‘NO alternative’, ‘new approaches needed’ and ‘a crushing blow’ — those are some of the reactions from local MPs to news England would enter a third national lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled strict new measures last night which will see schools across the country close in addition to the restrictive rules already in place.
This comes as latest figures showed another 58,784 people tested positive for coronavirus in data published on January 4, taking the total to 2,713,563 positive tests over the course of the pandemic.
Locally, Bracknell Forest has a seven-day infection rate of 780.1 per 100,000 people — up from 84.9 per 100,000 people when data was released on the day the country left its second national lockdown.
Reacting to the news of the third lockdown, Bracknell MP James Sunderland said: “No-one wants this but I do not believe there was any meaningful alternative as the virus is ripping through the UK.
“The R rate has increased in BFC from approximately 45 [back in October] to over 700 now.
“I have also spoken at length to NHS officials across East Berks. The situation in all of our hospitals is serious – Wexham Park, Royal Berks and Frimley Parl are already at ‘black’ and admissions continue to get worse.
“Lockdown is the only way to stop people dying, although the current wave sadly still needs to blow itself out. I will be voting with the Government tomorrow in the unlikely event that a vote is forced.”
READ MORE: What you can do locally in third lockdown
Sir John Redwood, Wokingham MP, was more concise with his views following the announcement.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “We need new approaches to tackling this virus. When all political parties and most officials agree things often go wrong.”
MP Adam Afriyie, whose Windsor constituency covers Bracknell Forest’s Ascot, Binfield and Warfield, also took to social media to connect with his residents.
He said: “Deeply saddened that schools must close and at the crushing blow to our hospitality sector, and the businesses, jobs & livelihoods we’ll lose, just as the vaccines are being rolled out.
“Whatever your views: please obey the law and follow the guidance.”