The Coronavirus Act has proved to be a key piece of legislation in the national response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The purpose of the legislation is to protect us all and ensure a comprehensive response to the crisis across all levels of Government and society. This has meant that some extraordinary measures have had to be taken which have limited our rights, something which I have only reluctantly supported given the alternative, many thousands more deaths. I have consistently scrutinised the Government's use of these powers in parliament and do not wish to see restrictions in place for any longer than they are necessary to save lives.
The Act would have expired at the end of March and so needed to be renewed to ensure that Local Authorities, the Police and the NHS continue to have the powers needed to respond to the pandemic and to implement restrictions if needed. The powers are also necessary as we move forward with the cautious easing of restrictions set out in the Prime Minister's Roadmap. It would not make sense to remove our ability to tackle the pandemic as we approach the final hurdle.
The measures outlined in the Government's Roadmap provide a path out of this pandemic, offering us a route to normal life. We are currently meeting each of the Government's four tests for easing restrictions and remain on track to deliver on vaccine commitments meaning we have been able to move forward to the next stage of the Roadmap. By 21st June, it is envisioned that all restrictions on our liberties will be rolled back. To demonstrate its commitment to this date, the Government has committed the remaining stages of Roadmap into law, which is most welcome.
I would like to thank everyone who has written to me to give their views on the current legislation - the views of my constituents are central to my role as a local MP.