Government responds to Julian’s call for lockdown ending plan to track vaccination progress
January 28, 2021
I welcome the Prime Minister’s confirmation yesterday that the government has scheduled the last week of February to set out its plan to safely end lockdown, on the basis of progress on the vaccine rollout, acting on requests made by me and parliamentary colleagues, but will wait to see what the detail means for York before giving it my full endorsement.
Earlier this month I pressed Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions to give people hope by setting a target for vaccination of the vulnerable at which we could safely begin easing restrictions, and from yesterday’s statement it looks like he has listened to my call.
In particular, I am reassured by his clarity that they are waiting until late February so there is sufficient data on the impact of vaccination on deaths and hospitalisation, and how this relates to the effectiveness of lockdown in driving down infection, with which to make an informed decision. I also warmly welcome the priority given to reopening schools as the first step out of lockdown, hopefully from 8th March.
However, I will expect to see York treated fairly in any return to the tiering system, with our infection rate properly reflected in the level of restriction we are under. Arrangements for our city must both support normal social and economic life, and prevent any virus surges driven from outside.