OPINION: Removing all Covid restrictions is 'courting the devil'

A sign at Wells Next the Sea to dissuade people travelling to Norfolk popular beauty spots during th

A sign at Wells-next-the-Sea to dissuade people travelling to the coast during the first lockdown period. Erik Kirk says lifting all restrictions on Monday, July 19 is too soon - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Norwich-based reader Eric Kirk questions whether companies and individuals are being thrown to the wolves with the relaxation of Covid rules.

I speak as a person heading a company working at the coalface of infection control of all types.

Because of this mix of practical knowledge, together with multiple scientific sources of information, we are regularly ahead and accurate than others with solid facts and advice.

Neither are we deterred by any political need and as we don’t sell any physical products we have no financial pressures. So I can speak openly without fear or favour. I believe in this instance the Government relaxing almost every Covid restriction on a set date is a step too far, and I certainly think as individuals and businesses we are being thrown to the wolves.

Generally speaking, I consider under the circumstances the Government have done a pretty good job. I also know from experience the Government are often being blamed and hidden behind to cover the failings by others, which in turn leads to misleading headlines in the national media.


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But I do have to question why relax restrictions now when the Delta variant of Covid is between five and seven times easier to catch than Covid 19 and infection rates are accelerating?

Why quietly change the health and safety rules to include greater infection control requirements?

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Why make being safe more of a personal and business responsibility? There is only one logical answer, to shed some responsibility and to be popular with the voters and some businesses.

Perhaps a crazy move when a few tweaks could have had a much better impact without the significant risk. Do you remember the short relaxation prior to Christmas that led to a long lockdown?

My company, PPFMM Ltd, are no fans of restrictions or lockdowns, they have severely impacted on 60% of our other business categories.

Personally, they have stopped my wife and I going abroad to see our newest baby granddaughter, and just like everyone else, to take those well-earned holidays in sunnier climes.

But we do see them as a necessary evil. I think to take all restrictions away now is courting the devil and could very easily backfire with dire consequences for us all.

There are a significant hardcore of about 12 million people in the UK who will not have the inoculation and many of those use the highest risk venues with the highest risk activities on a daily or weekly basis. There are still several areas of the UK where the original variants of Covid-19 are still not under control.

In addition, viruses mutate constantly, there were 4,000 minor mutilations recorded in the first six months of the Covid-19 outbreak. Many are regional so scientists can tell where you became exposed to the disease.

Every new mutation is a risk, the simple aim of every mutation is to make the virus more effective at infecting us.

While the media are focused on the Indian or Delta variant of Covid, what about the others that are equally risky to our health and freedom? The Brazilian Gamma and Zeta strains or the second Indian Delta variant type, for example.

There are many more, some we suspect are hidden along with real infection rates by countries with draconian rules.

The vast majority of the 66million UK population are very mobile. This might be commuting to work, going to a family celebration, having days out or going on UK holidays, going to away to football matches or any one of the many other reasons on a list to long to print.

When out and about, can you really trust those venues that claim they are Covid safe? Or can you trust the holiday countries with higher infection rates than ours who are advertising on TV, desperate for your custom with no consideration of your health?

Or that we had to deal with one major employer's resistance to shut down and report to environmental health the significant Covid infection issues in their 1,000 strong workforce after a succession of staff came to us for help.

Logic says at some point we will all be mixing with people from high-risk groups or areas or with someone who has. Especially, if and when, we start traveling abroad in greater numbers and more people travel here.

So would I ask everyone to consider the following:

Do you want another long lockdown period with very limited furloughing or business support because the government's money has run out?

Do you want to go abroad for holidays or business and then watch with remorse as other countries refuse you entry as once again the UK slips into their red list?

Do you want to be ill no matter how many injections you have had? OK, you might not end up in hospital or die but being seriously ill for an average of 15 days and risking long-term changes to your health is no laughing matter, neither is the impact on the rest of your family or the friends you have been mixing with.

The answer is in your hands, no one else’s. So please make it a personal priority to stay safe. Hand sanitisers and disinfectant only work while wet so keep doing hand washing, wear a mask, keep your distance and look for good ventilation at home and any places you visit.

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