Posted: 14.10.20 at 14:38 by The Editor
MP for North Warwickshire, Craig Tracey, voted against the government's 10pm curfew times yesterday.
Tracey was one of 44 Conservative MPs to vote against their own party, and reject the continued inclusion of 10pm closing times for pubs and restaurants in coronavirus regulations.
In a statement last night Mr Tracey said "Whilst in general I have been very supportive of the difficult, and important, decisions government has had to take to help us combat COVID, tonight I was unable to support Motion Nine, which dealt with the 10:00pm curfew times.
"As I have said, many decisions have had to be taken and I have been able to understand the rationale behind the majority of them. Unfortunately with this particular one I couldn't."
The vote on the motion, forced by backbench MPs, was eventually outvoted 299 votes to 82 - a majority of 217. This was after many Labour members abstained from the vote.
Mr Tracey continued in his statement "the challenge I have is when our nighttime economy has invested to become COVID safe, why a blanket closure is seen to be the answer. The consequences are quite clear - without the usual staggered closing times, everyone is leaving the venues at the same time, congregating outdoors, waiting for a taxi or arriving en masse to use public transport.
"In more rural settings, whilst the problem of congregation is not so much of an issue, people are not simply ending the night at 10pm and heading home - they are going into friends homes, where there are not the same protections as in a managed venue.
"To me, it would make far more sense to keep the opening times as they were, trust the venues to enforce the rules (with stiffer penalties if necessary) and reduce the opportunity for people to congregate.
"I know some pubs and clubs have not covered themselves in glory over the last few months, but they are generally in the minority and most places seem to have embraced the rules put to them."
Following the introduction of the new three-tier regulations, Atherstone will remain in the 'Medium' tier - the lowest tier.
This will mean that for the most part things will stay the same, with the 'Rule of Six,' 10pm Curfews, and rules on face coverings remaining as they were before the Boris Johnson's announcement on Monday.
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