We deserve better than government's 'half-measure' advice | Burnley Express editor Chris Daggett
For the last 14 months Burnley residents have lived life under a series of lockdowns, restrictions, 'guidance' and cautions.
During that time most of us have adhered to 'rules and regulations' that have impinged on our normal way of living, our family lives and work.
While the process has been painful, the vast majority of Burnley folk have realised that without such restraints we could have lost more family, friends and colleagues to the dreadful Covid-19 virus which has caused so much heartache to many families across the area.
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Businesses have also played their part and suffered severe financial hardship and, in some cases, permanent closure.
For the past month or so there has been a belief that we are finally nearing the light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel.
The prospect of 'normality' whatever that is, loomed large on the horizon. Visiting loved ones in care homes, seeing family members for the first time in months and even foreign holidays, were back on the agenda.
But today, Burnley has once again been thrown into confusion, along with a number of other areas across the country, singled out because of fears over the spread of the Indian Variant.
A bizarrely-phrased, ambiguous, somewhat hidden away low-key release on the Government website on Friday, has suggested, not dictated, that Burnley residents should, in effect, go into some form of localised lockdown with advice for us not to travel in and out of the area, unless your journey is essential, not to meet non-immediate family members indoors, and stay a minimum of two metres apart from other residents.
We are also being advised to work from home wherever possible and sensibly, I agree, get the vaccine as soon as you can.
But the Government is saying this is not a lockdown instruction, merely cautious guidance, amid fears over the spread of the Indian Variant in our part of Lancashire.
If there is one thing that we have learned over the past 14 months it is that clarity of message is key to fighting this awful virus and that people respond best to simple, black and white instructions.
Sadly, this does not appear to be the approach being taken by the Government in this latest half-measure 'advice'.
It really does appear to most people that the Government wants to put us in some form of localised lockdown, but, due to past pledges, dare not put that sentiment in black and white.
We deserve better than that. We deserve clarity of message, backed up by scientific evidence. And we deserve it now.