Education Secretary tells LBC he doesn't think there will be another national lockdown

3 December 2020, 08:14 | Updated: 3 December 2020, 11:17

By Asher McShane

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told LBC this morning that he doesn't think the country will need another national lockdown if everyone sticks to the tier system.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari at breakfast, Mr Williamson said he would "absolutely" take the covid vaccine and would encourage other people to do so, before saying: "I can't see a place where we would be having another lockdown.

"The British people are very sensible, very responsible. We recognise that this is a virus we are still having to deal with and it's great news that we see the vaccine heading our way, but it is going to take a time to roll out, that's why we've got the tiered restrictions, and if we continue to follow those rules, there will be no need to be going into another national lockdown."

England left lockdown yesterday, and entered the new tier system, with 99 per cent of the population under the toughest two tiers.

There were huge queues at shops as non-essential retail was allowed to reopen.

Gavin Williamson spoke to Nick Ferrari this morning
Gavin Williamson spoke to Nick Ferrari this morning. Picture: LBC

Droves of customers queued early outside store giants such as Primark and Nike Town in London's Oxford Street on what has been dubbed "Wild Wednesday".

Business leaders hope the British high street will be given a boost in the final weeks coming up to Christmas, as retailers battle to recover from crippling restrictions during the pandemic.

Across the West End, a few shoppers scattered around Covent Garden where independent stallholders eagerly awaited their first customers after nearly a month.

One such stallholder was Jane Ireland, who has had her family-run stall at Covent Garden, selling hand-painted silk ties, for 40 years.

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On England coming out of lockdown, she said: "It's a little bit of hope but I'm not that optimistic.

"There are no tourists around and we depend on them in this part of London."

She said the tiering system posed challenges in that regular customers from outside of London are unlikely to travel to the capital if they are from a different tier.