What you had to say on possibility of extension to lockdown rules as Covid cases soar
News that a two-week delay to this month’s easing of coronavirus restrictions is being considered was met with a philosophical response in Sunderland.
Several reports have suggested plans to lift restrictions on June 21 could be scaled down or delayed amid concerns the Indian variant is fueling a surge in cases.
Friday, June 4, saw the UK record its highest number of new confirmed coronavirus cases – 6,238 – since late March.
The news met with a resigned reaction from people soaking up the sun at Seaburn.
David Fryett, 82, said: “I have not got a clue. I would not trust this Government to tell the truth if it bit them in the bum.
"They are making it as confusing as possible so they can blame the British public for not doing what they are told when they did not have an idea in the first place.”
David and his wife both have health problems and have been in lockdown since March last year. He is full of praise for the standard of care they have received throughout the pandemic.
"If it had not been for the NHS looking after us, we would probably have caught the virus and popped off a long time ago,” he said.
Fifty-eight-year-old Carol Lyall is looking forward to getting back to normal but recognises the need to protect the most vulnerable: “I work in a care home and we have been really lucky because no-one has died,” she said.
"I feel like we should try to get back to normality but I don’t think two weeks is going to make a difference, really.”
Joanne O’Shea has a special reason for hoping the restrictions are not extended: “My 50th birthday is on June 29, so we don't want more lockdown before that,” she joked.
"It is a bit frustrating because we have all done what we have had to do and everyone is ready to get back to normal.”
Joanne’s mum Sue Bulmer and Bedlington Terrier Bluebell were enjoying fish and chips: "It has been a hard year,” said Sue, 73.
"I was really pleased when we started to get back to normal.”
Husband and wife Steve and Kathy Dewhirst were through from Durham for the day.
"We have worked from home since lockdown first started and it is doing our heads in – but better safe than sorry,” said Steve, 56.
"I think it is going to take years before we are really back to normal.”
Kathy, 53, is worried the message is still not getting through to some people, even after a year of lockdown: “We went into Durham city centre yesterday and it was packed out with students,” she said.
“They really weren’t socially distancing from each other and didn’t care how close to you they came.”
As well as the rise in cases, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also suggested the number of people who had the virus in England has increased by around three quarters in a week, taking it to its highest tally since mid-April.
Matt Hancock has said the Government “always expected cases to rise” as lockdown was eased, and that ministers were being “tough” on international travel rules to preserve the route out of lockdown in the UK by preventing new variants taking hold.