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The madness regarding Coronavirus restrictions continues, with one report claiming an additional, even stricter level of regulations (Tier Four), is being considered by so-called “health experts” as a “fire break” measure to slow the spread of the virus. If true, this will add an additional layer of more ill-conceived and often unenforceable petty restrictions, that will cause further confusion in the minds of an increasingly frustrated public. A public that is already struggling to get their heads around the current nannying rules imposed by HMG. An example of one individual’s frustration with the absurdity of some of the latest rules, surfaced yesterday, when a customer in a Welsh supermarket, was filmed pulling down plastic sheeting erected to prevent the sales of certain “non-essential” items. The man in question was apparently looking to purchase a coat for his child, and with winter fast approaching, how can a coat be regarded as a non-essential item?
Ask the Welsh Government if you want to know why, but a ban on the sales of “non-essential” goods forms part of a 17 day “fire break,”imposed by the devolved Welsh Assembly. These measures amount to a "mini lockdown," affecting the entire principality, conveniently ignoring the fact that infection rates vary widely across Wales. No-one disputes that rates are high in urban areas, but rural parts of the country are experiencing the complete opposite, with many communities reporting little or no positive cases.
The person whose frustration exploded in that branch of Tesco’s has been charged with criminal damage and breaching Coronavirus Restrictions. No surprises about the latter charge, imposed without doubt pour encourager les autres,” but the man’s actions ought to serve as a warning to politicians and busy-body public health officials, that you can only push people so far. Whatever their faults, the public at large have a sense of fair play and proportion, and when they can see the benefit of restrictions that rob them of their rights and their liberties, they will generally acquiesce. They may not like the measures (none of us enjoy being held prisoner in our own homes), but if they can see that the sacrifices, they’ve been asked to make are having some effect, they will normally cooperate, however reluctantly.
Regrettably, governments across the British Isles, have imposed legislation that is out of all proportion to the problem they are attempting to cure. You even get the impression that some of the devolved assemblies are trying to out compete not just one another, but Westminster itself, in order to demonstrate their toughness, and that they are taking matters seriously. This might score points with those shouting for independence from the mother country, but just creates even more confusion. The so-called “Rule of Six,” springs to mind here, with children in English households being counted as making up the group of six, but the rule applying solely to adults in Scotland. This is a rare example where "Wee Jimmie Krankie’s" interpretation of the ruling is less strict than Doris’s, although there probably aren’t any others.
The absurdity of forcing pubs, bars and restaurant to close, on the dot at 10pm, thereby depositing groups of drinkers onto the streets and public transport, all in one go, has also been called into question. Encouragingly, a group representing the hospitality trade north of the border, are bringing a legal action against the Scottish Government, for imposing these draconian restriction without providing clear evidence that pubs, bars and restaurants are responsible for the increase in Covid-19 case numbers.
I also read a report today that claims check-in data, submitted by millions of people who have visited pubs, cafés and restaurants, has barely been used by public health and contract tracing officials. Trade body, Hospitality UK stated that a survey of 568 businesses, covering 12,500 venues and 250 million customer visits, suggested that just 104 cases had been pursued, since the hospitality sector re-opened for business at the beginning of July. The report also claims that data from Public Health England, has shown just 2.7% of new outbreaks during the past week, can be linked to the hospitality sector. I will leave the matter there, for the time being whilst waiting to see the outcome of the legal challenge in Scotland. But whilst we undoubtedly face a serious situation, going overboard with divisive and disproportional knee-jerk responses, and further draconian legislation, is not the best way forward.

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