Norfolk MP brands restriction lifting 'too high risk'

MP for Norwich (South) Clive Lewis at the Fridays for Future climate protest on the steps of city ha

MP for Norwich South Clive Lewis - Credit: Archant

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis has said the government's approach to lifting Covid restrictions has been "too high risk".

With this week seeing the near-ending of all restrictions, the Labour MP has written to many within his constituency. 

He has urged businesses, organisations and civic society groups to prioritise the safety of customers and workers from Covid.

The MP has offered his support with Covid-related concerns and to take those up with relevant organisations.

He has also asked trade unions in the area to contact him directly with any worries they have regarding their members in the workplace.

Mr Lewis said: "Throughout the pandemic, this government has continually tried to convince us a choice has to be made between the economy and public health.

"I do not accept that we should be forced to trade off people becoming ill and dying against jobs and economic recovery.  

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"I am concerned that the government's current approach to unlocking, with the near-ending of restrictions, is far too high-risk." 

Outlining the practical measures he would like local businesses and other organisations to maintain, Mr Lewis said: "I support the continued use of face coverings and, where possible, social distancing.  

"I would also like to see proper ventilation, hand cleaning facilities, appropriate risk assessments and, where possible, for businesses to allow staff to continue working from home."

The government said on Tuesday that NHS staff and workers in other sectors are among those who were granted approval to avoid quarantine for crucial work reasons as Covid-19 infections soar.

People who are "pinged" by the NHS Covid app and told they have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus are advised - but not legally obliged - to self-isolate for 10 days.

However, anyone contacted directly by NHS Test and Trace - either by phone, text or email - must self-isolate.

The government has said in this phase "of continued caution" it will continue to work with local authorities to provide support to areas which need an enhanced response to ensure the NHS is not under severe strain.

All remaining businesses and venues such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues have been able to reopen.