Why Government needs to be straight with public and stop drip-feeding - Laura Collins, YEP Editor

This time last week the day so many people had been waiting for had finally arrived.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 4:45 am
Visitors to Leeds City Centre on so-called 'Freedom Day'

And as the clock struck midnight nightclubs were back in business to mark so-called ‘Freedom Day’.

After months of living under restrictions this was going to be the day the public were finally being let off their leash and able to use their own judgement about what they decide to do next.

The images of joy beamed onto our screens as young people were finally allowed back out to socialise and dance like nobody was watching.

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For many this was the first time since coming to our city as students that they were finally able to venture out properly into our vibrant night scene.

But that new-found ‘freedom’ certainly looked to be short lived.

Within hours after the big reopening for so many venues that have shuttered their doors for months the Prime Minister sparked a backlash that come September the new door policy will be two jabs or no entry.

From September clubs and other crowded venues will have to ask guests for proof that they have been fully vaccinated and Boris Johnson further added: “Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient.”

One nightclub owner told the Yorkshire Evening Post that the new door policy would in effect be a “suicide note” for their business.

Now fast-forward a week and new Government plans could see only fully-vaccinated football fans being able to attend Premier League matches and other events with more than 20,000 spectators from October.

Boris Johnson risks provoking further criticism from backbench Conservatives as ministers seek to extend the future use of vaccine passports from nightclubs to sporting stadiums.

Talks are in an early phase with the Premier League to discuss whether supporters who have not been double-jabbed could be barred from entry, it has been reported.

And now football fans have warned that plans to exclude supporters who are not fully vaccinated could cause “chaos” at some clubs.

With less than a month until the season kicks off there are some of those who haven’t been fully vaccinated yet or even unable to have the vaccine which leaves them on the sidelines.

I’m still one of those waiting patiently for my second dose of the vaccine and quite frankly I can’t wait to roll my sleeve up again and get jabbed despite my fear of needles.

Safety has to be the absolute priority - especially after all the hard work the nation has done to pull together to protect one another during this unprecedented time.

Now we’ve started to peel off from that collective effort as we’re told to exercise our own judgements about where we go and how we do it.

Yet from the sidelines it feels like the brakes are slowly being put back on with the drip-feed of announcements.

And here’s the rub - rather than drip-feeding these announcements just be straight up with us.

We’re all adults here but it will be much harder to bring people back together now they’ve had a taste of freedom.