Diane Abbott slams calls for lockdown to be eased in April
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The Corbyn ally struck out at Tory MPs who would like to see coronavirus lockdown restrictions eased in April. The Labour backbencher appeared on Sky News on Monday to attack what she said were attempts to impose “arbitrary” dates for the end of the restriction. Conservative MP Steve Baker called for all lockdown restrictions on the hospitality industry to be lifted by the end of May.
Ms Abbot voice her anger at the timetables being proposed by Covid Recovery Group MPs.
She told Sky News: “You can only lift the restrictions, the regulations when the medical situation allows.
“Setting arbitrary dates to lift the regulations risks having to go into yet another lockdown.
“When you have a resurgence of coronavirus.”
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“I don’t know what they think they are doing,” added the former Shadow Home Secretary.
Mr Johnson is also facing a rebellion within his own party as the Covid Recovery Group are calling for all lockdown measures to be eased by April.
Deputy Chairman Mr Baker explained that many of the most vulnerable will be vaccinated by April so it was right for the country to reopen.
He said: “We think it’s reasonable to ask for all schools to return back on March 8 and for ministers to then have restrictions which are proportionate to the harm that COVID-19 is then capable of doing.
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“We think that’s the point of which really is very difficult to justify, that’s impossible to justify further legislative restrictions on people’s lives.”
Mr Johnson has revealed he would lay out the specific dates for reopening the UK next week on February 22 as millions struggle to adapt to lockdown
He said they will be dates on which the Government can do something “by the earliest” by reopening different sectors and hopes it will help the UK population begin to restructure their lives after the coronavirus.
It comes as the Government hit its 15 million vaccination target last weekend, a milestone that is seen to be the beginning of the end for lockdown measures.
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During a press interview, the Prime Minister said: “If we possibly can, we will be setting out dates.
“And just to help people think about what we’re trying to do on February 22, remember what we did around about this time last year, or a little bit later – we set out a road map going forward into the summer looking a little bit beyond, that’s what we’re going to be trying to do.
“The dates that we will be setting out will be the dates by which we hope we can do something at the earliest if you see what I mean – so it’s the target date by which we hope to do something at the earliest.
“If, because of the rate of infection, we have to push something off a little bit to the right, to lay it for a little bit, we won’t hesitate to do that.
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