The recall of the House to debate the situation in Afghanistan cut short the recess period, and my thoughts are with all those affected by these issues, especially the many veterans from North Cornwall who have served on the front lines and the families of those who did not return.
My thoughts are also with people in Plymouth following the terrible events which occurred there. I am pleased that the Home Office has asked police to review their current firearms processes and whether they need to revisit any existing licenses in light of the tragic attack in Plymouth to ensure everything is being done to keep people safe. Incidents such as Thursday’s horrific events in Plymouth are thankfully rare, but their impact is profound, not only on those directly affected but on the public as a whole. We constantly assess what sensible and proportionate steps we can take to help prevent such terrible loss of life from happening again. We are bringing forward new guidance to improve how people applying for a firearms licence are assessed in future, including social media checks. As matter of urgency, we are asking the police to review their practices and whether any existing licences need to be looked at again. This will help reassure people that all necessary checks have been made to keep them safe.
From the 16th of August, self-isolation requirements have ended for double-jabbed people and under-18s in England and Northern Ireland – as we continue to move from short term restrictions to the longer-term protection supported by our world-leading vaccine programme. The success of our vaccine programme allows us to continue taking steps towards normal life. Instead of quarantining for 10 days, those who are double vaccinated will be advised to take a PCR test if they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. They are also advised to limit contact with others and wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces. The success of our vaccine programme and the heroic efforts of our NHS and key workers are allowing us to continue cautious steps towards normal life.
Finally, I was very pleased to be out on the constituency for several visits last week. I have met with a range of businesses and constituents on several issues including a fantastic visit to Padstow Touring Park and Holiday Village. It was incredible to see how far the park has come over the last few years and I was pleased to see they were at capacity.. We are lucky to live in a place that has so many different options for holidays and support for UK holidays has never been higher due in part, to the pandemic. North Cornwall businesses have seized the opportunities this year and I am sure that many of the people who visited this year due to circumstances will choose to come back in the years to come.