Many of you have written to me with your views on the English national lockdown.
Of course, I would prefer not to be in this situation with businesses closed, children at home and people once more having to follow very strict rules, but with a rapid rise in infections, hospital admissions and case rates across the country, attributed to the new variant of COVID-19, I had to support the Prime Minister’s decision.
Our hospitals are under more pressure now than they have been at any other point during the pandemic and the next few weeks are likely to be very challenging.
Parliament was recalled last week to debate these measures and as you probably know, the vote was passed with a total of 524 members voting for the lockdown and only 16 against.
I continue to have regular updates from healthcare professionals, local councils and our local hospital on the situation locally and more recently from the local COVID-19 vaccination programme team. I am delighted that the vaccinations have started to be rolled out in the Moorlands. They are working from data of people registered with GPs so please be reassured that no-one should fall through the cracks.
The NHS are asking people not to contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, they will contact you and they would like to reassure any over 80s who have not yet been contacted, that they will be contacted in the near future.
However, it needs to be stressed that even when people have had the vaccine, they must continue to follow the rules around social distancing and wearing protective face coverings or PPE for health and care workers. It takes several weeks to gain protection from the vaccine and there is still a risk of carrying the virus and transmitting it to others.