Romford MP Andrew Rosindell has urged his constituents to continue visiting pubs and restaurants despite tighter restrictions announced by the Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson outlined new measures on Tuesday, such as the closure of pubs and restaurants at 10pm and a reduction in numbers at weddings.
There were 75 positive Covid-19 cases in Havering in the week ending September 18, double the figure from three weeks previously.
Mr Rosindell told the Recorder residents need to keep going to pubs and restaurants “as much as possible”.
He said: “We cannot afford to let this virus scare us into hiding away. Our great hospitality sector certainly cannot afford it.”
The Conservative politician argued that the economy needs to adapt after months of government intervention, including the furlough scheme.
He added: “The government cannot save every job and protect every business.
“Some businesses will simply not survive, no matter how long they are supported. It’s right that those workers, investors and owners have the opportunity to move on.”
Asked if Mr Johnson went far enough with the measures, Mr Rosindell said: “The government will of course need to take sensible measures to ensure that we limit the worst effects of the pandemic while doing everything it can to protect the economy.
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“The trend has to be towards returning to normal.”
Labour’s Jon Cruddas said the government’s latest restrictions could have been avoided with a “workable” test, trace and isolate programme.
The Dagenham and Rainham MP said: “The country was promised a world beating system, instead we have a system that is creaking and breaking.”
When asked if the furlough scheme should be extended, he said the government needed to take a flexible approach.
“I am deeply concerned about the loss of jobs and businesses across the hospitality sector. The furlough scheme was essential and welcome to save so many viable businesses.”
Havering Council’s leader Damian White said he was not surprised the Prime Minister announced further action.
He said: “If the rate increases above other areas, we can call for greater powers to enforce more restrictions.
“We do not want to do this so it is important that everyone follows the rules.
“It is also a challenging time for businesses and the hospitality sector. We do want the economy to pick up, but at the same time, we need to protect residents.”
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