Yesterday, it was announced that London would be going into Tier 3 following a rise in Covid-19 cases across the capital. The tightening of restrictions will apply from 0:01 Wednesday 15th December.

More information on what you can and cannot do in Tier 3 restrictions can be found here.

Responding to this news, Munira said:

“No one wants London to be in Tier 3 and this news is incredibly disappointing. It will be particularly difficult for all those businesses who will have to close and are struggling to survive this winter. Jobs and businesses are at risk as a result of this decision. People will have also made plans, that will now be disrupted as a result of London going into Tier 3.

However, the increase in Covid-19 cases across the capital and news of the new variant are both very alarming. It is clear from the data that further restrictions are unfortunately necessary and swift action is needed to curb the spread of the virus and save lives.

Although some parts of London, such as my own, have lower case rates than others, I support a London-wide approach to applying the tiers. London is a connected city and it is important Richmond remains part of a London-wide tier to discourage people travelling to different boroughs to socialise, and increase the risk of infection spreading.

Furthermore, cases have been increasing in Richmond-upon-Thames in recent days, so it is important measures are taken swiftly to prevent cases escalating further.

However, we do need more evidence that the tier system as a whole is working. Tier 3 in Kent seems to have had a very limited impact so far and there are many perverse rules within the tier system. I have been and will continue to press for an evidence-based approach, which also includes a comprehensive assessment of both the non-Covid health impacts and the economic impact.

Also underlying this is the importance of a robust and locally-led Test, Trace and Isolate system. The Government has spent billions on a system that does not work as it should. We would not be in the position we are in now if the Government had addressed the poor national contact tracing rates and isolation rates sooner.

The Government must now focus on providing much needed support to the businesses in London that will be impacted, particularly those in the hospitality and arts sectors. These businesses worked hard to make sure they were Covid-secure and safe. The Government must ensure they will survive, particularly during the winter when many would have relied on increased revenue from the festive season.

The Government must also focus on ensuring its communications are clear with Londoners on what rules have changed. The constant chopping and changing of rules has created confusion. I am concerned that with London going from national lockdown to Tier 2 to Tier 3, then into Christmas rules and then back to Tier 3 again, people will be unclear which rules to follow which could reduce compliance.

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel as the vaccine begins to get rolled out. But the Government cannot be complacent. The Government must fix the Test, Trace and Isolate system and provide financial support to businesses and individuals that are impacted to ensure people’s lives and livelihoods are protected.”

Munira responds on Radio 4

Munira appeared on BBC Radio 4 yesterday to discuss her reaction to London going into Tier 3. You can watch a clip of her interview below: