Plan B Covid measures 'proportionate and appropriate' say MPs

MPs from Suffolk and Essex have shared their thoughts about the Plan B restrictions

MPs from Suffolk and Essex have shared their thoughts about the Plan B restrictions - Credit: House of Commons/Archant/PA - Credit: House of Commons/Archant/PA

Suffolk and Essex MPs have weighed in on the upcoming vote for the government's Plan B rules, which include making face coverings a legal requirement in most indoor spaces and NHS Covid passes mandatory.

The vote will take place on Tuesday, with the measures expected to pass despite reports of a significant number of Conservative rebels. 

The government's response to the emergence of the Omnicron variant has been proportionate and speedy

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the measures on December 8 - Credit: PA

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, believes that mask wearing on public transport and in crowded public spaces should have always been mandated throughout this winter in order for people to better protect themselves and each other.

He said: "Evidence about the impact of the Omicron variant is beginning to emerge and early indications are concerning, but it will be another two to three weeks before we have a clearer picture about how the variant will impact upon Suffolk and the UK.

"So, the Plan B measures which include encouraging home working where possible, are proportionate and appropriate given what we know so far about the omicron variant.

"Plan B measures are modest and offer a sensible route to slowing transmission of the virus without significant restrictions on people's freedoms.

"I hope more stringent measures will not be required but it is appropriate that we keep the situation under review as more evidence emerges."

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Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney,  will be voting for the measures as they are "the right thing to be doing".

He said: "We don't know the severity of the new omicron variant, what we do know is it is spreading very quickly."

He hopes they have been brought in at the right time, as delays in the past have led to a lockdowns.

Therese Coffey, Suffolk Coastal MP, said: "The Great British public are sensible – and I’m sure will follow this proportionate, measured and targeted approach to help stop the spread of the Omicron variant.”

Tom Hunt said he supported the Lords amendment in principle, but could not vote for it because of th

Tom Hunt has yet to decided on how he will vote - Credit: House of Commons

While Ipswich's MP Tom Hunt said he is currently exploring all the data and will make his decision early next week ahead of the vote on Tuesday.

Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex, will be voting for the measures and said the government is taking a "precautionary approach" until more is known about new variant.

He added: "By mid-week we should have a better idea of how much hospitalisation it causes. Meanwhile the priority is to press ahead with the vaccination programme. More than half those in hospital with Covid are unvaccinated. Only 40% of the population is triple vaccinated and it is the booster that seems to provide protection from Omicron."