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Should all restrictions go?

July 6, 2021 5:40 PM
Originally published by Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats

ls01 (Photo by Anton on Unsplash)The Prime Minister last night announced plans to fully open up society on 19 July with the end of compulsory social distancing and mask wearing. They also acknowledged that it was likely that case numbers will rise although as a result of the mass vaccination programme they argue that we have broken the link between case numbers and hospitalisations/deaths

This is obviously a calculated gamble and one you would expect us Liberals to support. After all we believe very much that individuals should be trusted to manage their own affairs

Well not quite!

The Liberal Democrats are actually calling on the Government to keep masks mandatory on public transport after 19th July.

Munira Wilson MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health, believes it would be a small price worth paying to protect others:

Many people, especially the vulnerable, do not yet feel confident enough to travel on crowded public transport. There are millions who have still not been double jabbed, and are therefore at greater risk of both becoming ill themselves and spreading the virus to others.

Keeping masks mandatory on public transport which can often become overcrowded is the right thing to do.

We have all made tough sacrifices throughout this pandemic, and asking people to wear masks on public transport a little while longer to protect others, is a small price worth paying.

I fear that the Government's desire to remove all restrictions on the 19th July is driven more by internal battles within the Conservative party rather than sound scientific advice.

The Health Secretary is too busy trying to appease members of his own party who have been determined to put an early end to restrictions no matter the costs to the public's health. He should stop prioritising politics over science.

Having travelled on the London tube last week when a noticeable minority were not wearing masks despite it being the law it is clear that not everyone sees the need to protect their fellow travellers. At yesterdays press conference
Professor Whitty the Chief Medical Officer said he would continue to wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces; if required to do so by 'any competent authority'; and when doing so will make others feel more comfortable

In much the same way as we accept speed limits and breathalysers as necessary protections for those who might be innocently impacted by accidents caused by speed or drink it does seem rather foolhardy not to ask people to protect others in confined spaces by wearing a mask

The primary objective is to fully open up the economy but this will only happen if people feel confident about venturing into public places.

Scrapping all restrictions in a big bang approach risks many refusing to 'venture forth' in order to protect themselves.