WORCESTER’S MP has urged the city to continue acting sensibly as some lockdown measures are relaxed and more children start returning to school.

Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, welcomed the easing of some lockdown measures tomorrow (June 1) which would allow some families to see each other for the first time in months but wanted to continue to “err on the side of caution” to ensure everything was being done in the most sensible way.

He said schools were returning “cautiously and gradually” and looked to ease the fears of concerned parents who were worried about sending their children back to school. He said his discussions with headteachers and Worcestershire County Council recognised the need to be sensible.

“I know there are lots of parents who would like to see this happen much faster but equally, there are many concerned parents,” he said.

“I think the balance has got to be struck. It needs to be done at a slow and safe rate to make sure that only a few years return at first to make sure that can be done safely and then hopefully to scale it up over time. I think that is a sensible balance.

“I also think it is important to stress that if people don’t want their children to return to school, nobody has to. It is a matter of choice. If people are sheltering or isolating to protect family members, there won’t be any repercussions if they decide to keep their children away. That is the sensible approach.”

Some primary year groups are returning to school from tomorrow with some social distancing measures relaxed – allowing groups of up to six to meet in parks and gardens.

He also urged the city to follow the new test and trace system – which went live on Thursday (May 28) – with discipline as it would allow more restrictions to be lifted.

“I do think it is important that people pay close attention to that,” he said. “

If it really works, and people follow it with discipline, we will be able to relax more lockdown measures and life will be able to return to a more normal pace for many more people and more people will be able to see their loved ones.

“It relies on people paying attention to the system and if they do get a call, taking the right action.

“I understand it will be a challenge for many people but it is the right thing to do.”

The need to continue acting sensibly in the face of relaxed lockdown measures was reiterated by the county’s health chief.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, director of Public Health for Worcestershire, said it was great news that progress was being made in the battle against coronavirus and that some restrictions could be eased but it was crucial to stay safe and stop the virus from spreading.

“It is crucial though that we all continue to stay safe, and do all we can to control the virus, and stop it from spreading,” she said.

“Please continue to wash your hands regularly, with soap and water, drying them thoroughly.

“I recognise that the new changes may give people their first opportunity had to see some of their friends and family in person for some considerable time. This is long-awaited for so many of us and a fantastic step forward. It is vitally important though that we maintain social distancing and follow the guidance at all times, so the progress we have all made in controlling the virus continues.”

Mr Walker said he was proud of how the city had behaved during the lockdown and thanked all those that had made sacrifices – particularly the emergency services – to keep numbers as low as possible.

“I want to say a huge thank you to all those that have made huge sacrifices during this time to help get our number down and help us get to a place where we can relax some of the lockdown measures,” he said.

“It hasn’t happened by accident. It has happened because people have made enormous sacrifices – not seeing family, not going out and about – and they have kept themselves and their neighbours safe.”