MPs express disappointment at new Tier 3 rules for Hertfordshire

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Stevenage MP Stephen McParland and Bim Afolami respond to announcement of new COVID tier. - Credit: HM Government

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland,  Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami and North East Herts' Sir Oliver Heald have shared their views on Hertfordshire entering Tier 3 from Saturday.

The news that the whole of Hertfordshire would join Broxbourne, Hertsmere, Watford and Three Rivers under the highest coronavirus restrictions was announced earlier today.

Mr McPartland, who has previously voted against lockdown measures and wrote to Matt Hancock arguing for a lower Tier allocation for Stevenage, took to Twitter to express his thoughts.

He said: "Ridiculous that we are being dragged into Tier 3. Totally unacceptable and clearly shows I was right to vote against a second lockdown and tier system.

"Government accepted on Monday that tiers should be imposed on a district basis instead of this unbalanced county wide approach."

Hitchin and Harpenden's Bim Afolami also addressed his constituents in a video posted to his Facebook page.

He said in a statement: "I am extremely disappointed to receive the news that Hitchin and Harpenden, in line with the whole of Hertfordshire, will be moving into Tier 3.

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"This is baffling to me, considering that this constituency has the lowest COVID rates not only in Hertfordshire, but the East of England region.

"I am currently in discussions with the Department of Health to figure out the path to get us out of Tier 3, because I know how damaging this will be for our local businesses and our society."

Conservative parliamentary candidate North East Herts, Sir Oliver Heald. Picture: Sir Oliver Heald

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald has said he's shocked about the new tier 3 restrictions. - Credit: Sir Oliver Heald

Sir Oliver Heald said: I am shocked and concerned. This doesn’t make sense.

"Only on Tuesday the Minister decided to leave North Herts in Tier 2 and now, two days later, we are in Tier 3. North Herts has a far lower level of infection than places like Broxbourne and Watford and should have been treated accordingly.

"I also feel concern for businesses which will now lose out over the Christmas period. I have made my views clear to Matt Hancock."

What does Tier 3 'very high alert' mean for us?:

Below are the measures that people must follow under Tier Three ‘Very High Alert’: 

  • People must not mix indoors or outdoors with people outside of their household, unless in a permitted outdoor space such as a park, where the rule of six applies. 

  • Pubs, bars and restaurants would close and can operate a takeaway, drive-through or click and collect service only. 

  • Hotels, B&Bs, campsites must close except for limited work or education reasons. 

  • Indoor entertainment and tourist venues, including cinemas, casinos, bowling alleys, bingo halls, theme parks, must close. 

  • Gyms and leisure facilities can open, but group exercise classes should not go ahead. 

  • No crowds allowed at organised events, both indoor or outdoor. 

  • Places of worship can remain open, but socialising and attending with those outside of your household is not permitted. 

  • People should avoid all unnecessary travel and should reduce the number of journeys they make. 

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