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Gloucestershire Business News

Lockdown will end with "gradual unwrapping" warns PM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has predicted the end of the latest coronavirus lockdown in England will be a "gradual unwrapping".

Speaking in the House of Commons after the recall of Parliament, he said schools will be the first thing to reopen when restrictions are eased.

He said he had no choice in introducing the lockdown measures in England, which are being debated by MPs today, due to the rise in coronavirus cases since the arrival of a new variant.

He said: "When the ONS reports that more than two per cent of the population is now infected and when the number of patients in hospitals in England is now 40 per cent higher than the first peak in April it is inescapable that the facts are changing and we must change our response."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called the current situation the "darkest moment of the pandemic".

Gloucestershire MPs have backed the latest package of financial support announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will receive grants of up to £9,000 while a further £594million discretionary fund has been made available for other businesses

Chancellor announces grants to help businesses through lockdown

Gloucester MP Richard Graham said: "The huge £4.6billion package of support for business includes one-off cash for the hard-hit retail, hospitality and leisure sectors that are a big part of Gloucestershire's economy.

"It is incredibly important that business pulls through what we all very much hope is the last lockdown.

"Anyone with queries after reading the detail is welcome to email me on richard.graham.mp@parliament.uk."

Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper, who has been a critic of some of the coronavirus restrictions, said the Chancellor was "on the money" and called on the Government to ensure vaccinations are rolled out as quickly as possible.

He tweeted: "Vaccines are a ticket to safety from Covid, but they must be delivered quickly and accompanied by a relaxation of restrictions once the most vulnerable have been vaccinated.

"We need to know if the Government is hitting their vaccination target and hold them to account if they aren't."

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