CAROLINE ANSELL MP: Please grab a jab if you’ve yet to have one
We are in a different stretch of the river when it comes to the pandemic now most Covid restrictions have ended.
In this first week of Step Four, the media is making much of whether to wear a face mask or not but I actually think all this will soon settle down.
We are essentially a tolerant nation and we will respect each other’s point of view. Like others, I will wear a face mask when I think it is appropriate or when someone asks me to. I hope everyone will be the same. I would also urge everyone to have regular tests. A testing kit is free from a pharmacy or you can order online.
Washing hands was very prominent at the start of Covid. It is still a vital part of keeping infections down. These are the simple common-sense steps the Prime Minister was talking about. It is about personal responsibility, not a never-ending government diktat.
But the biggest responsibility is getting a vaccine. Figures show 60 per cent of people being admitted to hospital with Covid are unvaccinated. This is a big number when you consider two thirds of the population have had two doses of the vaccines, even when taking into account vaccines are never 100 per cent effective.
The 20-30 age range is now getting the virus but jab take-up is lower in this age cohort. Please grab a jab if you are this age. It will help protect you, protect others, leave the virus with fewer people to cause serious problems to and it will protect the NHS.
A second high profile media story this week focuses on migrants taking the dangerous trip across the English Channel. This continues to be a serious problem with a record number doing so this year. We’ve experienced this locally before, at Sovereign Harbour.
The recent good weather has made it easier but lives are still put at risk. I am angry that human traffickers prey on these souls and rake in a fortune from this illicit and illegal trade. Then there’s the dinghies we don’t intercept. Not picked up by the authorities, these people disappear, too often picked up criminal gangs on this side of the Channel and could be lost to a life of slavery.
The Nationality and Borders Bill, designed to tackle the problem and reform the UK’s immigration system, had its second reading in Parliament this week and it includes proposals designed to disincentivise this illegal route undertaken largely by those with the financial means and the physical strength to make for our shores in this way. What the Government will continue to do is to bring those who need our protection directly from those places of concern. Over the last six years, the UK has directly resettled 25,000 people from places of danger.
Parliament goes into Recess on Thursday and I will get to work from Eastbourne until the House returns in September. I’ll be holding surgeries and be out and about. Please do say hello! Until then, keep in touch and take good care.