Bucks Council Leader 'frustrated' by delay on lifting lockdown restrictions
Bucks Council leader recognises the strain this will put on local businesses.
Bucks Council Leader, Martin Tett has revealed his 'frustration' at the government's decision to extend lockdown restrictions by four weeks.
Writing in his latest update to the Bucks community, Councillor Tett, expressed his frustration with the decision to postpone the final stage of lifting lockdown restrictions until July 19.
Councillor Tett said: "I am as frustrated as any of you. This is a situation none of us wanted - it’s particularly tough on businesses that run events or depend upon having larger numbers of customers in their premises, such as pubs or restaurants but frankly it’s tough on everyone."
The Councillor also clarified that he understood the reasons behind the decision, given the rise in cases nationally, since the Delta variant of the virus spread across the country. Councillor Tett feels whilst the number of cases has clearly risen across the country, the vaccination rollout is proving effective against limiting the devastation caused by Covid.
He commented: "You will probably also be aware that this is because the so-called ‘Delta’ variant, first identified in India, is fuelling a rise in Covid cases in all parts of the country. Whilst this new variant looks to be more infectious, the good news is that growing evidence shows that our vaccines are highly effective, especially after two doses.
"The strategy is to put the final stage of unlocking on hold until 19 July, to allow more people to be vaccinated."
Covid cases have gradually risen throughout the country since non-travel related cases of the Delta variant were first reported last month.
Over 100 cases confirmed in Aylesbury Vale have contained this strain of the virus. However the rolling seven-day infection rate for Aylesbury Vale currently stands at 40.4 cases per 100,000, people, significantly lower than the current average total for the UK which is 70.2 per 100,000.
This still represents a big shift from where Aylesbury Vale was before the Delta variant spread and further lockdown restrictions eased. Last month the rolling infection rate had dropped into the teens, rather than where it currently stands at 40.4.
Tett finished his summary of the Prime Minister's lockdown decision on a positive note, stating: "The government’s position has always been that these decisions will be led by data, not dates and unfortunately nationally the numbers are not going in the right direction at the moment.
"So, the main message this week is to ask everyone to hang in there a little longer and to keep following the current guidance. As has always been the case in this pandemic, there will be setbacks, but if we all work together, we can all help turn the tide as quickly as possible. Another four weeks is not so long if it enables the relaxation of restrictions to be permanent."
Councillor Tett also addressed the news that officials will be making Covid spot checks in the region. The Council Leader explained: "This is not about a ‘big brother’ approach but is about working with businesses to check they have all they need to make sure their premises are safe.
"Teams will be making calls and visits to all types of businesses to check that measures they’ve put in place to manage the risk from Covid are in line with current guidance. There will be a special focus on convenience stores and small food outlets across the county - the teams will do some spot checks and carry out inspections where there are any concerns about the Covid measures they have in place, such as their risk assessments, social distancing measures and ventilation."