Over the past week, London has seen a rapid rise in coronavirus cases. I have been in regular contact with our local NHS and public health teams and Ministers and I am in no doubt that the increase in infections is very worrying, and demands an additional response. New infections sadly will inevitably translate to further hospitalisation and deaths. It is vital that we all continue to do whatever possible to limit the spread of the virus as we wait for the vaccine to be rolled out.
Yesterday the Government announced that London will be entering Tier 3 restrictions from midnight tonight. This means that from tomorrow, Wednesday 16 December:
- You cannot mix indoors, in private gardens or in most outdoor venues, except with your household or bubble
- You should work from home if possible
- You can meet in a group of up to six in other outdoor spaces, such as parks, beaches or countryside
- Shops, gyms and personal care services (such as hairdressing) can stay open
- Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants must stay closed, except for delivery and takeaway
- Indoor entertainment venues - such as bowling alleys and cinemas - must stay closed
- People are advised not to travel to and from tier three areas
Whilst I know that these restrictions are needed, this will be devastating news for many businesses and families across Dulwich and West Norwood. I remain deeply concerned about the lack of financial support for businesses unable to open, particularly pubs, restaurants and performance venues, whilst far too many people remain excluded from Government support schemes. The Government must urgently act to close these gaps in support and as I did yesterday, I will continue to call for much more support.
The previously announced relaxation of restrictions over the Christmas period for five days from 23 December will remain. I know how much the ability to be together with family and friends at Christmas means to people, particularly after the sacrifices of the past nine months, but as the virus is still so widespread and cases are increasing, it is so important that everyone remains cautious and vigilant about the risk of spreading the virus to your loved ones over the Christmas holiday period when you are making plans.
Please keep safe at this difficult time. Along with my small team, I am working hard to support everyone in my constituency who needs help. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to support you. I am still receiving an exceptionally high level of correspondence, so please bear with me and my small team as we work hard to get back to everyone as quickly as possible.