It has been confirmed this morning that Trafford will become the next Greater Manchester borough to have local lockdown restrictions lifted.
Trafford Labour has released a statement addressing the release within the last hour.
The statement shared with residents on Facebook reads: “A number of residents have been in contact to ask for the Council’s position on the lifting of local lockdown restrictions.
“We all want to see restrictions lifted as soon as possible, guided by the data and when it is safe to do so. Households being unable to mix in their own homes and gardens is of course extremely frustrating and difficult, and we are grateful to those who have followed the guidance and made sacrifices over the past month since local restrictions were introduced. This has contributed to a decrease in the number of cases per 100,000 people in Trafford, so thank you.
“It is imperative that when restrictions are lifted we can be confident we will not need to return to them a few weeks later because of a resultant spike in cases. That would be devastating for families, and hit our local economy hard. Whilst we accept that there will be a range of views from residents on this – and that we all want to see restrictions lifted safely as soon as possible – in line with the advice of our Director of Public Health, Trafford Council did not this week request the lifting of local lockdown restrictions.
“Instead we asked for another week or two of local restrictions in the interests of public safety.
“The rationale for such a request was as follows:
- Timing: with schools returning next week and a bank holiday weekend over the next few days, we feel that this is a delicate time to ease restrictions. Our priority is to see children back in school safely receiving the education that they need.
- The rate of infection in Trafford has been increasing slightly in the last few days.
- Our current infection rate of 21.1 cases 100,000 is almost twice the national average rate of infection of 11.7.
- We are inextricably linked to other boroughs in Greater Manchester with people visiting these areas on a daily basis to work and socialise. As an illustration around one third of our electoral wards – from Hale Barns in the south to Clifford in the north – share a boundary with wards in the City of Manchester: current infection rates here are 41.2.
- We have seen instances of Covid identified in every one of our 21 electoral wards across Trafford at some point in the last two weeks.
“To that end, it was our view – in line with the expert advice from the Council’s Director of Public Health – that we should see evidence of a sustained reduction in Trafford’s infection numbers before calling for the lifting of local restrictions. This is not yet the case, with the last few days showing a slight increase in infection rates again.
“We understand some will consider this to have been an overly cautious approach, but it has been one made with the safety of Trafford residents in mind. Whilst we have supported calls for those businesses not yet allowed to open – beauticians, ice rinks, bowling alleys and soft play centres – we believe it is slightly premature to lift restrictions relating to households at this time.
“It is apparent that for all of their claims of working in collaboration with local authorities, the Government has decided to overrule the Council and lift restrictions in Trafford.
“We understand this will be announced today.”
The statement by Trafford Labour can be read in full here.
This is a Breaking News story – More to follow.