MP: 'I can't support Covid measures that don't appear to have worked elsewhere'

Simon Jupp with Leigh Mansfield of Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust

Simon Jupp, right, with Leigh Mansfield, Senior Manager – Operational Lead Vaccination Programme, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust - Credit: Simon Jupp

Talking East Devon with MP Simon Jupp

Plan B is the next stage in our battle against Covid-19.
As I write, 36 people are in the RD&E with Covid and winter pressures within the NHS are well-known. I’m glad we’ve invested millions in the Nightingale and RD&E.
It is right that vaccines and testing remain our first line of defence. The booster programme is being ramped up and I’m booking mine. I urge you to also get “boosted” as soon as you can.
Plan B includes compulsory face masks in most public indoor venues, unless you are exempt. 
You won’t need to wear a mask in hospitality venues, for obvious reasons. 
We are being asked to work from home if we can. I fear this will reduce footfall on our high streets at a key time for many businesses.
I have sadly heard widespread reports of Christmas bookings being cancelled and no shows.  
I am concerned about the introduction of the NHS Covid Pass, or “vaccine passport” as they are known. 
They are divisive, discriminatory and do little to stop the transmission of the virus as evidenced by their introduction in Scotland and Wales. 
They will be needed for nightclubs and events like football matches, gigs or large shows. I don’t feel it is right to expect staff to police a policy which incurs extra costs and doesn’t appear to have worked elsewhere.
I know many people in East Devon share a sense of frustration about the new rules. There’s also some who’ve emailed me saying the government should go further and close businesses. Whatever our personal views on the new rules, it’s important we follow them.
East Devon’s economy is reliant on tourism and hospitality and although businesses have received thousands of pounds of support throughout the pandemic, staff can’t be put back on furlough and wages have been raised to recruit staff. 
Although I’m pleased that wages are rising, it will put businesses under severe strain if fewer people come through the door.
I don’t feel I can support measures which don’t appear to have worked elsewhere and will impact on local jobs and livelihoods.