Why I'm voting against tougher lockdown Tiers - Leeds MP Richard Burgon
On December 30, Parliament will debate the Government's Covid plan, which involves using a Tiered system to control the pandemic.
If a vote on the plan is allowed, the Labour MP for East Leeds, Richard Burgon, has said he will vote against the Tier system.
He said the system is "failing" and the Tier strategy "has let the virus run out of control" before urging for a national lockdown with "full financial support."
This comes as the Government has announced Tier changes across England today (Wednesday), but Tier 3 will remain in Leeds.
Richard Burgon tweeted: "Today Parliament will also debate the Government's Covid plan/
"If a vote is allowed, I'll vote against its failing Tier system.
"The Government's strategy has let the virus run out of control.
"Its errors mean we now need a national lockdown with people given full financial support."
The Covid infection rates in Leeds have risen day on day recently, with the Covid infection case rate being at 189.8 per 100,000 people on December 29 - the day before the Tier review.
This is a positivity rate of 7.3 per cent.
The city will be staying in Tier 3 under the 'Very High' alert restrictions, instead of a move to Tier 4 which would see people in the city be told once again to 'Stay at home'.
It would also have meant non-essential retailers and personal care and leisure facilities in Leeds must close.
People should also not leave a Tier 4 area unless for permitted reasons, such as work, education, caring responsibilities, to visit a support bubble or for medical reasons, and someone from a Tier 1, 2 or 3 area should not enter a Tier 4 zone except for the same reasons.
The Government's announcement of Tier changes comes as the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine is approved in the UK for mass rollout.
The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine – enough to vaccinate 50 million people.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the approval of the Oxford vaccine was “fantastic news” and confirmed that the rollout would begin on January 4.
Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial hailed the approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab as a “triumphant moment”.
He told BBC’s Radio Radio 4 Today programme: “This really is a great moment in what’s been a difficult year, and definitely a moment here at Oxford, at the university, of pride in our team for this astonishing achievement in science and clinical research during the course of the year.”
He added: “This year with the pandemic has been like being in a blizzard. We’ve been really struggling uphill through snow drifts and with this icy wind in our faces.
“And I think this morning we do have some respite with this good news and the warmth that that brings, and perhaps some hope for the future.”
But he said the “blizzard is raging on” as healthcare staff in hospitals face “some real horrors caused by this virus”.