Tonight Parliament is voting on extending the remaining coronavirus restrictions until 19th July. I know it's hard for everyone to have to wait another 4 weeks for the final stage of ending lockdown. Like lots of you we have had to cancel family plans, my parents can no longer come and celebrate my brother's birthday with us and his family. All of us feel the frustration and pain of limits on family celebrations and worry for local businesses.
After more than a year with restrictions, we all want to get back to how things should be. Every MP in Parliament, regardless of party, shares that view.
I have thought hard about voting for this extension tonight but I do think it's important we give the vaccine programme the few more weeks that it needs to make sure all adults have a first jab and that all vulnerable groups have two jabs. The protection from serious illness and hospitalisation after two doses of either vaccine is incredibly strong. By waiting a bit longer we can be sure that the removal of the restrictions is permanent and irreversible. Caution and prudence will reward us with an end to this next month. Some restrictions are being lifted, for exams those on weddings. For a full list please see here.