Together, as a city, we will emerge stronger: Council Leader reassures the people of Milton Keynes

    With the recent announcement of Tier 4, and the scrapping of Christmas bubbles, our council leader is reassuring the community that brighter days are ahead.

    This may seem difficult to imagine at the moment. Especially with the news that the new strain of coronavirus, labelled VUI – 202012/01, is spreading rapidly and cases are on the rise.

    Many are saying that Christmas is cancelled completely, as millions of people across the country can no longer see loved ones. 

    But the Leader of Milton Keynes Council, Cllr Pete Marland, has issued a bittersweet message to the local community. "Christmas isn't cancelled but it'll be very different this year," he said, during yesterday's council update. "The good news is that I've been informed that Father Christmas has been given a 12-hour exemption from the travel ban over the 25 December, and his delivery vehicle and magic is COVID secure."

    Aside from relaying the Government's stay at home message, Cllr Marland also provided a glimmer of hope. He told us: "The 22nd December is this year's darkest day. I know how it feels right now. It's hard. However, we'll come through this and together, as a city, we'll emerge stronger. Lighter, better days lie ahead." 

    The Government has previously suggested that the country will see a turning point in the Spring, once winter illnesses are out of the way, and the vaccination rollout has taken shape. 

    But with this new strain of the virus, questions have been raised as to whether this is still the case. Officials have stated that so far there is "no evidence" to suggest that this new variant will increase mortality, or not respond to the BioNTech vaccine; they say that it simply spreads quicker.

    And BioNTech's boss has said he is confident the company's vaccine will be effective against the new coronavirus variant, but more tests are needed before he can be completely sure. 

    Ugur Sahin said: "But we will know it [is effective] only if the experiment is done and we will need about two weeks from now to get the data."

    Mr Sahin said that if adjustments were necessary, it would take BioNTech around six weeks to make them - although regulatory approval may be needed.

    With the increase in cases, and the enforcement of Tier 4 restrictions, it is incredibly important that you stay home unless it is essential that you go out. 

    Continue to follow coronavirus prevention measures - hands, face, space - when you are out in public. 

    © MKFM News 2020

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