for business and the government must make sure businesses have as much certainty as possible about the restrictions they will be operating under over the coming months
  4. Support: Financial support must go hand-in-hand with the restrictions, and this support must be fair across the whole country
  5. Transparency: There needs to be clear, transparent and evidenced criteria for any tiers and the restrictions within them, including how an area enters and exits a particular tier