Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement, Alex said:
“We are in a critical fight against the virus and after yet more dither and delay the Prime Minister has finally made the right call. Tighter restrictions – including school closures – are necessary for us to get a grip of the virus, protect our NHS and save lives.
“It didn’t have to be like this though – had Boris Johnson taken the decisions he should have way back in March and again in September, we would be in a far better place and wouldn’t have one of the highest death rates from Covid 19 in the world.
“But there is hope for the future. These restrictions also give us the opportunity to significantly step-up the vaccine roll-out – something that must not be allowed to fail, and we need to do all we can to support the NHS in this momentous task.
“As with the previous restrictions, our people and businesses need a proper package of support to get them through these tough times. I’ll continue to work with my Tees Labour colleagues to demand this. Similarly our schools and children need resources and support as young people face an even longer time out of school.
“I urge everyone to keep following the rules. This means staying at home if you can, only going out for specific reasons – and as little as possible, not mixing with anyone outside of your immediate household. Through everyone’s efforts we can beat this virus and return to a more normal way of life before too long.”