As you know, MPs voted last week to extend the coronavirus regulations for another four weeks, now due to end on 19th July. I took part in the debate before this vote and spoke about how I believe we have to learn to live with this virus and how the Government has to start to celebrate and take advantage of the vaccine programme.
I am very proud that the North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has the highest level of vaccinations anywhere in the country. However, following the many emails and calls from businesses that are unable to open properly such as the weddings industry, the hospitality sector and nightclubs and the lack of support in place for these businesses, with a heavy heart, I was not able to support the Government.
It is fantastic news that vaccines are now available for every adult in the UK and I would urge anyone over 18, who is eligible and who has not yet done so, to come forward to get their jab. I would also like to thank the local team for their efforts in dealing with the outbreak in Leek and Cheddleton and the many residents who came forward to be tested and vaccinated.
Testing is such an important way to stop the spread of the virus. My family and I continue to do regular tests at home to make sure that we are not spreading the virus and I would urge local people to continue with this too. I was delighted to join the surge testing initiative with Cllr Mike Bowen on Friday and help out with the drop and collection of PCR tests in Cheddleton. A huge thank you to Rich and the team at Leek Fire Station for co-ordinating everything and to the many people in Cheddleton who did the tests.