On Wednesday, I listened very carefully to the Secretary of State for Health as he set out new restrictions in the House of Commons at the same time as the Prime Minister gave his press conference. My first thought was for the impact on the hospitality sector which, while not affected directly, has suffered greatly over the past 18 months and has already seen many cancellations as a result of the measures bought in two weeks ago. There is no doubt that it will experience more cancellations in the run up to Christmas.
I am concerned by the inconsistency of a message that says it is safe to attend an office party, but not to go into work. I do not believe that Parliament should introduce any new restrictions which are not fully understood by the public or which do not have widespread support. I believe that we should be careful about rushing into new restrictions at a time when assessments from both the US and EU are that the Omicron variant of Covid is less dangerous than those we have already experienced. I am hugely supportive of the advice to my constituents to receive two doses of the vaccine and a booster and continue to urge them to do so, but remain opposed in principle to proposals for mandatory vaccination or vaccine passports.
All in all, therefore, I will be unable to vote for these additional new measures when they come before the House on Tuesday.