Covid-19 Restrictions

5th October 2020

Andrew Mitchell urges no further changes to covid restrictions in the west midlands this week given the current level of infection rate.

May I thank my right hon. Friend for the way that he has worked so closely with us in the west midlands? He knows that, first and foremost, I am in favour of community solidarity and good sense, rather than legal diktat and Government fiat. Will he commend those universities that have already introduced student responsibility agreements as a way of furthering all of that? Will he bear in mind later on this week that our highly effective Mayor in the west midlands Andy Street, the Labour leader of Birmingham City Council and I are all of one mind, together with Justin Varney, the excellent head of public health in Birmingham, that the current level of infection rates mean that there should be no further changes there this week?

I concur with my right hon. Friend on the importance of personal responsibility. We all have a responsibility in this. I have not heard of responsibility agreements with students, but that is a very sensible approach. I spoke to Andy Street this morning, and he made clear to me the need for national and local government to work together. That is working very effectively across the west midlands and across party lines, exactly as my right hon. Friend says. We must continue to do that as we monitor the developments and the data and do all we can to keep this virus under control.