I was deeply disappointed that Solihull, along with other West Midlands boroughs, was this week placed in tier 2 lockdown, meaning we have been subject to more restrictions.
What this means for Solihull is that we still cannot meet with people in our homes, but this has now been extended. Residents must not socialise with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place like a restaurant or café.
This decision has the potential to inflict untold damage on the hospitality sector and was not what local leaders wanted.
Over the past month, the infection rate in Solihull has been rising far more slowly than the national average – which makes the decision to place us in tier 2, alongside places with far higher infection rates, even stranger. If anything, our success at Test and Trace may have skewed the figures upwards.
It’s vital that we try to ensure a balance is found between protecting the vulnerable from Covid-19 and allowing businesses to continue operating safely. Making hospitality unviable by restricting the ability of households to mix, while not including those businesses in new support measures unless they’re forced to close, would be the worst of all worlds.
I will continue making the case tirelessly for our borough in the coming weeks and months.
More details on all of the tiers is available online at www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-levels-what-you-need-to-know.