"I am deeply disappointed and frustrated by the announcement yesterday even though I accept the Government’s caution and the difficult decision it must make. The Prime Minister has also been clear throughout that any new freedoms were conditional. After fifteen months of tiers and rolling lockdowns, to give ourselves a further 28 days to power through millions more vaccinations must surely then secure future freedoms.
"However, this is a mighty blow for the hospitality industry in Eastbourne and I will be speaking to The Chancellor to urge him to keep the VAT reduction to 5% until the New Year in the light of the delay and not September as planned.
"The one saving grace from this decision is that it seeks to avoid a full easing now with the possibility of another lockdown later in the year. I do not think anyone would want to risk that. I think everyone knows there can be no going back to lockdown.
"There has to be a vaccine dividend for this country. People are going to get the jabs in huge numbers – they are playing their part.
"I urge everyone to receive both doses when they are called as that gives the best protection and it is our major weapon in this fight.
"To continue with restrictions later down the line when the virus is under control but experts fear a new variant will not be a sustainable position even in the medium term for this or any other country. Put simply: there is more here to consider than covid data otherwise we could remain in this position for some time yet."