The government has been slammed for failing to provide adequate communications to areas facing new coronavirus restrictions.
The government issued guidance online advising people not to travel in and out of Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside and to not mix indoors in these areas due to concerns about the Indian variant, but did so without issuing an official announcement, sparking criticism.
Blackburn with Darwen’s director of public health Dominic Harrison said:
#Covid19 Travel Advisory
#localgov areas involved were not consulted with, warned of, notified about, or alerted… https://t.co/wA40RRpMF5
It comes amid growing concerns about the spread of the Indian variant across areas of England. Similar guidance was issued regarding Bolton and Blackburn earlier this month and Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged those living in these regions to get vaccinated.
And Therese Coffey has been the government’s fall guy this morning, after she was rolled out on broadcast to defend its communications policy. LBC’s Nick Ferrari asked her: “How were people meant to discover this, by telepathy?”
"How are people meant to know this change, by telepathy?"
Nick Ferrari challenges work and pensions secretary Thér… https://t.co/H8g0fjHEBh
Meanwhile, on Good Morning Britain, Coffey said it was a “formalisation” of existing advice and said the government had made it clear it was concerned about the spread of the variant in these areas. Presenter Bill Turnbull said: “It may be a formalisation to you, but it’s very important to people who live in these areas who are only just finding out about it today.”
How apt for breakfast Thérèse Coffey provides waffle regarding why the government introduced local restrictions but… https://t.co/JKNN3FKTP6