Yesterday evening, I joined a joint meeting with Oxfordshire Conservative MPs and our public health officials to discuss local vaccine and testing provision. It is vital that everybody in North Oxfordshire is able to access a booster.
As many will now be aware, the first cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in the UK. To help slow down and contain the spread of this new variant, the government is taking a necessary and responsible course of action.
Like everyone, I have greatly enjoyed life steadily returning to some semblance of normality over the past six months. Following the successful roll-out of our vaccination programme, we are now in a much better position to fight this virus.
Today marks the final step in the roadmap out of lockdown. It has been a long 16 months in which we have all had to make a tremendous amount of sacrifice. Today is a major milestone for the country, taking us another step closer to the life we all used to live.
Step Three of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown begins today. This means that the rule of six or two households that has applied outdoors will now apply indoors – and the limit for outdoor meetings will increase to 30.
Step Two of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown begins today. This means that indoor leisure, personal care and non-essential retail businesses can reopen. Outdoor hospitality and outdoor attractions can also reopen, alongside self-contained holiday accommodation.
As vaccine rollout continues at pace in North Oxfordshire, the Secretary of State has paid tribute to all those working so hard to help with the vaccination programme, cutting the infection rate and reducing the spread of the virus.