Today’s announcement by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on further restrictions for Middlesbrough is yet another example of the woeful and inept communications by this Government. The Minister says the new measures have been brought in after working with Council leaders and mayors, but this is simply not the case. No prior notice was given about the latest restrictions despite Middlesbrough Council seeking a dialogue with Government about any further measures to be implemented.

There is no doubt that Covid rates in Middlesbrough are too high and we all need to be playing our part to curb the number of cases.

The evidence show that the virus is spreading from household to household contact and that being so, Middlesbrough Council understood the need for restrictions regarding households mixing. But the measures imposed today go beyond that without prior discussion and notice.

I am seeking an urgent discussion with the Health Secretary and local leaders to clarify the rationale behind today’s announcement. In all circumstances, once these new restrictions become engrossed in law, it falls upon each and everyone of us to obey the rule of law.

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