Altrincham MP and Chairman of the Tory 1922 backbench committee has said that he doesn’t want the Government to be behind the curve if things continue moving as positively and as rapidly as they are.

He told the BBC Today programme that the country was in a “far more optimistic place”, citing falling infection rates and the vaccine rollout.

“Now that that threat is receding, we ought to be – and indeed we are, and the Government says we are – looking to open up,” he told the programme.

Yesterday he told the Independent that the success of the vaccination programme should enable the prime minister to make moves to “reopen normal life” in the coming weeks.

The leader of the influential Covid Recovery Group of Conservative MPs, Mark Harper has said restrictions should be removed entirely by the end of May.

The Prime Minister signalled on Wednesday that the roadmap to recovery he intends to unveil in the week of 22 February will take a cautious approach, stressing that levels of infection remain “alarmingly high” and that restrictions would be removed in a gradual and sustainable way.

This morning a Government scientist warned against lifting restrictions too early, which could result in a “yo-yo situation” which requires another lockdown.

Dr Mike Tildesley,  from the University of Warwick and a member of Sage subgroup the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group, told Times Radio the focus for next month should be to get children back in school, adding “a little bit more mixing outdoors” might be reasonable but would need “very clear messaging from the Government”.



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