WORCESTERSHIRE MP's have welcomed the government's roadmap to lockdown loosening.

But Malvern's MP Harriett Baldwin, a member of the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group, has urged to unlock earlier if possible.

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the plan, Mrs Baldwin said: "I welcome the news that schools will fully re-open and I look forward to reading the detail on that plan as local teachers prepare for the return of their pupils.

“Lockdowns harm children and it is essential that we get them back into classrooms and develop a comprehensive plan to help them to catch up.

“Thanks to the amazing work of the team delivering jabs and people’s sacrifice during lockdown, the pressure on the NHS is falling. In Worcestershire, nearly half the adult population has had a first vaccination.

“Unlocking should be based on data not just dates.

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"The vaccination programme may go faster, be more effective and have higher take up than currently forecast. I urge the government to believe in vaccines and follow the data to unlock us as soon as possible.”

Worcester MP Robin Walker said he believed the government had "got the balance right".

The MP said: "It is about striking the right balance. There was always going to people who wanted the government to go faster, and those who have concerns and want to make sure this is absolutely the last time we have a lockdown.

"I think it is sensible that we take an approach that is based on data, on the science, and based on a gradual unlocking. I think it is a good thing that we are starting with the schools.

"It is right to get them back but I think there is that recognition with the testing requirements of secondary schools there is going to have to be a bit of phasing, so that it is not necessarily a big bang of everyone in on day one."

Nigel Huddleston said: "I think the Prime Minister’s statement came as a welcome indication that as we rollout the vaccine, things will be looking up this spring and summer.

"But we must proceed with reopening in a cautious manner.

"As the Prime Minister explained, data will be carefully evaluated at each step to ensure we’re in a good place to move onto the next step and we will ease restrictions at a careful and considered pace.

"The five-week break between steps means that we will have ample time to analyse if any changes need to be made to the plans.

"It is right that we focus on reopening schools first and we should remember that the stay at home message stays in place until March 29."