It is going to be a long process for the UK to return to its pre-coronavirus state. Last week, I wrote an article setting out why the Government needs to keep the public informed as it develops a recovery plan and be as open as possible about the trade-offs we face.
On Monday, Boris Johnson addressed the nation as he returned to Downing Street, confirming that the difficult decisions lying ahead will be taken with the maximum possible transparency. The Prime Minister reiterated that the Government will continue to rely on the best expert advice to inform those decisions.
In addition, Ministers will be reaching out to build the biggest possible consensus in all parts of the United Kingdom – across business, industry, and party lines – on how best to ease the restrictions in the future.
While the data is starting to indicate the lockdown measures are working and we are flattening the present peak, we remain at risk of a second spike which would mean not only a new wave of deaths but a devastating blow to our economy. It is in everyone’s interests that we are patient and keep following the Government guidance.
Locally, the level of compliance in the Forest of Dean has been high. I would like to thank all of my constituents who have been social distancing and limiting their outings to the exceptions of shopping for basic necessities, medical needs, exercise and travelling for work purposes where they cannot work from home. If we keep going as we have been, we will continue to limit the spread of the virus and protect our incredible NHS from being overwhelmed.
Our fantastic carers and NHS staff are working around the clock to provide care to those who need it most. I would like to thank our armed forces for stepping in and providing their support with distributing medical equipment to hospitals and assisting with the new testing facilities – even pressing 99-year olds into action! And on that note, let’s all wish Captain Tom Moore a very happy birthday as he turns 100 tomorrow, celebrating his tremendous efforts which have raised over £29 million for our NHS.