Ahead of the Government’s decision today to extend local restrictions in Bradford, Imran has blamed the Government’s local restrictions for being confusing, inconsistent, politicised and ineffective, and has called for an intense focus on home testing and support for those self-isolating in Bradford East.

Imran’s call follows professional advice given by Bradford’s health officials that the local restrictions are having a negligible impact compared to other measures which have been proven to reduce infection rates, such as enhanced testing, due to the challenges in communicating and enforcing the restrictions amidst confusion over where and to whom they apply in the Bradford District, with rules now applying to a postcode level where boundaries are uncertain, compared to the whole District.

The inconsistencies in the local restrictions have also been attacked by Imran, who has highlighted that people in areas that are still affected by the restrictions are allowed to mix with others at work and in public, or go to crowded bars and restaurants, but not mix with friends and family at home, even if sensible precautions are taken, stating that this leaves people uncertain of what they are permitted to do and reduces the chances of other measures and restrictions being adhered to.

Instead, Imran has called on the Secretary of State for Health to replace the restrictions and deliver more targeted measures which have been proven to provide real results, such as intensified local testing, whilst also raising the level of sick pay to the National Minimum Wage to ensure no one is financially penalised for self-isolating.

Speaking on his call to replace local restrictions in Bradford East, Imran said:

“At such a crucial moment for the country, it is vital that people have trust in the Government to do the right thing by listening to experts, local partners and the responses that they are receiving, but when people are allowed to mix with others at work or in public, yet not at home with friends or family, this trust is being undermined by the confusion, inconsistency and blatant politicisation in the Government’s strategy.

“Without this trust that the Government is making the right choices, and with serious confusion about what people can and cannot do, which is only exacerbated by the inconsistency of restrictions, people are much less likely to abide by Government instructions. Every day that the confusing local restrictions are in place is another day that our local response to the virus is undermined by the Government.

“Ministers must instead replace ineffective restrictions in Bradford East with targeted measures that are proven to work. This means a massive expansion of local and home testing, returning the focus on hand washing, face coverings and distancing, and raising sick pay so those with Coronavirus can isolate without losing out financially. That is how we will stop the spread of this virus, not by keeping apart friends and families.”

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