Nick Forbes pleads lockdown caution as dates confirmed for when pubs, shops, and stadiums might open

Newcastle’s council chief has warned individuals to not get too excited by the lockdown exit roadmap revealed on Monday.

After provisional ‘earliest’ dates had been confirmed for when numerous Covid restrictions may very well be lifted on social contact and the opening of companies, Nick Forbes pleaded for caution and mentioned that we ought to be ready for extra potential delays.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced within the House of Commons that every one pupils will return to high school on March 8, outlets and hairdressers might reopen on April 12, and individuals may very well be allowed to socialize indoors with buddies and household from May 17.

If all goes to plan, it’s hoped that every one authorized limits on social contact may very well be eliminated no sooner than June 21.

At a Newcastle City Council cupboard assembly on Monday night, Coun Forbes warned that “information and not dates” have to be the important thing think about deciding how and when to launch lockdown guidelines.

The metropolis Labour chief mentioned: “I wish to welcome the cautious, data-driven strategy that the Prime Minister has introduced right now, however we can’t afford to maintain yo-yoing between lockdowns.

“We all have to grasp that beating Covid is a marathon, not a dash.

“It is vital that we perceive that though loads of dates have been introduced, it’s information and not dates that ought to decide our resolution making.

“We all want to grasp that there might be delays to the additional lifting of restrictions if we see larger than anticipated spikes in Covid numbers as numerous restrictions are relaxed.

“That means residents ought to stay cautious and abide by the restrictions already in place. Otherwise, we threat case numbers rising once more.”

Coun Forbes, who had warned final week of the hazards of extra new variants of Covid rising and derailing our exit from lockdown, added that he hopes {that a} memorial will probably be created to recollect the tons of of metropolis residents who’ve died due to the virus.

He mentioned: “Infection charges do proceed to fall throughout the town, however they nonetheless stay excessive and we nonetheless have many individuals in hospital and we nonetheless have lots of these individuals dying as a results of Covid-19. We have seen 500 deaths in Newcastle from Covid already and whereas our demise fee is among the many lowest within the nation, that’s chilly consolation for all those that have misplaced family members.

“Every demise from Covid is a tragedy and I do know that, at an acceptable time sooner or later, the town will discover a manner of completely remembering those that have misplaced their lives to Covid from our communities.”

Nick Cott, the council’s Lib Dem opposition chief, agreed {that a} “security first” strategy was wanted to lifting lockdown.

He mentioned: “There is at all times a temptation to take measures to restrict lockdown too early and we have now seen this prior to now.

“I hope that the federal government has realized from that and is now proposing to take it far more slowly, we do hear that that may now be the case.

“We need to be vigilant and we have now to be careful for that.”



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