Saffron Walden MP "devastated" over Christmas restrictions

Saffron Walden's MP is "devastated" about Christmas restrictions

Saffron Walden's MP is "devastated" about Christmas restrictions - Credit: Archant

The MP for Saffron Walden says she is "devastated" people have been forced to cancel their Christmas plans at short notice.

Kemi Badenoch MP said the Prime Minister had been emphatic only last week that Christmas was not going to be cancelled and she knew cabinet would not have agreed to the latest measures were the numbers not indicating a national emergency.

She said: "Like many of you, I am devastated that the Government policy on coronavirus and accompanying changes in tiers has happened so soon to Christmas and all the plans to see family completely disrupted and even abandoned.

"Uttlesford remains in Tier Two but most of Essex including the southern part of our constituency is in Tier Four."

Mrs Badenoch said this will create many complications and has urged people to read the guidance on for the most up-to-date information. 

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"Plans may be cancelled but Christmas isn’t", she said.

"There will still be ways to have smaller celebrations and I urge those living alone and others who qualify for a support bubble  - as opposed to a Christmas bubble - to form one."

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Residents in Braintree have been plunged into the highest level of coronavirus restrictions while those in neighbouring Uttlesford remain in Tier Two for the time being.

The Prime Minister announced on Saturday (December 19) that tougher Christmas restrictions were in response to concern around the high number of infections across the county driven by the new 'mutant' variant of the virus.

Uttlesford recorded 313 cases per 100,000 people in the week from December 11 to 17. The average for England was 211.

Essex County Council said they are aware of the Department for Education’s latest announcement regarding a staggered start date for secondary school pupils and college students from the spring term. 

"All schools have been informed about this by the DfE directly and we continue to work closely with settings across Essex to support them with their individual arrangements.

"Fast testing centres for people without symptoms have already been opened in Basildon, Pitsea and Brentwood and additional centres are being prepared."

The Tiers will be reviewed on December 30.

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