The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has fired a coded warning at MPs seeking a roadmap out of Covid restrictions, saying the pressure on the NHS is too great, with hospital admissions still almost double the April peak.
MPs from the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) have piled pressure on the government in recent days to set out the next step to lifting restrictions in England, calling for measures to begin to ease from 8 March after the most vulnerable groups have been vaccinated.
“There are more people on ventilators than at any time in this whole pandemic,” Hancock said. “Of course, I understand the yearning people have to get out of this. We have to look at the facts on the ground and we have to monitor those facts.
However this news has not boded well with a Lytham shopkeeper. The shopkeeper from Clifton Street who does not want to be named, has told Lytham St Annes News of her “lockdown hell”. She said “the rent on the shop is astronomical – I mean when I’m open it isn’t an issue as the footfall in Lytham is huge and people don’t mind spending money here. However this lockdown has really hurt me as has Tier 4. The grants have been helpful, but it’s just not the money I’m used to receiving. If we don’t have a roadmap out of this crippling lockdown soon then Lytham could end up looking like Fleetwood.” A government report on Fleetwood stated that three of the town’s five wards fall into the 5% to 10% most deprived wards in England.