Suffolk MPs Matt Hancock, Jo Churchill and Dan Poulter react to second lockdown in England
Suffolk 's MPs have urged their constituents to 'act now' and 'stay at home' to prevent a second wave of coronavirus infections this winter.
Boris Johnson, the prime minister, announced on Saturday that the country would be placed into lockdown for four weeks , beginning on Thursday.
Addressing the nation, he said it was his hope that this lockdown would enable families to be together for Christmas.
Three of Suffolk's MPs have backed the decision and claimed the move was 'vital' to protect both residents and the NHS.
Matt Hancock, health secretary and MP for West Suffolk, said: "With the overwhelming evidence in the rise in cases where people tested positive for coronavirus, we had to act to contain the spread of the virus and protect the local NHS from being overwhelmed.
"In West Suffolk cases doubled in a fortnight, with increasing numbers of people being treated in West Suffolk Hospital. I understand the frustration people are feeling, but it was vital that we halt the second wave. "
Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds , added that this second lockdown is 'more targeted and less restrictive' than the one in March but said the overall message remained the same.
"I understand that this has already been one of the most challenging years we have faced as a country in decades for individuals and businesses," she said.
"Unfortunately with Covid infection numbers continuing to rise both locally and across the country another national lockdown is required."
She said she hoped the extension to the furlough scheme, which was due to end last week, will help support businesses and said more support is due to be announced 'shortly'.
Dan Poulter, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, added that, although infection rates in Suffolk are low, a country-wide lockdown was needed to prevent people travelling to lower risk areas and spreading the virus.
"The recent cold and wet autumn weather has resulted in a rapid rise in infection rates and hospital admissions for Covid-19 throughout the country," he said.
"The situation is now very concerning and is very different to that which we faced two to three weeks ago.
"There is a very difficult balancing act for the Government between protecting life and protecting the economy and on balance, I agree that, even here in Suffolk, a temporary nationwide lockdown now makes sense."
On Monday, 89 people in Suffolk tested positive for the virus according to latest government data - but this could increase as more tests are processed.
Despite Suffolk's public health director having said we were 'on the cusp' of moving into Tier 2 before lockdown was announced, the seven-day average of new cases appears to be flatlining.
And today, King's College London academics said cases are 'plateauing' and there was a 'slight fall' in the number of new infections across the UK in the last week.