The Somerset Guardian, 16th June 2021

On Monday, the Prime Minister announced a four-week delay to the final step of the roadmap.  The plan is that this will now happen on 19th July.

I appreciate that this will be disappointing news, particularly for those working in sectors that are significantly affected by the current restrictions, such as hospitality and entertainment.  However, the increased risk from the new Delta variant, which is significantly more transmissible than other variants, means that it would be unwise to fully open up at a point when infections and hospital admissions are rising.

Nevertheless, it becomes clearer every week how effective the vaccines are at preventing serious disease and death, although it is vital to stress that both doses are needed for maximum protection.  Delaying Step 4 until 19th July should mean that, by the time we fully unlock, more than three-quarters of adults will have had two jabs and nearly nine in ten will have had one jab.  Most importantly, all those over 40, who are most at risk of serious illness, will have had the chance to be fully vaccinated.

The Prime Minister has said that he is confident that, as things stand, we will not need any more than four weeks and to go beyond 19th July. Once the adults of this country have been overwhelmingly vaccinated, we will be in a far stronger position to keep hospitalisations down, to manage with this disease and to complete our cautious but irreversible roadmap to freedom.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance: jacob.reesmogg.mp@parliament.uk.