Sir Mike Penning Update  – March 2021

I am hopeful and optimistic that by the time you read this, we will have moved on to the second part of Step 1 of the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown. I understand from the emails I have received that many people are frustrated at the cautious approach taken by the PM. I assure you I too am desperate to get back to ‘normal’.

However, I think that having gone through all we have gone through it would be a mistake to reopen too fast and risk it all. This virus really is not ‘just another flu’ and before we can do anything, we need get it under control. It is right that the rest of us wait just a little bit longer to increase the number of people who have been vaccinated. So far it looks like all the main variants are, at very least, weakened by the vaccines, but If a variant that is not controlled by the vaccines were allowed to get a foothold then all our efforts will have been wasted.

The combination of the lockdown and the vaccination rollout puts us in a good position and I really hope we are over the worst.

It was great to see children return to school from 8th March. For many people the burden of home-schooling young children whilst trying to work and run the home has been a struggle and getting back to school will have been a huge relief for many parents.

The younger generations have paid a heavy price and I am keen for them to get their lives back as soon as possible. Thankfully, the vast majority of young people have taken this all in their stride. Frustrated by it, certainly, but not overwhelmed by it.

I am aware, however, that for some it has not been so easy, and we need to make sure that these individuals are supported and given the help they need.

I repeat, therefore, that I support the PM’s approach. We absolutely must make this the last lockdown. The country cannot afford another lockdown – in financial, economic or mental health terms.

The only safe way out of this is to both support the roadmap and get vaccinated as soon as it is offered. It helps protect yourself and your friends and family.

My office remains open with some staff working from home. If you need help or support, please don’t hesitate to contact me, but email is the best way to do it. You can email me on mike.penning.mp@parliament.uk .

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