As you will know, from this week groups of six or two households are allowed to meet outside, and outdoor sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses, sports pitches and courts have reopened. It was great to visit Sevenoaks Lawn Tennis Club and Knole Park Golf Club on Monday to see them successfully reopening, and to see people back at these clubs again. I know these next steps will come as a massive relief after a challenging few months.
We are seeing a very welcome reduction in our infection rates both locally and nationally. Our vaccination programme continues to make great progress, but I have seen claims circulating on social media which argue that given the majority of the most vulnerable are now protected, there is less pressure for vaccination amongst younger age groups. This is simply not true. If young people don’t get vaccinated, there will continue to be a large amount of virus circulating in our community; this will in turn lead to a larger number of older people being affected for whom the vaccine doesn't work or who haven’t been vaccinated. In this scenario we could see a surge in hospitalisations and deaths, as well as high rates of long Covid. We must not let this happen. Low virus rates should not lead to low vaccination rates; the threat remains very real, as we can see from what is currently happening in Europe.
The tragic murder of Sarah Everard this month led to an outpouring of grief online, with people sharing their own stories and experiences of violence. While abduction may be rare, incidents of women being harassed or attacked are nowhere near rare enough and we must use every possible tool to tackle violence against women and girls. This month I launched a survey so that you can all feed in experiences you have had locally, and provide any ideas on how we make our community safer. Please do share the following link with your friends and family: https://www.lauratrott.org.uk/have-your-say And, if anyone would like to discuss a specific issue with me, as ever, please contact my parliamentary address at email@example.com.
Thank you for your ongoing support, and please do not hesitate to get in touch if there is anything locally you would like to share with me. I hope you all have a very happy Easter.
MP for Sevenoaks and Swanley