Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, responds to the Prime Minister’s announcement about the planned easing of coronavirus restrictions on 19 July.
“This pandemic has taken its toll on everyone with many sacrifices having been made. Whilst we are all keen to get back to normal as soon as possible, we all still need to remain vigilant and use common sense wherever necessary.
“Councils have already done a fantastic job in supporting their communities and will continue to do so as our local businesses and the economy begins to recover. However, we must ensure those still vulnerable to the virus are fully protected at all times.
“Public health teams are still working around the clock with our NHS colleagues to help tackle vaccine hesitancy, providing reassurance and helping to address concerns. It is vital that they are able to make full use of their public health powers to manage any future local outbreaks.
“We need to build on what we have learnt so far to make ourselves as prepared as possible for future Variants of Concern, including being able to quickly stand up the infrastructure councils have rapidly created during the pandemic, such as local test and trace partnerships.”